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Government of Wales Act 2006

Expenditure

Section 141: Whole of government accounts:  Welsh Ministers, and Section 142:  Functions of Auditor General

505.Section 141 makes provision for the preparation, by the Welsh Ministers, of “Whole of Government accounts” in relation to Wales. This concept was introduced by the Government Resources & Accounts Act 2000 (c.20). It is a set of accounts for a group of bodies, each of which appears to HM Treasury to exercise functions of a public nature or to be entirely or substantially funded from public money (section 9(1), Government Resources & Accounts Act 2000). It can also include information about activities of other persons or bodies, which appear to the Treasury to be activities of a public nature (section 9(2), Government Resources & Accounts Act 2000). Such accounts can, therefore, be used to give a total picture of the financial transactions of the public sector, or a part of the public sector.

506.Under section 10(8) of the Government Resources & Accounts Act 2000, as amended by the Act, the Treasury can make arrangements with the Welsh Ministers to gather information from bodies designated by the Treasury for the purpose of preparing Whole of Government accounts in relation to Wales. Where such an arrangement exists, the Welsh Ministers must prepare a set of accounts for those bodies (subsection (2)). The accounts may include information about activities which are not activities of bodies designated by the Treasury, but which appear to the Welsh Ministers to be activities of a public nature (subsection (3)). Before designating a body, or giving any direction to it, the Treasury must consult the Welsh Ministers where it thinks appropriate. This will normally be where the body has activities relating wholly, or in significant parts, to Wales.

507.The section makes provision as to the form of the accounts (subsections (2), (4) and (6)).

508.The Welsh Ministers must send accounts under this section to the AGW by 30th November in the following financial year, or such other date as they may prescribe by Order after consulting HM Treasury and the AGW. The reason for this power to change the date is that the system of Whole of Government accounts is still relatively new and aspects of it are still being piloted by the Treasury.

509.The AGW must examine accounts sent to the AGW under section 141 with a view to being satisfied that they present a true and fair view (section 142(1)). The AGW must then report on the accounts to the Assembly (subsection (2)). This must be done within four months of the accounts being submitted to the AGW (subsection (2)). The auditors of the bodies included in the Whole of Government accounts must give the AGW such information and explanations as the AGW may reasonably require to carry out functions under section 142 (subsection (3)).

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