Procurement Strategy

On 22 September 2021 we published our strategy for the procurement of audit services contracts for the second appointing period. It was agreed by the PSAA Board on 15 September 2021.

Our primary aim is to secure the delivery of an audit service of the required quality for every opted-in body at a realistic market price and to support the drive towards a long term competitive and more sustainable market for local public audit services.

The objectives of the procurement are to maximise value for local public bodies by:

  • securing the delivery of independent audit services of the required quality;
  • awarding long term contracts to a sufficient number of firms to enable the deployment of an appropriately qualified auditing team to every participating body;
  • encouraging existing suppliers to remain active participants in local audit and creating opportunities for new suppliers to enter the market;
  • encouraging audit suppliers to submit prices which are realistic in the context of the current market;
  • enabling auditor appointments which facilitate the efficient use of audit resources;
  • supporting and contributing to the efforts of audited bodies and auditors to improve the timeliness of audit opinion delivery; and
  • establishing arrangements that are able to evolve in response to changes to the local audit framework.

It is necessary to enter into contracts with a number of audit suppliers to provide sufficient capacity for all of the audits required, enable PSAA to manage auditor independence issues and, if possible, grow the number of active suppliers in the local audit market.

The procurement will cover the audits of the accounts of all eligible bodies that opt into the appointing person scheme. Eligible bodies include local authorities, combined authorities, police and crime commissioners including PFCCs, chief constables, fire and rescue authorities, waste authorities, passenger transport executives and national park authorities.

There are currently 476 eligible bodies that will be invited to opt into the appointing person arrangements during September 2021. This number may reduce slightly from 1 April 2023 given the planned reorganisation in the counties of Cumbria, North Yorkshire, and Somerset.

The closing date for eligible bodies to accept the opt-in invitation is 11 March 2022, though we expect to receive acceptances throughout the opt-in period, which commences on 22 September 2021.

The timetable and key milestones for the procurement are set out below. The target dates are provisional and may be subject to change.

Key milestone Target Date
Publish Contract Notice and issue documentation on request noon 7 February 2022
Deadline for submission of Selection Questionnaires noon 18 March 2022
Issue invitation to tender to short-listed suppliers noon 7 April 2022
Deadline for submission of tenders noon  July 2022
PSAA Board approval of contract awards, assuming a satisfactory outcome August 2022

If you have a specific enquiry about the 2022 procurement strategy, please contact us at [email protected].