The board of the UK Audit Commission has appointed Gareth Davies as managing director of its new audit practice.
Davies has been appointed to lead the commission’s audit staff as they prepare to privatise the commission’s audit function and compete in an open market for local public audit, potentially as an employee-owned business.
The changes follow the UK government’s decision to abolish the Audit Commission and move the audit of local government, aspects of health, police, fire and community safety into the private sector.
Davies has more than 23 years of experience in public audit and has been the commission’s managing director for local government, housing and community safety since 2007.
Davies said he wants to ensure that councils, foundation trusts and other local public services are offered a distinctive alternative to the major audit firms.
“Our experience of competing successfully for foundation trust audits since 2005 shows that there is a strong demand for unrivalled specialist sector expertise at a competitive price,” Davies said.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced the abolition of the Audit Commission in August.
Audit functions will be moved to the private sector allowing councils the freedom to appoint their own independent external auditors.