Commission boosts ‘preferred suppliers’

Publishing its list of new framework audit contracts, the commission has ensured there would be at least two private sector audit firms available to compete with District Audit in each of the ten regions in England and Wales.

PricewaterhouseCoopers is now on the list for all ten of the regions, and KPMG has doubled its number, opening new departments in the East Midlands, Leeds and Cardiff, a move that will bring in a extra #10m for the firm.

However, other firms such as Ernst & Young have stopped carrying out local government audits altogether as the work is not regarded as profitable.

The commission aimed to increase competition for local authority audit work, saying the move would ‘ensure the continued delivery of high quality public audit of local government and NHS bodies, to meet the public interest’.

Last year KPMG blasted District Audit, the Commission’s ‘arms length’ audit agency, over its use of short-term contract employees to maximise income and reduce the number of trainees.

Related reading