Protecting the public purse

Privacy and cookies

In the course of your use of this Website you may provide to the Commission, or the Commission may otherwise obtain, information about your use of the site, such as standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. This information may be used by the Commission to catalogue your interests or information services which you download.

By using this Website, you expressly consent to the Commission using this information to help us improve our website, identify popular content and understand how well-read our publications are. We reserve the right to gather data regarding usage of the Website, for example, to identify the number of visitors to each part of the site. However we do not collect this information in a way which identifies anyone.

Your personal data is protected by law under the Data Protection Act 1998. The Commission will comply with this at all times. You may at any time request from the Commission a copy of the personal information held about you. Such a request should be emailed to

You should note other websites linked to this Website are not covered by this privacy policy. We review this policy from time to time and it was last updated in May 2011.


When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:

  • enabling a service to recognise your device so you don’t have to give the same information several times during one task
  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don’t need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there’s enough capacity to ensure they are fast

Managing, removing and deleting cookies

To learn more about cookies and how to manage them visit (external site).

Our use of cookies

Third party cookies

Cookies for improving service:

The web statistics package we use on our site, Google Analytics, sets cookies to help us accurately estimate the number of visitors to the website and volumes of usage. This is to ensure that the service is available when you want it and fast.

  • Name: _utma
    Typical content: randomly generated number
    Expires: 2 years
  • Name: _utmb
    Typical content: randomly generated number
    Expires: 30 minutes
  • Name: _utmc
    Typical content: randomly generated number
    Expires: when user exits browser
  • Name: _utmz
    Typical content: randomly generated number + info on how the site was reached (e.g. directly or via a link, organic search or paid search)
    Expires: 6 months

For further details on the cookies set by Google Analytics, please refer to the Google Code website.

Cookies on our sub-domains

The Audit Commission runs a number of online tools on sub-domains. All include the auditcommpersistancecookie described above. Some have the additional cookies:

  • Name: ASP.NET_SessionId
    Typical content: randomly generated numbers and letters
    Expires: when user exits browser
    Purpose: to enable the site to work properly during a session
    Used on the following tools: