Terms of appointment and further guidance 1 July 2021

Appendix 6: Process for working with PSAA when considering the use of Statutory Powers – aide memoire

This document provides the process for working with PSAA when considering the use of statutory powers. PSAA does not provide advice to firms on the exercise of the statutory powers and duties of local auditors and it is for each firm to take its own legal advice as necessary. PSAA does provide comments on the pre-issue draft Statements of Reasons, Reports in the Public Interest and related documents in so far as they might impact on the application of the general indemnity that it provides to audit firms. Full details are contained in the Contract and Terms of Appointment (Chapter 4). For ease of reference these documents are referred to here as ‘Statutory Reports’.

For the avoidance of doubt there is a distinction between objections received but not accepted (e.g. because they are not eligible) where auditors are not required to inform PSAA, and objections accepted as eligible but not considered under s27(4) where auditors are required to inform PSAA. This is because electors may have a right of appeal against a decision not to consider an objection under s27(4) or request a judicial review.

The process for obtaining comments is as follows:

Submit any statutory report to PSAA as soon as consultation allows. This should be redacted to conceal the name and address of the elector. This should be the final version that the auditor is expecting to issue and will have been through the Maxwellisation process of sharing with individuals named in it or shared with the elector as provisional views if that is the case. To minimise the costs to the public purse PSAA does not comment on provisional views or consultation drafts which may be subject to amendment. Please forward your document for comments to [email protected] and [email protected].

PSAA will consult with its legal advisers and use its best endeavours to respond with comments on the draft statutory report or recommendations within two weeks.

Where time is an important factor in the response (eg Advisory Notices) please give notice such that time can be arranged with our legal advisers to consider the submission.

PSAA will always provide comments on any statutory report submitted. These can include:

  • matters considered for further consideration (eg where something is unclear); and
  • observations (eg an incorrect legal reference).

In some cases, we may also ask for confirmation of a matter (eg that material documents have been shared with the elector, or that the consultation process has been followed).

In some cases, we may also ask for a second review of the statutory report.

Where we have provided comments and no further confirmations or information are requested the firm should make any amendments that it decides to.

Where we have asked for confirmations or additional information the firm should not publish any statutory report until we have confirmed receipt.

In all cases please provide a redacted copy of the final version of the statutory report when issued.

If you are unsure about any aspect of the process, please ask.

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