WAO completes busy year
By Mark Smulian | 2 August 2013
The Wales Audit Office examined the accounts of more than 800 bodies last year. It found cases of unlawful pay increases and rate setting and had to issue two public interest reports.
It also published 14 value for money reports in various areas of public spending, 28 annual improvement reports on local government bodies and structured assessments of all health boards and NHS trusts, according to its annual report and accounts for 2012/13.
One public interest report concerned the unlawful setting of some senior managers’ pay at Caerphilly County Borough Council, where the chief executive and his deputy have been suspended and a police investigation is in progress.
The little-known Caldicot and Wentlooge Levels Internal Drainage Board was the subject of the other report.
This body deals with the drainage of the Gwent Levels and was ‘unable to demonstrate that it has been setting a lawful rate for several years’.
The Public Audit (Wales) Act 2013 has strengthened the WAO’s governance and accountability, and established it as a corporate body led by a statutory board.
Auditor general for Wales Huw Vaughan Thomas said: ‘Key themes of the year – and of our strategy for developing public audit – include encouraging stronger governance, better financial management and well-managed innovation, promotion of good practice, and supporting public bodies to spend wisely.’