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Government of Wales Act 2006

Accounts and Audit – Sections 131 – 145

448.Provision is made in the Act for the preparation of accounts in respect of the use of resources by the Welsh Ministers and Counsel General; payments into and out of the WCF; the use of resources by the Assembly Commission; and for the preparation by the Welsh Ministers of “Whole of Government of Wales accounts”, a concept deriving from the Government Resources and Accounts Act 2000. The Act defines who are to be the Accounting Officers for the Welsh Ministers and the Assembly Commission. The Auditor General for Wales (AGW) has responsibility for examining and certifying these accounts, and for carrying out examinations into the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which the Welsh Ministers and the Assembly Commission have used their respective resources in discharging their functions. The AGW can lay before the Assembly any report made by the AGW in the exercise of these responsibilities, and must do so in the case of reports on accounts, or where the AGW considers it is in the public interest to do so (Schedule 8, paragraph 19). The Audit Committee can give views on what examinations the AGW should carry out and can also under section 143 consider and report itself on the reports and accounts laid before the Assembly by the AGW. The Comptroller and Auditor General may carry out examinations into the payments into and out of the WCF, and report the results of such examinations to the House of Commons and the Assembly.

449.Section 145 and Schedule 8 to the Act make revised provision for the office of AGW. In particular, it is for Her Majesty to make appointments to the office of AGW, on the nomination of the Assembly; but the AGW is not in the exercise of any functions to be subject to the direction or control of either the Assembly or the Welsh Assembly Government. The AGW obtains funding by submitting an estimate of the expenses of carrying out the functions of that office to the Audit Committee. This is then laid before the Assembly, with any modifications the Committee considers appropriate; but if modifications are to be proposed, that may only be done following consultation with the AGW. The Assembly will vote on the resources to be allocated to the AGW as part of the Budget resolution process, referred to above.

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