Cabinet considered the head of finance’s report on the need to appoint external auditors for the five-year period from April 2023.
In 2018, the council had opted into the ‘appointing person’ national auditor appointment arrangements, established by the Public Sector Audit Appointments for the period covering the accounts for 2018/19 to 2022/23. The same organisation was undertaking a procurement for the next appointing period, covering audits for 2023/24 to 2027/28, and had invited the council to opt into these procurement arrangements again. The options open to the council were to:
1. arrange its own procurement and appointment of external auditors; or
2. join the national collective scheme administered by the Public Sector Audit Appointments, a decision needed by 11 March 2022.
The Cabinet member for finance recommended option 2, as had the Joint Audit and Governance Committee. Cabinet noted that the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and the Local Government Association (LGA) had also recommended this option. Cabinet concurred, believing that this would bring clear advantages of economies of scale.
RECOMMENDED to Council to:
(a) accept Public Sector Audit Appointments’ invitation to opt into the sector-led option for the appointment of external auditors to principal local government and police bodies for five financial years from 1 April 2023; and
(b) authorise the head of finance to opt into the national scheme for auditor appointments for the provision of external audit services starting with the audit of the 2023/24 accounts.