The removal of a specialist oversight body for local public audit: Insights from the health service in England

Sheila M Ellwood, Javier Garcia-Lacalle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
329 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The abolition of the Audit Commission in England and Wales removes the ‘protector of the public purse’. The oversight body and its audit practice are largely replaced by the private sector regime and audit firms. We analyse the audit market for health service foundation trusts, an area of local public audit that operates without oversight from the Commission. We find evidence of premiums paid to some Big4 firms and that the presence of specialist public service auditors results in fee discounts. The firms limit their liability and assurance of audit quality is reduced under new audit regimes and governance structures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-242
Number of pages24
JournalFinancial Accountability and Management
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2015

Keywords

  • Audit oversight bodies
  • specialist auditors
  • premium audit fees
  • audit quality
  • audit independence
  • governance
  • foundation trusts

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