10/05/2006Wales Audit Office launches strategy at major conference
The Wales Audit Office today launches its three year strategy to help deliver improvements to public services. While there are generally high standards of financial accountability in central government and related bodies in Wales, this strategy identifies a number of persistent issues that restrain improvement and that need to be tackled. It then sets out how the organisation intends to work to ensure that people in Wales benefit from accountable, well-managed public services that offer the best possible value for money.
Jeremy Colman, Auditor General for Wales commented,
"Since devolution, expenditure in the Welsh public sector has almost doubled to a current level of some £14 billion each year. The pace and scale of current changes are considerable and, with it, the expectations among the public and politicians in terms of standards, equalities and improvement. The Wales Audit Office has an important role to play in this regard. And that is why I place great importance on this strategy, which will guide my choice of work and the delivery and evaluation of that work over the next three years."
The document, launched at the Office's inaugural conference in Cardiff, identifies some perceived barriers and restraints to service planning and delivery, which include traditional or historic configuration of services, lack of capacity, gaps in capability and fragmentation of planning and delivery. Among the symptoms of these are poor financial health in parts of the NHS, inequality in access to services, ineffective partnership working and uneconomic procurement.
Jeremy Colman said,
"Whilst the Wales Audit Office cannot get involved in policy, it can influence business processes and help to change, where necessary, the behaviour of those with executive responsibility for delivering services. I intend to place a fresh emphasis on identifying good practice and helping the Welsh public sector to introduce it. I am also committed to improving coordination with other audit, inspection, regulatory and partner bodies and contributing to the development of robust systems of comparison between Wales and other parts of the UK and subsequently with other regions. To achieve this I have set out how the Wales Audit Office will use its own resources and measure its own performance."
Notes to Editors:
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