LGA creates local audit oversight company

2 Oct 14

The Local Government Association has formed a new company to oversee outsourced local audit contracts once the Audit Commission is abolished next March.

The Public Sector Audit Appointments company, which will be chaired by former CIPFA chief executive Steve Freer, is set to take on a number of transitional responsibilities until at least 2017. These include the appointment of auditors to local government and parts of the NHS, the setting of audit fees, and managing the current outsourced audit contracts.

Under government plans following its decision to abolish the commission, once these deals expire after the 2016/17 financial year, county, district and London borough councils will be responsible for appointing their own auditors.

Announcing the creation of the firm, Peter Fleming, chair of the LGA’s improvement and innovation board, said the umbrella body was keen to maintain quality independent audit arrangements for local public services. 

‘We are confident that PSAA will ensure that local public bodies continue to be subject to robust audits and that audit work will continue to be carried out in a cost-effective way,’ he added.

Freer added that sound audit arrangements was a pre-requisite for effective public accountability.

‘I look forward to the challenge of helping to maintain a rigorous audit regime during a period of continuing austerity and significant change for local services,’ he added.

Welcoming Freer’s appointment, Audit Commission chair Jeremy Newman said: ‘We are confident that Steve Freer understands the importance of protecting the independence of auditors and that he will continue the important aspects of the Audit Commission’s work that are transferring to PSAA.’

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