Becoming an opted-in authority

Initial opt-in invitation

In accordance with the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 and the Local Audit (Appointing Person) Regulations 2015 (the Regulations), PSAA formally invited all eligible principal local government bodies to become opted-in authorities. The length of the compulsory appointing period is the five consecutive financial years commencing 1 April 2018.

The opt-in invitation was issued to all eligible principal local government and police bodies to in October 2017. The opt-in invitation period closed on 9 March 2017. We allowed as much time as possible for bodies to inform themselves about the scheme, ask questions and consider options. We were also conscious that bodies would need to make recommendations through their local governance arrangements.

A decision to become an opted-in authority must be taken in accordance with the Regulations that is by the members of an authority meeting as a whole, except where the authority is a corporation sole, such as a police and crime commissioner, in which case this decision can be taken by the holder of that office.

We are delighted that out of a total of 493 bodies eligible to join the scheme, 484 took the decision to opt in for the initial five year period. Such strong support gives the scheme critical mass to enable it to deliver the optimum results for member bodies.

The list of authorities that have opted into the national appointing person arrangements and those that are making local arrangements can be found here.

Request to join the scheme after 9 March 2017

An eligible principal body that is created following the 9 March 2017 deadline, or that did not accept PSAA’s original invitation can request to join the national scheme at any time by emailing generalenquiries@psaa.co.uk.

PSAA will consider the request and respond with a decision within a period of no more than four weeks of receiving the request. PSAA will agree to the request unless there are reasonable grounds for refusing it. In such a case, PSAA will inform the body of the reason for refusal. The authority would become an opted-in authority on the date on which PSAA agreed to its request.

The LGA has produced a specimen report that can be adapted to support the council/authority decision-making process to opt in to the Appointing Person scheme.