Public Sector – Audit Forum launched

A body comprising the four national audit agencies was launched yesterday to set common standards of auditing, in an effort to improve public services and audit co-ordination.

As forecast by Accountancy Age (1 October, page 1), the Public Audit Forum has brought together the National Audit Office, Audit Commission, Accounts Commission for Scotland and the Northern Ireland Audit Office.

The forum outlined the role public audit plays in maintaining confidence in the effective use of public funds, detailed in three key principles.

The principles concern: the independence of public-sector auditors; the wide scope of public audit, regularity, value for money, and the ability of public auditors to make their findings publicly available.

The forum has met in secret for the past year. Agency heads have met twice and the consultative forum will meet around four times a year.

Sir John Bourn, Comptroller and Auditor General, was appointed to chair the forum.

‘We believe the forum can add value to the public audit process to the benefit of audited bodies, parliament, elected members and the public.

Our organisations either audit, or appoint auditors to, bodies across the whole public sector,’ he said.

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