Given we are operating in a broken market, should we go for a shorter contract? 5 years at 80-20 seems like a blank cheque for too long a period.

Our view is that a key part of fixing the market is to go for a long contract as this gives the firms some certainty and acknowledges the investment they have to make in this specialist area. We certainly do not think that the 80-20 weighting is a blank cheque, as although audit quality is vital, price is still an important factor as all bids must be by firms that have passed the assessment to provide local audit.

One of PSAA’s most important obligations is to make an appropriate auditor appointment to each and every opted-in body. In the event that the procurement fails to attract sufficient capacity to enable auditor appointments to every opted-in body, we have the option to extend one or more existing contracts for 2023/24 and also for 2024/25 in order to secure or supplement capacity.

PSAA is intent on having a successful procurement and being able to award contract opportunities to successful bidders at the conclusion of the process.

However, PSAA explicitly reserves the right to exercise its discretion to abandon the procurement for one or more lots including all of the lots where PSAA, at its sole discretion, considers the procurement has not sufficiently delivered to a suitable level one or more of the stated procurement strategy objectives, for example where it has not delivered sufficient value for opted-in bodies.