The Removal of a Specialist Oversight Body for Local Public Audit: Insights from the Health Service in England

Forthcoming in Financial Accountability and Management

Posted: 3 Nov 2013 Last revised: 11 Nov 2013

See all articles by Sheila Ellwood

Sheila Ellwood

University of Bristol - Department of Finance and Accounting

Javieer Garcia-Lacalle

University of Zaragoza

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 2, 2013

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.

Keywords: audit oversight bodies, specialist auditors, premium audit fees, audit quality, audit independence, governance, foundation trusts

JEL Classification: M4

Suggested Citation

Ellwood, Sheila and Garcia-Lacalle, Javieer, The Removal of a Specialist Oversight Body for Local Public Audit: Insights from the Health Service in England (November 2, 2013). Forthcoming in Financial Accountability and Management, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2349188 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2349188

Sheila Ellwood (Contact Author)

University of Bristol - Department of Finance and Accounting ( email )

United States

Javieer Garcia-Lacalle

University of Zaragoza

Gran Via 2
Zaragoza, 50005
Spain

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