The local council sector together with local drainage authorities has successfully taken charge of procuring their external audit saving millions of pounds for some 10,000 councils and drainage boards
After the abolition of the Audit Commission, smaller local authority representatives successfully persuaded government to allow them to collectively procure external audit services for smaller authorities (under £6.5 million) from 2017-18. All but a handful of the 10,000 local councils in England signed up for the collective procurement and appointment of external auditors; this is the first example of such an initiative, which is being replicated for principal authorities.
The company established by a consortium of smaller authorities sector bodies (National Association of Local Councils, Society of Local Council Clerks and the Association of Drainage Authorities) and authorised by the department of Communities and Local Governent (DCLG) to undertake this role.
SAAA (Smaller Authorities Audit Appointments) Ltd – has today (30 November) issued the following statement on its website (www.saaa.co.uk).
SAAA Ltd is pleased to announce that it has successfully concluded the procurement process and has awarded contracts for the supply of limited assurance audit reviews for smaller authorities. Three audit firms have been appointed as suppliers for the five-year period commencing 1 April 2017: PKF Littlejohn, Mazars and Moore Stephens. Contracts have been signed ahead of schedule on terms that will enable SAAA to undertake its various tasks including the quality control and monitoring of suppliers without making any further call on public funds. Further details of the audit appointment areas to be covered by the three firms will be communicated in due course.
Speaking on behalf of the consortium, Jonathan Owen, chief executive of National Association of Local Councils (NALC), said: "This is a brilliant example of smaller authorities working together saving local authorities and councils many millions of pounds with the scale of fees set for the next 5 years substantially the same that has applied to the sector for the last 10 years."