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From March to June 2011, the government consulted interested parties on its proposals for the new audit framework. These proposals build on the statutory arrangements and professional ethical and technical standards that currently apply in the private sector with adaptations to ensure that the principles of public sector audit are maintained. The consultation closed on 30 June 2011 and the summary of responses has now been published.
On the 13 August 2010 the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government announced plans to disband the Audit Commission, and refocus audit of local public bodies on helping local people hold those bodies to account for local spending decisions, the very essence of localism.
The aim is to replace the current, centralised audit systems managed by the Audit Commission, with a new decentralised regime, which will support local democratic accountability, and one that will also cut bureaucracy and costs, while ensuring that there continues to be robust local public audit. This consultation sets out proposals on the new audit framework where:
- audit quality is regulated within a statutory framework, overseen by the National Audit Office and the accountancy profession
- local public bodies will be free to appoint their own external auditors with stringent safeguards for independence