Does PSAA require its contracted audit firms to demonstrate how they will minimise environmental impact/address climate change issues?

PSAA’s audit services contracts covering the audits from 2018/19 to 2022/23 include a clause in relation to ‘Co-operation with PSAA on environmental issues’. This states that “Throughout the Contract the Supplier shall co-operate with PSAA in seeking reasonable and practical ways to improve the sustainability of the delivery of the Services” so there is a requirement for our contracted firms to consider environmental issues. We have yet to finalise the contract terms to be used in our 2022 procurement, however we do intend to retain this contractual provision.

In addition, in its 2022 procurement PSAA will determine 5% of the bidders’ tender evaluation score by the additional social value that they will deliver from the contract. In direct response to our June consultation on the draft scheme prospectus we have broadened the scope of social value that a bidder could provide in its response. The scope now includes sustainability and environmental concerns, and equality, diversity and inclusion, alongside apprenticeships and long term development opportunities. We intend to ask bidders to describe how their delivery of social value will be measured and evidenced to PSAA so that it will form part of our contract management arrangements.

When PSAA develops its auditor appointment proposals following contract award to successful firms, one of the factors that we consider is the location of the audit in relation to the locations of the contracted firms’ local audit resources. There is the possibility that one of the outcomes from the remote working enforced by C19 is that auditors will travel less to clients, taking advantage of the significant improvements in video conferencing, but it will be some time before that can be assessed with any clarity.