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The Code of Audit Practice sets out what local auditors of relevant local public bodies are required to do to fulfill their statutory responsibilities under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. ‘Relevant authorities’ are set out in Schedule 2 of the Act and include local councils, fire authorities, police and NHS bodies.  Schedule 6 […]

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March 20, 2015

The Code of Audit Practice sets out what local auditors of relevant local public bodies are required to do to fulfill their statutory responsibilities under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. ‘Relevant authorities’ are set out in Schedule 2 of the Act and include local councils, fire authorities, police and NHS bodies.  Schedule 6 of the Act extends this requirement to include NHS Foundation Trusts.

Local auditors must comply with the Code of Audit Practice.

The Comptroller and Auditor General’s Code of Audit Practice applies from 2015-16 audits onwards. Parliament has approved the Code:

Code of Audit Practice (pdf – 434KB)

In respect of any audits prior to 2015-16 which remain open, the Codes of Audit Practice developed previously by the Audit Commission still apply. These are available on the Audit Commission’s archived website.

Consultation – New Code of Audit Practice from 2020

Schedule 6 of the Act requires that the Code be reviewed, and revisions considered at least every five years. The current Code came into force on 1 April 2015, and the maximum five-year lifespan of the Code means it now needs to be reviewed and a new Code laid in Parliament in time for it to come in to force no later than 1 April 2020.

In order to determine what changes might be appropriate, we are consulting on potential changes to the Code in two stages:

  • Stage 1 involves engagement with key stakeholders and public consultation on the issues that are considered to be relevant to the development of the Code.
  • Stage 2 – to be undertaken in the second half of 2019 – involves public consultation on the draft text for the new Code, which will be developed after considering the responses to the consultation at Stage 1.

The consultation document supports Stage 1 of the process. The document follows the structure of the current Code and sets out the issues that have been identified to date that are relevant to each section of the Code. We plan to consult on the draft Code text (Stage 2) during September-November 2019, and to finalise the Code by the end of 2019, ready to be laid in Parliament early in 2020. The new Code will apply from audits of local bodies’ 2020-21 financial statements onwards.

The document summarises the issues we think are relevant to the development of the next Code, but we also welcome any further observations in addition to the questions included in this consultation.

Alongside the consultation document, we have provided a response form containing the questions and space for response. Please use the form to feed back your comments and return to us:

You can reply by email at LACG@nao.org.uk or by post at Local Audit Code and Guidance Team, National Audit Office, Green 2, 157-197 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 9SP.

Please submit your responses by 31 May 2019.