PSAA has invited all principal local government including police and fire bodies to become opted-in authorities.
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 bodies to become opted-in authorities to the national auditor appointment arrangements for the audit years 2023/2024 to 2027/2028 in its role as a specified appointing person. The length of the compulsory appointing period is the five consecutive financial years commencing 1 April 2023.
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 [typically Full Council], 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 22 September 2021, contained the opt-in invitation letter, additional information about the scheme and the form of acceptance notice. Templates of these documents are available.
To become an opted-in authority, the form of acceptance notice has to be completed and returned via email to [email protected] before midnight on Friday 11 March 2022.
PSAA has provided a considerably longer period of 24 weeks for an authority to opt in compared to the statutory minimum period of 8 weeks.
On receiving a notice of acceptance from an eligible body, PSAA will confirm receipt by email and request supplementary information from an opted-in authority to assist with the process of making appropriate auditor appointments.
Local Government Association (LGA) support
The Local Government Association (LGA) supports the appointing person arrangements and encourages as many eligible bodies as possible to opt in. It believes the national scheme remains the best option councils can choose. In its view, there are many reasons for favouring the national arrangements and those reasons have become more compelling since 2016/17 when councils were last asked to make this choice, rather than less. It has produced a that can be adapted to support the council/authority decision making process to opt in.