Local Auditors

June 30th, 2014 by James Goudie KC

Regulations have been made under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 (“the Act”).  The Local Audit (Professional Qualifications and Major Local Audit) Regulations 2014, SI 2014/1627 make provision about professional audit qualifications under the Act, which requires “relevant authorities” to appoint their own “local auditors”.  Schedule 5 to the Act applies, with modifications, provisions of the Companies Act 2006 in relation to the eligibility and monitoring of local auditors.  The Local Audit (Liability Limitation Agreements) Regulations 2014, SI 2014/1628, make provision about agreements (liability limitation agreements) to limit the liability of a local auditor appointed under the Act Pt 3 in respect of any negligence, default, breach of duty or trust in relation to a “relevant authority”.  Regulation 2 sets out a restriction on the duration of an agreement: it cannot cover more than the financial year or years to which the appointment of the local auditor relates.  Regulation 3 prevents the agreement from limiting the local auditor’s liability to less than such amount as is fair and reasonable in all the circumstances of the case.  The Public Interest Reports and Recommendations (Modification of Consideration Procedure) Regulations 2014, SI 2014/1629, provide for paragraph 5 of Schedule 7 to the Act to apply with modifications in respect of certain relevant authorities listed in Schedule 2 to the Act.  Paragraph 5 of Schedule 7 to the Act sets out the procedure for the consideration by relevant authorities of public interest reports or recommendations.  Relevant authorities must consider the report or recommendation at a meeting within one month of receiving it under paragraph 5(5).  The Regulation modify the application of this sub-paragraph so that certain relevant authorities may consider a report or recommendation as soon as is practicable, rather than within one month of receipt.

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