The search for the first ever Audit chair for smaller bodies is on
The Sector Led Body for Smaller Local Authority Audit (SLB) is seeking to appoint its first ever chair.
The Sector Led Body has been set up to procure audit for smaller public sector bodies in partnership with the National Association of Local Council (NALC), Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC) and the Association of Drainage Authorities.
This is an exciting opportunity to work on the inauguration of the SLB, and play a role in the improvement of the capacity and reputation of local (parish and town) councils and other smaller authorities in England, as well as making a difference to the way those authorities are audited in the future.
The Government has backed a proposal from the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) to lead the national procurement of audit for parish and town (local) councils and other smaller bodies from 2017.
The move follows the abolition of the Audit Commission in April of this year and is an early show support by the new government for NALC and an increasingly sector-led approach to supporting and promoting good governance in the parish sector, who have been described as England’s ‘localist powerhouse’ and are responsible for spending hundreds of millions of pounds of public money each year.
NALC has been calling for a move to a sector-led approach to appointing auditors for a long time. Throughout the passage of the Local Audit and Accountability Act – the legislation which closed down the independent public corporation which had existed for 33 years – NALC argued the process would be complex and costly if small public bodies such as parishes had to procure auditors themselves, proposing a self-financing body be set up to handle these responsibilities and also overseeing the quality and timeliness of auditors' work.
NALC has been working closely with the previous and new government on the future of audit for local councils, Internal Drainage Boards and Port Health Authorities, with the creation of one single body central to delivering shared objectives for increased transparency and a cost effective and quality audit regime.
Cllr Ken Browse, chairman of NALC, said: “I’m delighted that the SLB is now looking for a Chair. This post is an exciting opportunity for someone to have played an influential part in improving the capacity and development of smaller local authorities such as local councils.
“Our proposal for a sector-led body has received strong support from local councils and other smaller bodies, who want to see high quality and cost-effective audit that promotes transparency and reduces the burden placed on local councils and taxpayers.
“The creation of this sector-led body by NALC and our partners will deliver a streamlined and cost-effective national procurement service and save smaller bodies from footing the bill for setting up and running an independent auditor panel to procure an auditor themselves.”
For more information on the appointment of a Chair to the Sector Led Body please read here