News March 2022 FRC appoints Neil Harris as Director of Local Audit

FRC appoints Neil Harris as Director of Local Audit

14 March 2022
The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has today announced the appointment of Neil Harris as the FRC’s first Director of Local Audit.
The Director of Local Audit will play an integral role in establishing a new local audit unit, ahead of the FRC assuming the “Systems Leader” role for local authority financial reporting and audit, as part of its transition to the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA). In May 2021, the Government proposed ARGA take on this role in responding to Sir Tony Redmond’s independent review.
He will report to Sarah Rapson, the FRC’s Executive Director of Supervision.
Ahead of the FRC becoming the Systems Leader, the FRC continues to work closely with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC) and other local government stakeholders on next steps.  
The FRC’s Executive Director of Supervision Sarah Rapson said:

“Having an effective regulatory framework to sustain high quality, timely and effective financial reporting, governance and audit is of fundamental importance. I am delighted that Neil will be joining the FRC ahead of ARGA becoming the Systems Leader. Neil brings significant local audit experience, and a strong understanding of the complex stakeholder landscape that will be instrumental in addressing many of the Redmond review recommendations.”

Local Government Minister Kemi Badenoch said:

“Strong local audit is key to maintaining public confidence in our local democracy through ensuring transparency and accountability for taxpayers. The appointment of Neil Harris as the first Director of Local Audit marks an important step towards building a more resilient and joined-up local audit system in which key players work together to address challenges as they arise.”

About Neil Harris: 

Neil has over 20 years’ experience in local public audit. He is currently a Key Audit Partner for EY with responsibility for a range of local public sector audits across local government, central government, police and the fire sector. Neil contributed to EY’s response to a range of consultations on the future of financial reporting and external audit in the public sector. Prior to joining EY, Neil was a District Auditor for the Audit Commission where he spent 14 years. Neil is passionate about securing a sustainable future for high quality financial reporting, governance and audit in the public sector. 

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