Regulatory Compliance and Quality Review Programme 2018

Annual Report 2018

Public Sector Audit Appointments Limited (PSAA) is an independent company limited by guarantee incorporated by the Local Government Association in August 2014.

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government delegated a number of statutory functions (from the Audit Commission Act 1998) to PSAA on a transitional basis by way of a letter of delegation issued under powers contained in the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.

As a consequence of these delegations, for 2017/18 the company will continue to be responsible under transitional arrangements for appointing auditors to local government and police bodies, for setting audit fees and for making arrangements for certification of housing benefit subsidy claims.

Looking beyond 2017/18, the Secretary of State has specified PSAA as an appointing person for principal local government bodies from 2018/19, under the provisions of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 and the Local Audit (Appointing Person) Regulations 2015.

Regulatory requirements- limited assurance work

  1. The limited assurance approach for smaller bodies comprises three key elements:

■ a compliance check against the requirements of an annual return;
■ a high level analytical review of financial and other information requested by the auditor; and
■ a review of the bodies annual governance statement.

  1. This work leads to the issue of a limited assurance opinion on the annual return and a certificate of closure.
  1. We undertook our own reviews of a sample of limited assurance work at each firm, in addition to relying on firms’ internal arrangements.
  1. In the limited assurance regime, our monitoring of auditors’ compliance regulatory requirements focuses on five key indicators. These include the target dates for issuing opinions on the annual return; and sending us accurate information and returns.
  1. We are pleased to note that 100 per cent of the indicators were scored as green, where the requirement was either fully met, or met within a specified tolerance. Auditors met the target date (30 September 2017) for issuing the limited assurance opinion in the majority of cases (97 per cent overall) which was consistent with the previous year. This remains higher than in earlier years as a result of continued confusion at some small bodies about their responsibility to set the date for the exercise of public rights.
  1. In addition the results of satisfaction surveys issued by firms for 2016/17 audit work showed that audited bodies were satisfied with their auditor.

QRP results- limited assurance work

Limited assurance work

  1. Our reperformance of a sample of the internal reviews did not highlight any weaknesses in any of the firms’ internal QRMs and we were able to rely on this work.
  1. Some minor improvement points were raised across all firms as part of the internal QMRs.
  1. There were no systematic concerns about the overall quality of limited assurance audit work.
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