Changes made to the NAO draft Code of Audit Practice for the audit of local public bodies following consultation

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20 Jan, 2015

The National Audit Office (NAO) has published the results of its public consultation on a new draft code of audit practice for the audit of local public bodies. The summary highlights the responses received to the consultation and the main changes made to the draft Code as a result.

The consultation responses indicated that there was “strong support” for a single Code covering all audited bodies within the new arrangements for local public audit and also support for a principles-based Code rather than a rules-based based Code.  The NAO has now made changes to the initial draft Code consulted on in September 2014 and issued a final draft Code which is due to be laid before Parliament for debate and approval.  In the preface to the final draft Code the NAO comments:

We have taken a principles-based, rather than a rules-based, approach to developing the Code. This is in line with predecessor codes and has allowed us to prepare a concise, high-level code applicable to the audit of all local public bodies within the local audit model established by the Act, providing a clear framework for the auditor to meet their statutory duties. A principles-based approach also helps to ensure that the Code does not quickly become out of date as the regulatory environment evolves.

Once approved by Parliament, the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) will publish the final Code which will take effect for audit work relating to the 2015-16 financial year onwards.

In addition to the final Code, the NAO has indicated that it will provide “high quality, timely guidance to auditors” to support the Code in response to those who commented that this would enhance the effectiveness of the Code.

The final draft Code and the summary of responses received to the original consultation are available on the NAO website.

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