2018 in review

Thursday, December 20, 2018 - 5:12pm

As we reflect on 2018, we’ve selected some of our highlights from the year. These include the things we’re proud to have delivered and some of the successes we’ve celebrated.

Above all, our 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. We’re also committed to identifying and publicising good practice.

We’ve picked 12 highlights that show how we’ve delivered on these aims.

From January to June

In January, we issued two key reports of national importance. The first called for focus on tackling the underlying causes of homelessness in Wales. The second report looked at “informatics” in NHS Wales – the way that information is collected, managed, used and shared. We identified that NHS Wales has a clear vision for the electronic patient record, but called for more work in order to deliver it.

In May, we held a conference on the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 (the Act). The conference was an opportunity to communicate the Auditor General’s findings in more detail to public bodies, share the learning from the Auditor General’s pilot examination projects, and explore the next steps for the future.

In June we launched a new interactive summary of our Annual Report and Accounts [opens in new window]. We were also very proud to pick up a National award at the UK Public Sector Communications Awards. This was as in recognition of our “GREAT Together – changing culture at the Wales Audit Office” campaign. You can read more about GREAT Together in our People Strategy.

From July to December

In July we were pleased to welcome our new Auditor General for Wales, Adrian Crompton. This was swiftly followed by our attendance at the Royal Welsh Show, which gave us a chance to chat with the public about some of our forthcoming investigations and to share results of the survey we ran at last year’s Royal Welsh.

Also in July, we delivered another important Health report, which investigated out-of-hours services. We found that despite positive feedback from patients, they were under significant strain from staffing problems and poor morale

Then, right at the end of July, we issued a report that considered whether WEFO is effectively managing the risks and opportunities for Structural Funds posed by Brexit. Days before the report publication, the UK Government extended its guarantee to cover Wales’ (and the UK’s) allocation for Structural Funds under this EU budget period to 2020.

In October the Finance Skills Development Group held the third conference for finance trainees: Finance for the Future 2018 and we were proud to be part of this. The event brought together individuals working in publicly funded organisations across Wales who are studying towards a finance related qualification.

Then, at the end of October, we issued a report looking at the management of follow-up outpatients appointments in Wales. The report took on a new, magazine style, and we also issued a short animation [opens in new window] to accompany our findings. 

In November we were proud to see Huw Vaughan Thomas, our former Auditor General, receiving a CBE for services to public audit and accountability in Wales.

A year in review

As we reflect on 2018, we're proud of all that we've delivered and look forward to another year of making public money count.