After the first information paper on the performance audit, FEE’s project “Getting involved in public sector assurance” continues with the second information paper on compliance audit, an independent examination on assessing whether the activities of public sector entities are in accordance with the relevant laws, regulations and authorities that govern such entities.
Compliance with authorities is an essential element of public sector governance. Auditor reporting on compliance helps make public sector organisations accountable to government, taxpayers and the public at large; it may also provide accountability for funds granted to entities which are outside of, or which operate in partnership with the public sector.
The project is part of FEE’s ongoing contributions to improving public sector financial management. This has become especially relevant since the financial and fiscal crisis have decreased the trust of citizens who push public sector organisations to deliver value for money. With this pressure the demand grows for assurance services that enhance the information on which government or public management base their decisions. The European accountancy profession can play a role in making this information more transparent and reliable. With “Getting involved in public sector assurance” FEE starts exchanging best practices to this end.
Links to further guidance and information
ISSAI 1 Lima Declaration
ISSAI 12 Value and Benefits of Supreme Audit Institutions – making a difference to the lives of citizens
ISSAI 4000 Compliance audit
ISSAI 4000 Compliance Audit Standards Exposure draft (comments due by 19 September 2015)
ISSAI 4100 Compliance Audit Guidelines – For Audits Performed Separately from the Audit of Financial Statements
ISSAI 4200 Compliance Audit Guidelines – Compliance Audit Related to the Audit of Financial Statements
ECA Financial and compliance audit manual
FEE Discussion Paper ‘Compliance with Laws and Regulations: Audits and Assurance Engagements in the Public Sector
The main guidance is provided by the Ministry of Finance
The main guidance is provided by the UK audit regulator the Financial Reporting Council:
Practice Note 10 (Revised) Audit of Financial Statements of Public Sector Bodies in the United Kingdom (Revised)
Further guidance is provided by some public sector audit agencies, as follows:
National Audit Office opinions on central government accounts
National Audit Office Code of Audit Practice (mainly relating to local authority audits. Regularity only applies to some health sector audits)
Audit Scotland Notes for Guidance
ISSAI 4000 is currently under review – new version due in 2016