Please don’t take our external auditor away! Why? We like him and our CEO wants the same auditor at both councils where he works!

From the agenda of the next Audit and Governance Committee meeting taking place on 25 September 2014 at 2.30 pm at Knowle. You could not make this up – why would EDDC MEMBERS (councillors) complain that the auditor should not change because their CEO wants the same one in East Devon and South Somerset – how would they get that information and why would they think it was THEIR problem?

The Council has been notified that the Audit Commission is intending to appoint KPMG LLP to audit the accounts of East Devon District Council from 2015/16 for two years. The appointment will start on 1 April 2015.

… Members were verbally updated of this situation at the last meeting and that the Audit Commission had a duty to consult local government bodies on the auditor appointment.

As requested by the Committee the Head of Finance did make contact with the Commission to determine the areas were a Council might consider an objection, however these did not really accord with members reasons for an objection, these being; the excellent relationship that had been formed particularly with Barrie Morris, acknowledgement of the help in improving the Council’s processes and practices and the link with South Somerset District Council who were to remain with Grant Thornton. In consultation with the Chief Executive and the Audit & Governance Chairman the Head of Finance did not make an objection to the change in auditor. ”

Source: http://eastdevon.gov.uk/250914_a_and_g_cttee_combined_agenda.pdf

3 thoughts on “Please don’t take our external auditor away! Why? We like him and our CEO wants the same auditor at both councils where he works!

  1. The External auditors need to be independent, and having too friendly a relationship is very much a reason to change them for someone else. Well done the Audit Commission.

    Either EDDC Audit and Governance committee don’t understand this need for distance and independence (and if the A&G Committee don’t understand that, it’s a disgrace), or they do understand that but think that a friendly auditor won’t ask so many awkward questions and they won’t be held accountable (even more a disgrace).

    Let’s hope that KPMG do a better job than Grant Thornton identifying short-comings in EDDC processes and procedures, especially those areas where they may break the law.

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    • I think you are giving EDDC too much benefit of the doubt.

      Personally I think that EDDC understand perfectly the purpose of an audit, but would far rather be unaccountable.

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