Agenda item

Appointment of External Auditor 2023/28 and Update on Measures to Improve Local Audit

Minutes:

The Executive Director Core Services and Section 151 Officer submitted a joint report updating Members on the available options for the procurement of external audit services for the 5 year financial years from 2023/24 to 2027/28 and appraising the Committee on measures introduced by the Government to improve the local audit process.

 

In the ensuing discussion particular reference was made to the following:

 

·         The rationale for recommending Option 3 for appointing the External Auditor, a sector led scheme was discussed together with the plusses and minuses of the other options as outlined within the Appendix to the report.  It was felt that the recommended option would not only be the most economic but was likely to be the best in terms of delivering a high-quality standard of audit

·         There was a discussion of the importance of meeting statutory deadlines and the reasons why these had been missed in the previous year

·         It was the intention that the Value for Money opinion would align back with the accounts opinion in future years

·         In discussing the proposals to improve the local audit process, particular reference was made to the difficulties in appointing suitably qualified auditors to undertake public sector audits and of the steps being taken to try to address these issues

 

RECOMMENDED TO FULL COUNCIL:

 

(i)            That the options for the Council in respect of the routes available for the procurement of external audit services be noted;

 

(ii)          That the Council opt into the sector led scheme for appointing auditors as detailed within Option 3 outlined in the report

 

(iii)         That the Governments proposals to improve the local audit process be noted

Supporting documents: