The National Audit Office has started consultation on a new code of practice for local audit.
From 1 April 2015 the NAO will take on the Audit Commission’s role of preparing and maintaining the code for local public audit, following the commission’s expected abolition.
The draft code sets a framework in which auditors of councils and NHS foundation trusts will work. It said this reflected the similarity of the work across public bodies and would help to promote consistency. Consultation runs until 31 October.
In a foreword to the consultation, comptroller and auditor general Amyas Morse said the code sought to preserve the independence of auditors and their ability to exercise professional judgment, based on their understanding of the sector and the risks faced by audited bodies.
Council auditors are at present appointed by the commission, and from March 2015 a new company owned by the LGA will run these contracts under the new code until public bodies begin to appoint their own auditors. This is expected to take place between 2017 and 2020.
The code will also apply to these local appointments.