98 per cent of authorities opt into PSAA National Auditor Appointment Scheme

Media release 13 March 2017

More than 98 per cent of authorities have opted to join the national auditor appointment scheme developed and managed by Public Sector Audit Appointments Ltd (PSAA). 483 out of 492 authorities have decided to take up the offer. It will make PSAA's parallel procurement of audit services one of the largest undertaken in the United Kingdom.

The national scheme will ensure the delivery of a cost effective, quality audit service for authorities. PSAA will let and manage contracts with appropriately qualified audit firms, make auditor appointments to individual bodies and determine fee scales. The collaborative procurement will mean that local bodies can save the time and expense associated with establishing and maintaining an independent auditor panel to oversee a local auditor procurement. 

PSAA was specified by the Government in July 2016 as the organisation which is authorised to make future external auditor appointments on behalf of principal local authorities in England. This includes councils, police bodies, fire and rescue authorities, joint authorities, combined authorities (covering elected regional mayors), national park authorities, passenger transport executives, waste authorities, and the GLA and its functional bodies.

PSAA's procurement is expected to be completed in June, with contracts awarded to successful audit firms in July. Local authorities will then be consulted on auditor appointments in the autumn. In accordance with the legislation, auditor appointments must be made to all authorities by the 31 December 2017.

PSAA Chairman 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. It represents overwhelming endorsement for the scheme which we have developed in partnership with the sector, with tremendous support from the LGA and invaluable guidance from our 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."

LGA Chairman Lord Porter said:

"The LGA 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."

Notes

1. Last July, the Department for Communities and Local Government approved PSAA's bid to become the sector-led body for the independent appointment of auditors for principal authorities in England. The first appointments made under these arrangements will commence in relation to the financial year 2018/19.

13 March 2017

Contact

Alison Neyle
Senior Media Relations Officer
Direct line: 020 7664 3127
email: alison.neyle@local.gov.uk