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LGA responds to Redmond Review report

Cllr Richard Watts, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Resources Board, responding to the publication of the Redmond Review report into local audit 

“Effective external audit and clear and transparent financial reporting are vital and councils take them extremely seriously. This report rightly recognises that current audit arrangements are not working as well as they should and provides some helpful recommendations to try and improve them.

“Local audit, like the rest of the sector, has had to withstand a lot of change from the impact of funding reductions to responding to controversies about the role of audit in the private sector. We agree that more needs to be done to ensure external audit staff are sufficiently experienced and qualified. We are also pleased Sir Tony has accepted our recommendation for MHCLG to create a new audit liaison committee, which will allow key players to address emerging issues.

“Councils overwhelmingly placed their confidence the joint procurement model to commission audit services. It is positive that this principle has been accepted by the Review and we look forward to working with this new body to build on its success.

“However, the fundamental issue about too few participants in the audit market and too few qualified staff in firms will be difficult to resolve and will need to be a priority for stakeholders acting together. A number of councils are already being told that their audits will be late as there is not enough capacity in the system. The LGA wants to work with the Government, external auditors and other stakeholders to come up with a solution together on this problem.

“Faced with ongoing and significant funding pressures, the LGA and councils will also want to work with the Government to ensure they are adequately funded to manage any potential increase in audit fees.”

Redmond Review

Original article link: http://www.local.gov.uk/lga-responds-redmond-review-report

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