The board of the UK Audit Commission has
appointed Gareth Davies as managing director of its new audit

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.