Latest Public Sector News


LGA’s PSAA appointed as national audit body on behalf of councils

The powers of Public Sector Audit Appointments (PSAA) Ltd have been expanded to allow it to run a national scheme to make audit appointments on behalf of local authorities.

PSAA is an independent, not-for-profit company established by the LGA, which initially took over the responsibilities of the Audit Commission following its closure.

However, these responsibilities will cease when current contracts expire with the completion of the 2016-17 audits for NHS and smaller bodies, and the 2017-18 audits for local government.

The expiry of contracts will also mark the end of the current mandatory regime for auditor appointments, replacing it with a system where councils can either opt into a national scheme or appoint their own auditors.

The DCLG has now approved PSAA’s bid to become the sector-led body for the independent appointment of auditors for principal authorities in England, beginning with responsibilities for the financial year 2018-19.

Steve Freer, PSAA chair, said: "We are delighted to have been appointed to develop and run the national scheme. We are confident that it will represent an important, value for money option for all local bodies and that many will choose it as their preferred way forward. A high level of participation will enable us to attract the best audit suppliers and ensure competitive prices.

“High quality independent audit is one of the cornerstones of public accountability, giving assurance that taxpayers' money has been well managed and properly expended, and inspiring trust and confidence in the organisations and people responsible for managing public money.”

PSAA added that it will only contract with firms that have a proven track record in undertaking public audit work.

It currently plans to set a three-year time period for both contracts and public sector bodies’ membership of the scheme, with the option to expand it to five years.

It also said it will limit contracts to a small number of companies in two or three large contract areas, in order to try to achieve the most competitive prices possible.

Around 270 councils and local bodies have expressed an interest in joining the national scheme which PSAA will develop.

The inclusion of a national body for auditor contracts in the 2014 Local Audit and Accountability Act is the result of lobbying by the LGA.

Lord Porter, chair of the LGA, said: “I would urge all local authorities to opt-in and take advantage of the financial benefits that this scheme will offer.

“This will deliver significant financial benefits to those who opt in. It will be far cheaper for councils than every council procuring their external auditor separately.”

To view PSAA’s draft prospectus, click here.


Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >