Decision details

External Audit Update

Decision Maker: Audit Committee

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The Committee received a verbal update from the External Auditors.


The External Auditor advised the Committee that there were significant delays with Local Authority audits nationwide. The Department for Housing, Levelling Up and Communities (DHLUC) would be working with stakeholders including the National Audit Office, the Financial Reporting Council, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, and accounting firms to look at what could be done to progress the works. Options that could be considered included revisions to the code of audit practice, consideration of the degree of importance users place on certain aspects of accounts, and a thematic review around non-investment assets in the public sector. It was expected that any changes would be in place by end of December 2023 at the earliest. The External Auditor advised that they did not expect to start work until 2024.


The Deputy Chief Executive stated that consideration needed to be given to what could be done in relation to the 2022/23 accounts so that the new incoming auditors would have a confirmed opening balance.


The Committee queried if there was any work that could be done while awaiting the guidance from DHLUC. The External Auditor advised that they would continue to engage with officers to explore any work that could be started ahead of the guidance.


The Committee requested that their concern was recorded and reported to Corporate Policy and Resources Committee that there was no timetable going forward and that there was significant risk in not knowing when the external audit would be conducted.


The Committee resolved to note the update.

Report author: Terry Collier

Publication date: 09/10/2023

Date of decision: 27/07/2023

Decided at meeting: 27/07/2023 - Audit Committee

Accompanying Documents: