Response to consultations on proposals for arrangements from April 2023


During Autumn 2021 all eligible bodies will need to make important decisions about their external audit arrangements for the period commencing from the financial year 2023/24.

In relation to appointing auditors, local bodies have options to arrange their own procurement and make the appointment themselves or in conjunction with others, or they can join and take advantage of the national collective scheme administered by PSAA.

In June 2021 PSAA consulted all eligible bodies and other stakeholders (Government departments, NAO, FRC, ICAEW, CIPFA and Treasurers’ Societies) on the aims of the national scheme and proposals for how it might develop going forward. This provided consultees with the opportunity to help shape some of the important features of the scheme ahead of issuing the formal invitation to opt in to all eligible bodies in the Autumn.

In parallel, PSAA consulted current and potential suppliers on our initial thinking on some of the key characteristics of a potential procurement strategy and provided the opportunity for suppliers to propose alternative approaches for PSAA to consider. We indicated the intention to initiate a procurement in early 2022 for the delivery of audit services from April 2023.

The consultation took place in the context of the significant current tensions and pressures in the audit market, and the expectation of significant reform following four reviews commissioned by government (the Kingman review of audit regulation, the Competition and Markets Authority review of the audit market, the Brydon review of the quality and effectiveness of audit, and the Redmond review of local audit and financial reporting).  MHCLG published its Spring statement on 19 May which provided further detail on its plan to reshape local audit. Then on 28 July it published a further consultation on its proposed response to the recommendations from the independent Redmond Review of local authority financial reporting and external audit.

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