The Auditor General has written to the Chair of the Environment and Sustainability Committee, of the National Assembly for Wales, to report on how discussions with the Welsh Government have been progressing.
The stated general purpose of the Welsh Government’s proposed Well-being of Future Generations Bill is to “ensure that the governance arrangements of public bodies for improving the well-being of Wales take the needs of future generations into account”.
Over recent weeks the Auditor General has engaged with the Welsh Government to clarify how the independent external review, which his office undertakes, can most effectively provide assurance, insight and support improvement, if the Bill is passed by the National Assembly for Wales. This week the Auditor General and the Welsh Government have agreed a Policy Note which states, ‘that there should be a new duty on the Auditor General that requires him to examine and report on the application of the governance approaches in both the setting and also the achieving of objectives by public bodies’.
The Auditor General said,
"I welcome the Welsh Government’s proposal of a duty. In my view, the enclosed Policy Note sets out a role for the Auditor General that will provide a reasonable degree of consistent audit examination of the setting and achieving of well-being objectives across the Welsh public sector. The Minister has indicated to me that the Policy Note will be translated into an appropriate Government amendment to the Bill, and I await sight of the precise wording of the proposed duty."
In recent correspondence with the Chair of the Environment and Sustainability Committee, the Auditor General agreed to provide an update on how the discussions with the Government were progressing. The letter has now been published on the Environment and Sustainability Committee’s website and is reproduced here