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More than 98% of authorities to join national auditor appointment scheme

Around 98% of authorities, or 483 out of 492 authorities in the UK, have agreed to join the national auditor appointment scheme, according to news released by LGA.

The scheme, which will be run by Public Sector Audit Appointments Ltd (PSAA), will involve one of the largest procurements of audit services ever undertaken in the United Kingdom.

PSAA will let and manage audit contracts for councils with private firms, also making auditor appointments to individual bodies as well as determining fee scales.

Back in July 2016, PSAA was specified by the government to be authorised for future external auditor appointments on behalf of local authorities in England, including councils, police, fire and rescue services, joint and combined authorities and other different public authorities.

The procurement is on course to be completed in June, and contracts will be awarded to firms the following month, with councils contacted for auditor appointments in Autumn.

Chairman of PSAA Steve Freer said: “This is extremely positive news. We are absolutely delighted that more than 98 per cent of authorities have decided to take up our offer - it is difficult to recall a collaboration initiative which has achieved greater buy-in.”

He added that it represented “overwhelming endorsement” for the scheme which was developed in partnership with the sector, with support from the LGA and “invaluable guidance” from PSAA’s advisory panel of stakeholders. 

“We are determined to ensure that the scheme succeeds in delivering real financial benefits and a quality audit service for all of the authorities which have taken the decision to opt into our arrangements,” said Freer.

Lord Porter, chair of the LGA, added that the association has been extremely supportive of this option and “we are very pleased to see such a high take-up from authorities. This approach will ensure that authorities get the best value for money whilst maintaining a high standard of service”.

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