Becoming an opted-in authority
Initial opt-in invitation 27 October 2016 to 9 March 2017
In accordance with the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 and the Local Audit (Appointing Person) Regulations 2015 (the Regulations), PSAA has formally invited all eligible principal local government bodies to become opted-in authorities to the national auditor appointment arrangements it is developing in its role as a specified appointing person. The length of the compulsory appointing period is the five consecutive financial years commencing 1 April 2018.
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.
The invitation to opt in, issued by email on 27 October 2016, contained the following documents:
Form of acceptance to opt in to be returned to PSAA
A form of notice of acceptance was enclosed with the invitation to opt in which had to be completed and returned via email to: email@example.com before 5pm on Thursday 9 March 2017.
PSAA provided a considerably longer period of 20 week for an authority to opt in compared to the statutory minimum period of eight weeks.
PSAA confirmed receipt of all notices of acceptance by email and requested supplementary information from an opted-in authority to assist with the process of making appropriate auditor appointments.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 the appointing person has reasonable grounds for refusing it; in such case it would inform the body of the reason for refusal. The authority would become an opted-in authority on the date on which PSAA agreed the request to become an opted in authority.
Local Government Association (LGA) support
The Local Government Association (LGA) supports the appointing person arrangements and encourages as many principal bodies as possible to opt in, to provide certainty about the volume of work included in the procurement exercise and to secure the best possible prices. It has produced a specimen report that can be adapted to support the council/authority decision making process to opt in.