Wales Audit Office
|Type||Independent public body|
|Auditor General for Wales|
The Wales Audit Office (WAO) is an independent public body which was established by the National Assembly for Wales on 1 April 2005. It has overall responsibility for auditing on behalf of the Auditor General for Wales, across all sectors of government in Wales, except those reserved to the UK government.
Their aim is to ensure that the people of Wales know whether public money is being managed wisely and that public bodies in Wales understand how to improve outcomes.
This overall aim is supported by four key objectives:
- Provide timely assurance on governance and stewardship of public money and assets
- Offer useful insight on the extent to which resources are used well in meeting people's needs
- Clearly identify and promote ways to which the provision of public services may be improved
- Be an accountable, well-run and efficient organisation that provides a stimulating and rewarding environment to work
The WAO takes the form of a statutory board, which employs staff, secures resources and monitors and advises the Auditor General. The National Assembly for Wales appoints the Chair and 3 other non-executive members to the board. The other members are the Auditor General and 3 employees. The WAO currently employ around 240 people across 3 offices in Cardiff, Swansea and Ewloe.
On 1 July 1999, The National Assembly for Wales (Transfer of Functions) Order 1999 came into effect, this transferred all powers from the Secretary of State for Wales to the National Assembly for Wales. Wales did not have its own auditing body, as all public auditing was carried out by the National Audit Office and the Audit Commission. It was not until 1 April 2005 that the Wales Audit Office was created after the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004 came into effect.
The Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004, the Government of Wales Act 1998 and Government of Wales Act 2006 and other legislation currently provide the statutory basis for the Auditor General and the auditors he appoints in local government to fulfill their purpose across the Welsh public sector. In 2012 the Welsh Government introduced before the National Assembly the Public Audit (Wales) Bill. One feature of the Bill as currently drafted is to make provision for the Auditor General to be the statutory auditor of local government bodies.
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