New Auditor General guide lifts the lid on Wales’ public finances

Monday, July 16, 2018 - 10:33am

Our latest guide looks at how public services are funded in Wales, how budgets are set and how the public bodies report on their performance

The Auditor General has today published a useful guide to public finances in Wales. It is designed to help the public sector, politicians, academics, the media and other relevant organisations. It sets out some key issues that those involved in scrutinising public finances should keep in mind.

Understanding and being able to scrutinise decisions about public spending is a vital part of a democratic society. The Auditor General’s new Guide to Welsh Public Finances provides an easy to digest overview of some of the key issues in Welsh public finances. It looks at:

  • how Wales receives funding for public services – including a practical example of how the Barnett formula works, new and existing tax raising powers and how charges and fees work;
  • when the key decisions are made for budget setting and how public bodies set their financial plans; and
  • the ways in which public bodies report on how well they are doing in using funding to deliver better outcomes for people and communities.

Auditor General Huw Vaughan Thomas said today:

“In my time as Auditor General, I have been struck by the need to explain to people the basics of funding for devolved public services in Wales.  If we are to have robust democratic and media scrutiny in Wales, there needs to be a clear understanding of who spends what and how they can be held to account. I hope my guide will be a helpful source of information for those already involved in public services and the wider general public alike.”