Consultation: Addressing the local audit backlog in England

ACCA welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Department for Levelling-Up Housing and Communities (DLUHC) public consultation. ACCA fully supports the proposed package of measures, appreciating that this has been a long-standing issue and DLUHC’s phased proposal seeks to address this and ensure a return to audit opinions meeting user’s needs in a timely manner.

ACCA has consistently supported ongoing work to reform audit and corporate governance, recognising their importance in restoring the UK’s global reputation and credibility, and providing certainty to investors and the public at large.1 Specifically with regard to reporting by and audit of local government bodies in England, we believe the current collaboration between the Local Government Performance Division in DLUHC, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and the National Audit Office (NAO), represents a positive step towards fostering restored public trust in the financial management and oversight of local authorities. This is a fundamentally important issue, in providing assurance to local taxpayers over how resources are managed, and services provided. Timely publication of audited accounts is a key factor.

We support the reforms proposed by the system partners, clearing the backlog by September 2024, and setting deadlines for future audits, and streamlining procedures for timely financial reporting. These are ambitious steps.

To read the response in full, please download the consultation response document on this page.