HFMA response / Response to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities consultation on addressing the local audit backlog in England

08 March 2024 Lisa Robertson
1 CPD hour

The HFMA has responded to the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities consultation on proposed amendments to the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015, as part of a package of cross-system measures to clear the backlog and put the system on a sustainable footing. 

The consultation sets out:

  • proposals to clear the backlog of historical audit opinions up to and including financial year 2022/23 by 30 September 2024
  • proposed backstop dates for the financial years 2023/24 to 2027/28 to allow assurance to be rebuilt over multiple audit cycles. 

We welcome the joint approach to introduce a package of measures that reset, recover and reform local audit. Although the changes in the consultation do not change any requirements in the NHS, NHS bodies will be affected. The HFMA has responded to this consultation with a specific focus on areas of the consultation that will impact on NHS bodies.  

The HFMA has also responded separately to the National Audit Office (NAO) consultation being run in parallel to this consultation, relating to changes to the Code of Audit Practice.

In summary, the HFMA supports the proposed changes as part of the package of measures to address the local audit backlog in England. However, we do have particular concerns with the timing of the May 2025 backstop date, falling within the NHS audit period.

CPD accredited
CPD accredited logo
External audit