Public Sector Audit Appointments Limited (PSAA) is a company limited by guarantee without share capital. The company is wholly owned by the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA), itself wholly owned by the Local Government Association (LGA). The LGA is a national membership body for local authorities which works on behalf of members to support, promote and improve local government.
PSAA began operations on 1 April 2015 when the then Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government delegated to PSAA on a transitional basis a number of statutory functions following the closure of the Audit Commission. These responsibilities included appointing auditors and setting audit fees for bodies subject to audit under the provisions of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. Whilst most of these transitional responsibilities have come to an end, PSAA is still responsible for a small residual number of audits under these arrangements.
In June 2016 the Secretary of State specified the company as an appointing person under the provisions of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. This means that for audits of accounts from 2018/19 PSAA appoints an auditor to eligible principal authorities (councils, local police bodies, fire authorities and other local government bodies) that have chosen to opt into the national auditor appointment scheme developed by the company. The scheme formally commenced in April 2018. The duration of the first appointing period was set at five years and therefore runs until 31 March 2023. The second appointing period will commence on 1 April 2023.
At 31 March 2020, 478 of the 487 eligible bodies (98%) had opted into PSAA’s national auditor appointment arrangements including all principal authorities created since 1 April 2018. Bodies remain in the scheme for the specified appointing period. The current appointing period covers audits of the accounts for the five financial years 2018/19 to 2022/23.
In May 2021 the Government confirmed that PSAA would continue as the appointing body for local audit, in charge of procurement and contract management for local government auditors. Our work to prepare for the second appointing period is well underway.
This project will be a significant undertaking for the company over the next two years. The timeline below shows the indicative timetable. We hope to secure positive outcomes including progress towards a more resilient, sustainable local audit system.
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