“Effective external audit and clear and transparent financial reporting are vital. However local audit is in crisis, which is a serious concern for councils.”
Responding to a report by the National Audit Office on the timeliness of local auditor reporting, Cllr Pete Marland, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Resources Board, said:
“Effective external audit and clear and transparent financial reporting are vital, and councils take them extremely seriously. However, as this report makes clear, local audit is in crisis, which is a serious concern for councils.
“While it acknowledges some actions have been taken to address this, we support the call for the Government to set out a detailed timetable by which it expects to restore timely audited accounts.
“Most councils have been able to finalise their draft accounts by the published deadlines but will be under greater pressure to do this for their 2022/23 accounts if the deadline reverts to 31 May 2023, as currently proposed by DLUHC.
“The report also highlights the wider impact the crisis in local audit is having elsewhere in the public audit system, which reinforces the need for long-term and permanent solutions to address these challenges.”