Audit is an essential element in the process of accountability for public money and makes an important contribution to the stewardship of public resources and the corporate governance of public services.

Audit in the public sector is underpinned by three fundamental principles:

• auditors are appointed independently from the bodies being audited;
• the scope of auditors’ work is extended to cover not only the audit of financial statements but also value for money and the conduct of public business; and
• auditors may report aspects of their work widely to the public and other key stakeholders.

External Audit

The duties and powers of auditors appointed by the Audit Commission are set out in the Audit Commission Act 1998 and the Local Government Act 1999 and the Commission’s statutory Code of Audit Practice. Under the Code of Audit Practice, appointed auditors are also required to comply with the current professional standards issued by the independent Auditing Practices Board.

Annual Audit Letters

The external auditor publishes annual audit letters to enhance the openness and transparency of the audit process for which they are responsible. Annual audit letters summarise key matters arising from the yearly audit in clear language for executives, stakeholders and residents. Our most recent Audit Letters can be viewed by clicking the links below.

Annual Audit Letter 2010/2011

Annual Audit Letter 2009/2010

Annual Audit Letter 2008/2009

Annual Audit Letter 2007/2008

Annual Audit Letter 2006/2007


2012 – Audit Opinion Plan

2010/11 – Annual Audit Report / Audit Opinion Plan / Annual Audit Fee

2009/10 – Annual Audit Report / Audit Opinion Plan / Annual Audit Fee

2008/09 – Annual Audit Report / Annual Audit Fee


Internal Audit

The Authority’s Internal Audit service is provided by St Helens Borough Council and each year an Audit Plan is agreed with the Treasurer and approved by Members.

2011/12 – Internal Audit Report

2010/11 – Internal Audit Report – Contracts

2009/10 – Internal Audit Report

2008/09 – Internal Audit Report / Internal Annual Audit Report – Contracts