Welsh Government’s financial help to businesses ‘piecemeal’, says auditor

29 Nov 18

The Welsh Government should adopt a more joined-up approach to the financial help it offers business rather than focusing on individual projects, auditors said.

Around £219m was ring-fenced to help businesses in Wales create or protect jobs between 2014-15 and 2016-17, of which £167m was spent.

A Wales Audit Office investigation, published today, identified a lack of clarity about the support available and how businesses could access it.

The watchdog also noted the lack of routine reporting on the support offered to business and the results it achieved.

It urged the Welsh Government to coordinate its activities and support them with “comprehensive and timely management information” and improved risk management.

Auditor general for Wales Adrian Crompton said: “The Welsh Government must be able to demonstrate clearly and transparently how its financial support to businesses provides value for money, both by improving the economy and contributing to wider wellbeing objectives.

“The current approach is too piecemeal.”

The WAO did acknowledge that Cardiff was developing a new strategy for the financial support it offers to business and suggested its recommendations be incorporated into this.

Read auditor general Adrian Crompton on the WAO’s modernisation and change management programme and PF’s interview with former auditor general Huw Vaughan Thomas.

  • Vivienne Russell
    Vivienne Russell is managing editor of Public Finance magazine and publicfinance.co.uk

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