Procurement process

In late September 2022 PSAA concluded its main procurement for the audits of the accounts (as per the Code of Audit Practice) from 2023/24 to 2027/28 for eligible bodies across England that opted into PSAA’s national scheme, awarding contracts to six suppliers.

The Contract Notice can be viewed on the Find A Tender service website. Tenders received for the main audit services procurement were evaluated to identify the most economically advantageous tenders.

A dynamic purchasing system (DPS) was also established in 2022 to appoint auditors to cover the audits of the accounts (as per the Code of Audit Practice) of opted-in bodies across England. The Contract Notice can be viewed on the Find A Tender service website. The approach to the assessment of tenders for subsequent call-off competitions under the DPS will be set out in the ITT documentation for each competition. Local audit suppliers can apply to join the DPS at any time.

We may undertake individual call-off competitions for either: one or more named audits, or for a volume of work where the opted-in bodies are not named. The ITT documentation for each call-off competition will describe the exact scope of the procurement. We anticipate we may use the DPS to procure an auditor appointment to an opted-in body:

  • when a new body requests to join the scheme, for example in the event of local government reorganisation, or if an existing body requests to join the scheme after the main procurement process is complete; or
  • where an existing auditor appointment from 2018/19 or 2023/24 needs to be replaced for reasons such as the identification of an independence conflict, the breakdown of auditor-audited body relationship, or as a result of a supplier’s poor performance in line with agreed contract terms.

Local audit suppliers

Under Section 7 of the Act, eligible bodies must appoint a “local auditor” to audit their accounts. Only firms that are registered as local auditors on the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) website can undertake local audit work.

Scope of PSAA’s procurement

The scope of the work required as an appointed auditor is set out in the Act and determined by the Code of Audit Practice (currently published by the NAO), the format of the financial statements (specified by CIPFA/LASAAC) and the application of auditing standards regulated by the FRC.

The scope excludes smaller bodies (such as parish councils) and NHS bodies, including accountable care organisations, which are not eligible to opt into PSAA’s scheme. It also excludes grant or claim certification work, as PSAA has no power under the Act to make certification arrangements. Any certification work required by grant paying government departments will need to be undertaken using a tripartite agreement between an audited body, an audit firm and the grant paying body, under instructions prepared by the grant paying body.

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