Audited accounts are the main way public bodies show accountability for managing public money. Publishing timely audited accounts, with an unqualified audit opinion, is a key element of financial reporting and financial management arrangements and a fundamental feature of good governance.
The Audit Commission previously published Auditing the Accounts reports summarising the results of the work of auditors appointed by the Audit Commission at local government and local NHS bodies.
Up to and including the audits of accounts for 2017/18, PSAA has been responsible for delivering statutory functions delegated on a transitional basis by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. Under these arrangements, put in place in 2015, PSAA has been responsible for appointing auditors to local government and police bodies and for setting audit fees. Before 1 April 2015, these responsibilities were discharged by the Audit Commission.
In July 2016, the Secretary of State specified PSAA as an appointing person under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. This means that for audits of accounts from 2018/19, PSAA is responsible for appointing auditors to relevant principal local government and police bodies that have chosen to opt into its national auditor appointment scheme.
PSAA reports annually on the results of auditors’ work at councils, police bodies, fire and rescue authorities and other local government bodies.