The Auditor General for Wales has shared his delight at the positive response from public service authorities to helping re-shape public audit in Wales in response to the introduction of the new Well-being of Future Generations Act.
In response to questions around the auditing of the groundbreaking Act, which requires public bodies in Wales adopt more sustainable approaches to their work, his Consultation received an eighty per cent response rate. The Auditor General is keen to highlight the well considered and constructive responses he received that demonstrate a strong interest in helping develop further this new approach to audit.
The Act represents just one of a number of challenges facing public services in Wales that have prompted the need for a new approach to audit. Other challenges and changes facing public services include ongoing reductions in public expenditure, changing demographics in Wales, faster closure of local government accounts, a more ‘outcomes-focused’ approach to auditing grants, fiscal devolution in Wales and wider technological changes.
Having reviewed responses in an open letter to public service leaders [PDF 154KB opens in new window], issued today on the Wales Audit Office website, the Auditor General now plans to invite a small number of bodies in to work with him and the Wales Audit Office to develop and test new audit approaches, drawing on the findings of the consultation.
In addition the Auditor General will be working closely with the Future Generations Commissioner, Sophie Howe, on their respective roles under the Act, starting with a joint conference to be held in Cardiff on 22 November 2016, which will set out their approach to working together in more detail.
Auditor General for Wales, Huw Vaughan Thomas said today:
“The response I have received to this first consultation has been very encouraging. We are living in challenging and changing times but there is an enthusiasm and focus from public services in Wales to lead the way towards developing a stronger, more resilient sector that is not only fit for this generation but the generations to come.
I would encourage public service leaders to attend our conference in the Autumn at which the Commissioner and I will set out our plans for working together. The external scrutiny of public bodies is of utmost importance if we are to develop an approach that complements the new legislation and enables it to achieve its intended benefits for Wales.”