According to the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, a new audit regime proposed by the government, within the Local Audit Bill, will deliver better value for money without compromising on the strict standards of local auditing; which will save the taxpayer an estimated £650 million over the next five years.
Under the government proposals outlined within the draft Local Audit Bill, local bodies will have the power to appoint their own auditors from an open and competitive market; which will be supervised by the National Audit Office Financial Reporting Council and professional accountancy bodies to ensure standards are being met.
Mr Pickles said of the changes outlined within the draft bill: “Today’s draft Bill will recast local audit – making councils more accountable to local citizens, stripping out unnecessary bureaucratic costs, and letting councils appoint their own auditors from an open, competitive market.
“By replacing the centralised Audit Commission with a more streamlined and transparent system we will save the public purse £650 million over the next five years.
“But we are determined to ensure that councils continue to deliver the high quality service their residents deserve, which is why our new framework will uphold the tough standards of auditing we expect.”
Nigel Fry, an accountant at Bristol accountants Milsted Langdon has said that further savings could be made by public bodies by using local audit specialists, such as Milsted Langdon, instead of relying on the services offered by the big four audit firms.
As an accountant, Nigel Fry, specialises within the audit and accounting sector.