Another productive year for public audit in Wales

14 Jun 2019 - 10:51am

Annual Report shows Wales Audit Office delivered on entire work programme for 2018-19 

You can read the highlights in our interactive digital summary [opens in new window].

Our Annual Report and Accounts for the year ending 31 March 2019 has now been published - the first for our new Auditor General, Adrian Crompton. 

We successfully delivered the entire programme of audits laid out in our Annual Plan 2018-19 to a high-quality standard. A selection of case studies has been included to give more insight on some of the projects that we have been involved with, and the impact that our work has had.

The report shows that we have made substantial progress on transforming the way we deliver our audit programme - by seeking to maximise our unique insight, reporting on the right issues at the right time and engaging with a wider range of audiences.

The last 12 months has been a year of change at the Wales Audit Office, during which we spent time re-evaluating our key risks and priorities and refreshing our corporate ambitions. Despite this we have kept the pressure up towards delivering our ongoing commitments to maintain high standards of corporate governance, seek further efficiencies and deliver work that adds value. 

The report provides evidence that our finances and strategic risks were well-managed and that we achieved many of the challenging targets we had set for our key performance indicators. However, we also identify some important areas where we need to reflect and make further improvements. 

Highlights include:

  • Issued over 800 audit opinions on the accounts of public bodies and published 26 national reports;
  • £6.6m potential savings identified through our work, and we facilitated the detection and prevention of fraud and error worth over £5.4 million;
  • 1,363 people attended our shared learning seminars and webinars and 95% rated them as useful;
  • Making rapid progress in exploring the potential of data analytics to transform how we undertake our work and communicate our findings;
  • 84% of staff felt positive about our organisational objectives and purpose; and
  • £490k of cost savings and efficiencies were identified throughout the business.

The Auditor General for Wales, Adrian Crompton said: 

“Being my first year in post, it is great to see that we have successfully delivered a productive, professional and high-quality programme of audit work. I am pleased to share a number of innovative case studies that highlight the significant contribution we make to the public sector in Wales. I am looking forward to building on the momentum of these and unleashing our full potential as a driver of change and improvement.”

Chair of the Wales Audit Office, Isobel Everett said:

“The past year we have seen a successful transition at the Wales Audit Office where we have welcomed Adrian as the new Auditor General. The Board has continued to provide strong oversight of both the strategic and operational aspects of the business and supporting the Auditor General in his role. Our focus now is to continue to adapt and improve, and achieve the ambitions set out in our new Annual Plan.” 

Ends

Notes to editors:

  • The Annual Report for the year ended 31 March 2019 has been jointly prepared, and is laid before the National Assembly for Wales, by the Auditor General for Wales and the Chair of the Wales Audit Office, in accordance with Schedule 2 of the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2013 and containing matters as directed by the Treasury.
  • The Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2019 have been prepared by the Auditor General for Wales as the Accounting Officer for the Wales Audit Office in accordance with Schedule 1 of the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2013 and in a form directed by the Treasury.
  • The Auditor General is the independent statutory external auditor of the devolved Welsh public sector. He is responsible for the annual audit of the majority of the 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 £7 billion) and to local government (over £4 billion).
  • The audit independence of the Auditor General is of paramount importance. He is appointed by the Queen, and his audit work is not subject to direction or control by the National Assembly or government. 
  • The Wales Audit Office (WAO) is a corporate body consisting of a nine member statutory Board which employs staff and provides other resources to the Auditor General, who is also the Board’s Chief Executive and Accounting Officer. The Board monitors and advises the Auditor General, regarding the exercise of his functions.