Plan unveiled to make the Wales Audit Office bolder and more ambitious

Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - 12:06am

New Auditor General for Wales publishes his first Annual Plan, jointly with the Wales Audit Office Board

The new Auditor General for Wales, Adrian Crompton, has set out a fresh ambition for the Wales Audit Office – to unleash its full potential and act as a catalyst for improvement. The Annual Plan, published jointly with the Board of the Wales Audit Office, is designed to make the organisation bolder, more relevant and more ambitious.

The Wales Audit Office is the public sector watchdog for Wales and audits approximately £19 billion of taxpayers’ money; almost a third of the Welsh GDP. It is entirely independent of government.

Today’s Annual Plan sets out the planned programme of work for the organisation over the next 12 months, along with some long-term ambitions.

It sets out the organisation’s purpose – to assure, explain and inspire:

  • Assure the people of Wales that public money is being managed well;
  • Explain how public money is being used and how it meets people’s needs, and
  • Inspire and empower the Welsh public sector to improve. 

The Plan highlights four key ambitions for unleashing the Wales Audit Office’s full potential. These are to:

  • Fully exploit our unique perspective, expertise and depth of insight;
  • Strengthen our position as an authoritative, trusted and independent voice;
  • Increase our visibility, influence and relevance; and
  • Be a model organisation for the public sector in Wales and beyond.

To fulfil these ambitions and respond effectively to our operating environment, the Plan also sets out some key change commitments for the coming year – including transforming the way we acquire and analyse data, exploring new ways of influencing the thinking and behaviour of others, and being more proactive in supporting public bodies in their fight against fraud and corruption.

The Auditor General for Wales, Adrian Crompton said:

'Over the last six months, since taking up post, I’ve spent a lot of time listening and speaking to public bodies across Wales and staff at the Wales Audit Office. The ambitions in this Annual Plan reflect a lot of what I have heard. People value the work we do and the contributions we make. But I know we can be even more effective in driving improvements to areas that matter most to the people of Wales. This plan sets out how we intend to do just that.'

Chair of the Wales Audit Office, Isobel Everett said:

'This Annual Plan is our most ambitious yet – in building a strong and effective Wales Audit Office that plays a positive and pivotal role in Wales. We’re focusing on transforming our business; modernising our audit approaches and strengthening our abilities to be a model organisation that is respected, valued and listened to.'


Notes to editors:

  • The Annual Plan for 2019-2020 has been jointly prepared and is laid before the National Assembly for Wales by the Auditor General for Wales and the Chair of the Wales Audit Office under section 26 of the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2013.
  • The Auditor General is the independent statutory external auditor of the devolved Welsh public sector. He is responsible for the annual audit of the majority of the public money spent in Wales, including the £15 billion of funds that are voted on annually by the National Assembly. Elements of this funding are passed by the Welsh Government to the NHS in Wales (over £7 billion) and to local government (over £4 billion).
  • The audit independence of the Auditor General is of paramount importance. He is appointed by the Queen, and his audit work is not subject to direction or control by the National Assembly or government. 
  • The Wales Audit Office (WAO) is a corporate body consisting of a nine member statutory Board which employs staff and provides other resources to the Auditor General, who is also the Board’s Chief Executive and Accounting Officer. The Board monitors and advises the Auditor General, regarding the exercise of his functions.