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Procurement: Tendering for local audit

This special report has been written to support local public bodies when they are in the process of tendering for external audit services under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.

The independence of the selection and appointment process, from executive management, is a central theme that runs through this guidance. Ultimately the Auditor Panel’s objective is to identify the firm that is best able to meet the needs of the local public body in undertaking the external audit. This guidance highlights key factors that will contribute to an effective appointment process and outcome, in particular:

  • The roles and responsibilities of all parties, including Auditor Panel members,
  • the process for procuring external audit services needs to be clear and bespoke to the particular factors involved in external audit
  • the need for a formal specification, at the start, setting out the key criteria that is important for the engagement.
  • The debate between price and quality and which is the determinant factor.