Post-Audit Commission audits ‘will be rigorous’

31 Mar 15

The head of the company formed by the Local Government Association to manage local public sector audit contracts has said it will maintain a rigorous audit regime once the Audit Commission shuts its doors for the final time today.

Former CIPFA chief executive Steve Freer, who was appointed as chair of the Public Sector Audit Appointments firm when it was formed last October, said sound audit arrangements are a pre-requisite for effective public accountability.

‘We look forward to the challenge of helping to maintain a rigorous audit regime during an important period of tight financial settlements and significant change for local services,’ he said.

‘The team will work hard to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible with the emphasis on continuity and maintaining high standards of auditing.’

The company was formed to take on a number of transitional responsibilities until at least 2017 including setting the audit fees, following the government’s decision to abolish the commission. Once the current outsourced audit deals end after the 2016/17 financial year, county, district and London borough councils will be responsible for appointing their own auditors.

A number of staff will transfer from the Audit Commission to work for PSAA from tomorrow to enable a smooth transition for audited bodies, an LGA spokesman added.

‘The LGA is keen to maintain high quality independent audit arrangements for local public services,’ he said.

‘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.’

The members of the PSAA board of directors are Scotland's auditor general Caroline Gardner, former deputy auditor general for Wales Clive Grace, and solicitor Stephen Sellers.

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