Local auditor reporting on local government in England Contents


In 2019-20, the 487 local authorities, local police and local fire bodies in England were responsible for approximately £100 billion of net revenue spending. Local authorities are responsible for delivering many of the public services which local taxpayers rely on every day. The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 (the 2014 Act) set out the local audit arrangements from 1 April 2015 that apply to local authorities. Multiple organisations play a part in the local audit system, including: the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (the Department); the National Audit Office (NAO); Public Sector Audit Appointments Ltd (PSAA); the accountancy institutes: the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and the Institute for Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW); the Financial Reporting Council (FRC); and audit firms. The Department has oversight of local authorities and is responsible for maintaining a set of statutory codes and rules for local authorities. The NAO maintains a code of audit practice for audits of local authorities and issues guidance to auditors. PSAA is responsible for securing arrangements for the independent appointment of auditors on behalf of local authorities which opt into its services and for setting audit fees. The external auditors audit the financial statements of local authorities and conclude on whether an authority has made proper arrangements for securing value for money. The FRC monitors and reports on the quality of these audits. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will become the sponsor department for the new Auditing, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA), once it is established, but the Department will hold Accounting Officer responsibility for the local government role of ARGA.

Published: 14 July 2021 Site information    Accessibility statement