The financial affairs of the Welsh Government and most public bodies in Wales are subject to oversight by the Auditor General for Wales, who is supported by the Wales Audit Office. Although the Auditor General and Wales Audit Office are operationally independent of both the National Assembly and the Welsh Government, the Auditor General is accountable to the National Assembly under the terms of the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2013. The main statutory provisions concerning the Auditor General and the Wales Audit Office can be found in that (Assembly) Act and in the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004. Further functions in relation to the audit of specific public bodies have been conferred on the Auditor General in numerous Acts of the UK Parliament and Acts of the National Assembly.
The Auditor General has a role in scrutinising the accounts prepared by a range of governmental and public bodies including:
- the Welsh Ministers and the Welsh Government sponsored bodies;
- the National Assembly for Wales Commission;
- local authorities in Wales;
- National Park Authorities in Wales;
- Police and Crime Commissioners in Wales;
- Fire and Rescue Authorities in Wales;
- NHS bodies in Wales
As well as reporting on the accounts, the Auditor General’s functions include:
- reviewing the financial and other management of the public body;
- making recommendations for improving economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the way a public body discharges its functions, provides services and manages itself;
- advising when a proposed decision or course of action could involve unlawful expenditure;
- advising on how legislation and Welsh Ministers’ guidance may impact on the discharge by public bodies of their functions.
For more information on the work of the Auditor General for Wales and the Wales Audit Office, please see the Wales Audit Office website.