DCN responds to consultation on changes to the Local Audit (appointing person) regulations
With some caveats, we welcome the government’s proposals. Nonetheless, local authority audit remains in an extremely challenging place, with local government paying the price for additional requirements imposed on auditors following several high-profile failures in the private sector. The increasing level of complexity of the accounts, rising costs and fragile market mean that audit is a critical concern for district councils.
We are concerned that the current level of audit issues are causing such delays that the audit cycle will not be able to catch up, and these delays will simply end up built in year on year. The longer that council teams are dealing with backwards looking audits, the less time they have for the forward-looking planning and budget setting that councils need them to be focusing on. The allocation of £15m to support local authorities with the ongoing rising cost of audit is welcome but should not be a one-off; it should be made permanent.