Smaller Authorities’ Audit Appointments Ltd (SAAA) is an independent, not for profit, limited company established to procure external audit services and appoint external auditors for smaller authorities.
A smaller authority is defined as an authority where the higher of gross annual income or expenditure does not exceed £6.5 million.
The principal legislation governing the statutory functions of SAAA is the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.
SAAA is a ‘sector-led’ body with a governing Board comprising 3 Member Directors representing the sector membership organisations and 5 Independent Directors.
Peter Bateson – Association of Drainage Authorities
Jonathan Owen – National Association of Local Councils
Michael King – Society of Local Council Clerks
David Bowles – Independent Chairman
Martin McNeill – Independent Director
Andrew Davies – Independent Director
Christopher Pope – Independent Director
Liz Sandwith – Independent Director
The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 established new arrangements for the accountability and audit of local public bodies in England. The legislation states that for the financial year starting on 1 April 2017, all smaller authorities must appoint their own external auditor.
It was acknowledged that having approximately 10,000 authorities establishing correct procedures and appointing their own auditors for the first time would generate significant challenges. To assist smaller authorities to find and appoint an external auditor, the Secretary of State at the then Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) specified SAAA as a sector led body with powers to procure and appoint auditors and set audit fees for smaller authorities in compliance with the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015, and the Local Audit (Smaller Authority) Regulations 2015.
SAAA has undertaken a comprehensive and robust procurement tender exercises in both 2016 and 2021 which has resulted in the appointment of external auditors in a cost-effective way that has resulted in significant financial savings for the smaller authority sector.