Our audit programme will focus on some of the biggest challenges facing Wales
With public finances under significant strain, the value of our work is more important than ever
Audit Wales has published its Annual Plan for 2023-24 which outlines its priorities for the next 12 months.
The value of public audit in a rapidly changing, complex environment is vital to providing assurance to the public, politicians, decision-makers and influencers on whether public money is being well spent. This is even more important in times when the public spending power has been eroded and finances are under such strain. Our audit programme will reflect some of the biggest challenges facing Wales.
Last year, we published our five-year strategy, which provides the context for this Annual Plan and sets out our work programme during the second year of delivering our strategy, focussing on three key areas:
- Strategic, dynamic and high-quality audit programme
- Targeted and impactful approach to communications and influencing
- Culture and operating model that enables us to thrive both now and in the future.
Our Annual Plan, as well as setting out our work programme for 2023-24, also highlights several priority areas that will support our audit work and the running of the business, how we plan on achieving them and what we will do to enhance our approach to monitoring performance.
With public finances under such strain, our core work auditing the financial statements of public bodies, providing assurance, transparency and accountability to taxpayers, the Senedd and other elected representatives is more important than ever.
During the next year, our drive to improve the quality of our work will see us embedding new international standards for financial and performance audit. We will also be looking to increase the impact of our audits with a programme of work focused on four themes - tackling inequality; responding to the climate and nature emergency; service resilience and access; and well-managed public services.
In my first year as Chair of the board, I am conscious that Audit Wales is not immune to the financial pressures faced by the rest of the public sector. We are undertaking a financial sustainability review to ensure the business is operating in the most efficient and effective way possible. Our Future Ways of Working project will see us start the year in smaller, more energy efficient, and accessible premises in Cardiff. We will continue to assess how our assets around Wales are enabling us to deliver our best audit work while also making a significant contribution to our net zero ambitions.
None of what we aim to achieve over the coming year will be possible without our highly skilled and motivated teams and supporting their wellbeing will remain, therefore, our highest priority as it underpins all that we do.