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Government of Wales Act 2006


Section 131: Welsh Ministers’ Accounts

478.Subsection (1) imposes an obligation on the Welsh Ministers to prepare accounts for each financial year in accordance with directions given to them by HM Treasury. By virtue of subsection (2), these accounts are to cover the financial affairs and transactions of the Counsel General. By virtue of subsection (3), the Treasury may direct the Welsh Ministers to include accounts of financial affairs and transactions of other persons.

479.The Treasury’s power to direct the form of the Welsh Minister’s accounts is based on provisions in the Government of Wales Act 1998. The Treasury does not have an equivalent power under the Scotland Act 1998, because the Scottish Parliament has primary legislative powers which it can use to dictate the form and content of the accounts of the Scottish Ministers. The power to direct the form of the Welsh Ministers’ accounts will remain vested in the Treasury unless and until the Assembly gains the legislative competence to provide otherwise.

480.The Welsh Ministers must submit their accounts to the AGW, who must report on them to the Assembly (subsections (5) and (6), which also lay down the time-scales within which these actions must be performed). In examining the accounts, the AGW must be satisfied that the Welsh Ministers’ and the Counsel General’s expenditure, recorded in the accounts, was incurred in accordance with the law and with the particular authority which governs it (for instance, in accordance with the provisions of a Budget resolution of the Assembly, in so far as it relates to the Welsh Ministers and the Counsel General). The AGW must also be satisfied that monies received by the Welsh Ministers or the Counsel General for a particular purpose or purposes have been used only on that purpose or purposes.

481.Subsection (8) enables duplication of effort to be avoided, by giving the Treasury a power, by direction, to relieve the Welsh Ministers of a statutory obligation to prepare accounts dealing with any matters which the Welsh Ministers would have to include in accounts which the Treasury have directed them to prepare under this section.

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