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Government of Wales Act 2006

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Access to documents

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17(1)The Auditor General has a right of access at all reasonable times to every document relating to a relevant person which appears to the Auditor General necessary—

(a)for the purposes of the Auditor General’s examination of any auditable accounts,

(b)for the purposes of undertaking studies under section 145A (studies for improving economy etc. in services provided by relevant bodies) or 145C (studies relating to registered social landlords) of the Government of Wales Act 1998 (c. 38), or

(c)for the purposes of carrying out, in accordance with any provision made by or by virtue of this or any other Act, other examinations or studies into the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which a person has used resources in discharging the person’s functions.

(2)The documents relating to a relevant person to which the right conferred by sub-paragraph (1) applies include (in particular)—

(a)a document which is in the possession, or under the control, of a person who has received financial assistance from the relevant person by means of a grant, loan or guarantee or as a result of the taking of an interest in any property or body corporate,

(b)a document which is in the possession, or under the control, of a person who has supplied goods or services to the relevant person in pursuance of a contract to which the relevant person was party or has supplied goods or services in pursuance of a relevant sub-contract, and

(c)a document of a description specified in an order made by the Welsh Ministers.

(3)The Auditor General may require a person whom the Auditor General thinks has information of the kind mentioned in sub-paragraph (4)—

(a)to give the Auditor General any assistance, information and explanation which the Auditor General thinks necessary for any of the purposes mentioned in sub-paragraph (1),

(b)to attend before the Auditor General in person to give the assistance, information or explanation, or to produce any document which is in the possession, or under the control, of the person and to which the right conferred by that sub-paragraph applies, or

(c)to provide any facility which the Auditor General may reasonably require for any of the purposes mentioned in that sub-paragraph.

(4)The information referred to in sub-paragraph (3) is information which relates to—

(a)a relevant person,

(b)a document to which the right conferred by sub-paragraph (1) applies, or

(c)a person who possesses or controls such a document.

(5)The Auditor General may, for the purposes of an examination of any auditable accounts, require a relevant person to provide the Auditor General, at times specified by the Auditor General, with accounts of such of the person’s transactions as the Auditor General may specify.

(6)For the purposes of sub-paragraph (2)(b), a contract is a relevant sub-contract if its performance fulfils, or contributes to the fulfilment of, an obligation to supply goods or services to the relevant person in another contract.

(7)In this paragraph “auditable accounts” means any accounts or statement of accounts falling to be examined by the Auditor General in accordance with any provision made by or by virtue of this or any other Act.

(8)In this paragraph “relevant person” means—

(a)in a case within paragraph (a) of sub-paragraph (1) relating to any accounts which the Welsh Ministers are directed to prepare under section 131, the Welsh Ministers, the Counsel General and any person to whose financial affairs and transactions the accounts are to relate by virtue of subsection (3) of that section,

(b)in a case within that paragraph relating to any accounts which the Assembly Commission is directed to prepare under section 137, the Assembly Commission and any person to whose financial affairs and transactions the accounts are to relate by virtue of subsection (2) of that section,

(c)in a case within that paragraph relating to any other auditable accounts, the person by whom the accounts are prepared, and

(d)in any other case, a person to whom the study or examination relates.

(9)No order may be made under sub-paragraph (2)(c) unless the Welsh Ministers have consulted—

(a)the Treasury, and

(b)the Auditor General.

(10)A statutory instrument containing an order under sub-paragraph (2)(c) is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of the Assembly.

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