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Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004

Section 5: Studies relating to registered social landlords

18.This section adds a new section 145C to the GOWA. Section 145C(1) of the GOWA provides that the Auditor General and the Assembly may agree on one or more programmes of studies (including comparative studies) designed to enable the Auditor General to make recommendations for improving the economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the discharge of the functions of registered social landlords in Wales. Such studies may also include recommendations for improving the financial or other management of registered social landlords. Section 145C(4) of the GOWA provides that the Auditor General may not question the merits of the policy objectives of the registered social landlords that are the subject of the study.

19.By virtue of section 145C(3) of the GOWA, the Assembly must reimburse the Auditor General the full cost of undertaking the programme of studies under section 145C(1) of the GOWA. In relation to studies under section 145C(1) of the GOWA, the Auditor General has the same rights of access to information and documents etc. as he has in relation to audit and other examinations into the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which any person has used his resources in discharging his functions. These rights of access etc. as substituted by section 11 of this Act are set out in section 95 of the GOWA (see paragraphs 35 to 41 below). Failure, without reasonable excuse, to comply with a requirement of the Auditor General under substituted section 95(3)(a) or (b) of the GOWA constitutes a criminal offence under section 145C(6) and on summary conviction a person guilty of that offence is liable to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale. These powers are similar to those in sections 40 and 41 of the ACA except that, in respect of section 145C of the GOWA, the Auditor General has the wider rights of access to information and documents etc, referred to above.

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