Public Sector Audit Appointments Limited (PSAA) was incorporated by the Local Government Association (LGA) in August 2014. PSAA is a company limited by guarantee without share capital and is a subsidiary of the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) which is wholly owned by the LGA.
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has delegated statutory functions on a transitional basis from the Audit Commission Act 1998 to PSAA by way of a letter of delegation issued under powers contained in the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.
Under these transitional arrangements, PSAA is responsible for appointing auditors to local government, police and local NHS bodies, for setting audit fees and for making arrangements for the certification of housing benefit subsidy claims. Before 1 April 2015, these responsibilities were discharged by the Audit Commission.
The Secretary of State has specified PSAA as an appointing person under provisions of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. For audits of the accounts from 2018/19, PSAA will appoint an auditor to relevant principal local government bodies that opt into its national scheme.
PSAA has a responsibility for ensuring that the company delivers the following objectives:
- appointing auditors to all relevant authorities;
- setting scales of fees, and charging fees, for the audit of accounts of relevant authorities and consulting with relevant parties in relation to those scales of fees;
- making arrangements for the certification of claims or returns in respect of housing benefit subsidy from audited bodies, up to completion of certification for 2017/18 claims;
- helping to ensure a smooth transition to the new audit regime to be established under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014;
- ensuring that public money continues to be properly accounted for and protected during the transition to the new local appointment regime;
- overseeing the delivery of consistent high quality and effective audit services to relevant authorities;
- ensuring effective management of contracts with audit firms for the delivery of audit services to relevant authorities;
- being financially responsible having regard to the efficiency of operating costs and transparently safeguarding fees charged to audited bodies; and
- leading its people as a good employer, ensuring that it continues to be fit-for-purpose; motivating and supporting its staff; and communicating with them in an open, honest and timely way.