Consultation on amending Public Audit (Wales) Act
The Finance Committee of the National Assembly is consulting on a draft Bill amending the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2013 (PAWA 2013) following repeated calls from the Wales Audit Office (WAO), and the previous and current Auditor Generals for Wales, to consider amending certain provisions of the 2013 Act.
In January 2019, the Committee agreed to consider the case for amending the PAWA 2013, given that it had now been in operation for five years.
The Committee’s post-legislative scrutiny focussed on two areas:
- To explore issues raised by the AGW and WAO in regard to the PAWA 2013; including:
- Fee charging;
- Quorum arrangements of the WAO Board;
- WAO reporting arrangements;
- Issues with laying and reporting accounts.
- To consider to what extent other aspects of the PAWA 2013 may benefit from revision.
In light of the evidence received during the course of its inquiry, the Committee has concluded that the PAWA 2013 requires revisions in order to improve the efficiency of functions carried out by the WAO and the Assembly.
The draft Bill is divided into 3 parts containing 20 sections and 3 schedules. The Bill proposes amendments to the PAWA 2013 in relation to:
- Fee charging
- Quorum arrangements of the WAO Board
- WAO reporting arrangements
- Issues with laying reports and accounts
- Certification deadlines
- Issues relating to the responsibilities of the Assembly
The consultation closes on 7 February 2020.
Llyr Gruffydd AM, Chair of the National Assembly Finance Committee said:
“We felt it was an appropriate time to review the operation of the legislation, five years after its enactment, and given the Committee’s own role in overseeing aspects of the legislation, we also welcomed the opportunity to reflect on the provisions placed on the Assembly.
“Whilst we heard that many aspects of the legislation work effectively, we were persuaded by the evidence received that certain provisions are overly complex, costly to administer or disproportionate.
“We have concluded that revisions to the legislation are required and are now consulting on our proposals for legislative change, set out in the Committee’s draft Bill accompanying our report.
“Should the evidence we receive support the legislative changes, the Committee will consider introducing a Committee Bill in this Assembly.”