Through the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 (the 2014 Act), both the NAO and Public Sector Audit Appointments Ltd (PSAA) have roles relating to the audit arrangements for local public bodies in England.
The Redmond Review, which is due to report in Spring 2020, will consider important aspects of the local audit and accountability framework and how the various elements of the framework interrelate, including PSAA’s role as the specified audit procurement body and the NAO’s role in relation to the Code and guidance for local auditors. But the NAO’s general role and wider powers, including its value for money studies, are outside the scope of the Redmond Review.
Audit is only part of the wider assurance and accountability system that protects the interests of tax payers. This includes clarity about who is responsible for resources; statutory codes and rules which require councils to act prudently in their spending; a framework of internal and external checks and balances including audit and whistleblowing; transparency and publication of data; and requirements to have strategies and action plans on fraud.