Page last updated at 18:03 GMT, Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Public Audit Bill statement

Finance Minister Jane Hutt gave a statement on the introduction of the Public Audit Bill on 4 December 2012.

She explained that the bill had been brought forward to reform and modernise the governance of the Wales Audit Office (WAO) and the position of auditor general for Wales, in response to problems that had arisen in the past.

The bill establishes a new WAO that would be responsible for corporate functions, for which the auditor general is currently responsible.

It also establishes a new WAO board, made up of non-executive members.

Auditor General Wales (AGW) Huw Vaughan Thomas has criticised the draft bill as he believes the independence of the auditor general could be constrained by the requirement.

Mr Thomas has suggested that the auditor general should be able to continue to employ his own staff and procure his own professional services.

The bill also includes provisions that will make the AGW the statutory auditor of local government bodies in Wales.

Chairs of both the Public Accounts Committee and the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee, Darren Millar AM and David Melding AM respectively, both expressed their support for the bill, which was passed unanimously.

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