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The Audit Commission has today announced the reduced scale audit fees it will charge individual councils, health and other public bodies for five years from 2012/13

Nearly 800 of the larger local public bodies in the Commission's regime will save a total of £250 million over the five years, for most a 40 per cent cut on current rates.

Public bodies set to benefit include single-tier, county and district councils, fire and rescue authorities, police authorities, NHS trusts, primary care trusts, strategic health authorities, national parks authorities, waste disposal authorities, integrated transport authorities, passenger transport executives, and pension fund authorities.

From today, each of these organisations will be able to see online how much it will pay in scale audit fees for the next five years, and compare with similar and neighbouring bodies.

These substantial cuts come not only from the outsourcing of the work of the Commission's in-house Audit Practice, but also from the £19 million a year savings the Commission has made through its own internal efficiencies.

The combination of outsourcing and efficiency means that until at least 2017/18 England's local public bodies will have £50 million more a year to spend on their services.

Chairman of the Audit Commission, Michael O'Higgins says:

'We are now able to put the detail on the savings that will flow from the procurement of public audit announced last month, and from the Commission's own belt-tightening.

We are pleased to have delivered a more diversified audit market, with savings that clearly demonstrate the benefits of the Commission's national bulk purchasing power. These lower fees, fixed for five years irrespective of inflation, will help public bodies at a time when budgets are under pressure '

Audit fees are the principal way the Audit Commission finances its activities, and it has a statutory duty to cover its costs taking one year with another.

Written by Scott Buckler
Wednesday, 11 April 2012 10:10

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