Local government bodies are required to publish accounts with an auditor’s certificate or opinion by 30 September or to explain the reasons for non-publication. At the publishing date of 30 September 2023, only 5 out of 467 local government bodies’ 2022/23 audit opinions have been given. This adds to the 456 that are outstanding from previous years.
The cumulative position of 918 delayed audit opinions emphasises how important it is that there is a successful conclusion to the intensive ongoing work to find a solution to the backlog, and to ensure that it does not recur. PSAA is making every effort to support this work in collaboration with fellow members of the Local Audit Liaison Committee.
Steve Freer, PSAA’s Chair said,
‘The scale of the backlog of local audit opinions is becoming more and more serious. It is now very clear that an extraordinary intervention of some sort is urgently required to put the system back on track. Hopefully, current work to develop a solution can be concluded quickly, enabling details of the planned solution to be announced and implemented as soon as possible.
An important strand of any solution must be to address the root causes of so many delayed opinions so that following its implementation the delivery of timely opinions is firmly and permanently re-established.’