MPs debate remaining stages of the Local Audit and Accountability Bill

17 December 2013

MPs debated the remaining stages of the Local Audit and Accountability Bill [HL] in the House of Commons, as both the report stage and third reading of the Bill took place on Tuesday 17 December 2013.

The Bill has now completed all its stages in the House of Commons and will return to the House of Lords for consideration of amendments.

Related information

Summary of the Local Audit and Accountability Bill [HL]

The Local Audit and Accountability Bill [HL] would abolish the Audit Commission and replace it with a new audit regime for local authorities, local health bodies and other public bodies covered by the Commission’s remit.
The Bill would also amend the current regulations on council tax referendums, and permit the Secretary of State to direct local authorities to comply with the local authority publicity code.
The Bill follows a process of consultation and Parliamentary scrutiny undertaken since the decision to abolish the Commission was taken in August 2010.

Progress of the Bill

The Bill was introduced to the House of Lords on 9 May 2013. It completed its Lords stages on 24 July 2013 and was introduced to the Commons with first reading on 29 August 2013 and second reading on 28 October 2013.

Keep up to date with all the proceedings and documentation, including amendment papers, on the Local Audit and Accountability Bill [HL] and find out how a bill becomes an Act of Parliament.

House of Commons Library analysis

The House of Commons Library produces briefing papers to inform MPs and their staff of key issues. The papers contain factual information and a range of opinions on each subject, and aim to be politically impartial. The Library has published a briefing paper for second reading.

What is the report stage of a bill?

The report stage gives MPs an opportunity, on the floor of the House, to consider any further amendments (proposals for change) to a bill which has been examined in a public bill committee or on the floor of the House. There is no set time period between the end of committee stage and the start of the report stage.

What happens at report stage?

All MPs may speak and vote. For lengthy or complex bills, the debates may be spread over several days. All MPs can suggest amendments to the bill or new clauses (parts) that they think should be added.

What happens after report stage?

Report stage is usually followed immediately by debate on the bill's third reading.

What happens at third reading?

Debate on the bill is usually short, and limited to what is actually in the bill, rather than, as at second reading, what might have been included.

Amendments (proposals for change) cannot be made to a bill at a third reading in the Commons. At the end of the debate, the House decides whether to approve the third reading of the bill.

What happens after third reading?

As the Bill started in the Lords it returns to the House of Lords for consideration of any amendments the Commons has made.

Watching proceedings from the public gallery

UK residents and overseas visitors can watch proceedings in the House of Commons by visiting the public gallery.

Image: iStock

This article was produced by the Commons Digital Outreach Team. Follow @HouseofCommons on Twitter for updates on the UK House of Commons Chamber.

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