Wales Audit Office focuses on helping public services to improve

1 Aug 2013 - 12:00am

The Auditor General for Wales' annual report and accounts for 2012-13, published today, sets out the substantial programme of financial and performance audit work the Wales Audit Office has delivered.

Helping services to improve their financial management and governance standards, key public concerns, is central to our audits and the report highlights public service providers in Wales who have responded encouragingly to our audit recommendations in the last year.

To view our special Annual Report section and a copy of the report follow the link below

Wales Audit Office- Annual Report and Accounts 2012- 2013

Press releases

Wales Audit Office focuses on helping public services to improve

The Auditor General for Wales’ annual report and accounts for 2012 - 13, published today, sets out the substantial programme of financial and performance audit work the Wales Audit Office has delivered.

Helping services to improve their financial man a g e ment and governance standards, key public concerns, is central to our audits and t he report highlights public service providers in Wales who have responded encouragingly to our audit recommendations in the last year .

Among the year’s achievements wer e reports on the accounts of over 800 public bodies in Wales; 14 national reports look ing at value for money in key areas of public spending; 28 annual improvement reports on local government bodies and str u ctured assessments of all health boards and NHS trusts ; and publishing our Strategy for the period 2013 - 2016 in April, after asking our stakeholders, the public and our staff for their views.

The Public Audit (Wales) Act 2013 will lead to changes in our structure aimed at strengthening governance and accountability , which we welcome, including the establishment of the Wales Audit Office as a corporat e body led by a statutory board.

We emphasise the importance of sound financial manageme nt and governance in our day - to - day running as much as in our audits , and i n co mmon with other public bodies, t he Wales Audit Office continues to look fo r efficiencies : i n 2012 - 13, our staff sickness absence rates fell by 30 per cent , to a level which is lower than the public sector benchmark.

Auditor General for Wales, Huw Vaughan Thomas, said today:

In 2012- 13, we have continued to work closely with W elsh public bodies and the Public Accounts Committee; maintaining a strong focus on helping public bodies deal with unprecedented financial pressures. Key themes of the year and of our strategy for developing public audit include encouraging stronger gover nance, better financial management and well - managed innovation, promotion of good practice, and supporting public bodies to spend wisely. Providing relevant and timely audit information at the point of policy and decision - making is especially important in an era of intensive collaboration, transformative change and potential public service reorganisation"

Of course, we have not been immune from the significant financial pressures that currently face the whole public sector, and we have worked hard to impr ove our own efficiency, economy and effectiveness . I am grateful to all who respond so positively to our audit findings and recommendations and have helped maximise our impact in sustaining and improving Welsh public services.

Notes to Editors:

  • Ou r financial audit work is the foundation of our audit programme and has this year included two public interest reviews which needed to be conducted swiftly and sensitively: an audit of the 2010 - 11 accounts of Caldicot and Wentlooge Levels Internal Drainage Board; and the processes used by Caerphilly County Borough Cou ncil to set chief officers’ pay
  • This is Huw Vaughan Thomas’ third annual report as Auditor General for Wales and marks the end of his second full year in charge.
  • The National Assembly for Wale s appointed RSM Tenon Audit Limited as the external audior of the accounts of the Auditor General for a three - y ear period commencing 2011 - 12
  • The Auditor General and the auditors he appoints in local government are the independent statutory external audit ors of most of the Welsh public sector. They are responsible for the annual audit of the majority of public money spent in Wales, including the £15 billion of funds that are voted on annually by the National Assembly. Elements of this funding are passed by the Welsh Government to the NHS in Wales (over £5 billion) and to local government (over £4 billion).

For more information please contact Michael Jones o n 029 20 32 0 581 or email Michael.Jones@wao.gov.uk