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Government of Wales Bill


Government of Wales Bill
Part 5 — Finance

76

 

(a)   

the Clerk is incapable of discharging the responsibilities of the principal

accounting officer for the Assembly Commission, or

(b)   

the office of Clerk is vacant.

(3)   

The principal accounting officer for the Assembly Commission has—

(a)   

in relation to Assembly Commission’s accounts and finances, and

5

(b)   

in relation to the performance by persons designated as accounting

officers in pursuance of any provision of this Act of their

responsibilities as accounting officers,

   

the responsibilities which are from time to time specified by the Treasury.

(4)   

The principal accounting officer for the Assembly Commission may designate

10

other members of the staff of the Assembly as additional accounting officers.

(5)   

An additional accounting officer has, in relation to such of the Assembly

Commission’s accounts and finances as may be specified by the principal

accounting officer for the Assembly Commission, the responsibilities which

are from time to time specified by the principal accounting officer for the

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Assembly Commission.

139     

Accounts of subsidiaries of Assembly Commission

(1)   

For the purposes of the examination by the Auditor General of any accounts of

the Assembly Commission the Auditor General—

(a)   

has a right of access at all reasonable times to every document relating

20

to the accounts of any subsidiary of the Assembly Commission

(whether or not the accounts of the Assembly Commission being

examined relate to the financial affairs and transactions of the

subsidiary),

(b)   

is entitled to require from any person holding or accountable for any of

25

those documents any assistance, information or explanation which the

Auditor General reasonably thinks necessary for those purposes, and

(c)   

may require any subsidiary of the Assembly Commission to provide

the Auditor General at times specified by the Auditor General with

accounts of such of the subsidiary’s transactions as the Auditor General

30

may specify.

(2)   

The Treasury may, by directions given to a subsidiary of the Assembly

Commission, require the subsidiary to include in any accounts which the

subsidiary prepares (under, for example, the law relating to companies or

charities) such additional information as may be specified in the directions.

35

(3)   

The inclusion of information in any accounts in compliance with such

directions does not constitute a breach of any provision which prohibits, or

does not authorise, the inclusion in the accounts of that information.

(4)   

In this section “subsidiary of the Assembly Commission” means—

(a)   

any body corporate or other undertaking in relation to which the

40

Assembly Commission is a parent undertaking,

(b)   

any trust of which the Assembly Commission is settlor, or

(c)   

any charitable institution of which the Assembly Commission is

founder but which is neither a body corporate nor a trust.

(5)   

For the purposes of subsection (4)(a)—

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Government of Wales Bill
Part 5 — Finance

77

 

“undertaking” has the meaning given by section 259(1) of the Companies

Act 1985 (c. 6), and

“parent undertaking” is to be construed in accordance with section 258 of

that Act.

140     

Examinations into Assembly Commission’s use of resources

5

(1)   

The Auditor General may carry out examinations into the economy, efficiency

and effectiveness with which the Assembly Commission has used its resources

in discharging its functions.

(2)   

Subsection (1) does not entitle the Auditor General to question the merits of the

policy objectives of the Assembly Commission.

10

(3)   

In determining how to exercise functions under this section the Auditor

General must take into account the views of the Audit Committee as to the

examinations to be carried out under this section.

(4)   

The Auditor General may lay before the Assembly a report of the results of any

examination carried out under this section.

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Whole of Government of Wales accounts

141     

Whole of government accounts: Welsh Ministers

(1)   

This section applies in respect of a financial year for which the Treasury make

arrangements with the Welsh Ministers under section 10(8) of the Government

Resources and Accounts Act 2000 (c. 20) (whole of government accounts:

20

consolidation of Welsh accounts).

(2)   

The Welsh Ministers must prepare a set of accounts for the group of bodies

which provide information to the Welsh Ministers in accordance with the

arrangements under section 10(8).

(3)   

Accounts prepared under this section may include information referring

25

wholly or partly to activities which—

(a)   

are not activities of bodies falling within subsection (2), but

(b)   

appear to the Welsh Ministers to be activities of a public nature.

(4)   

The accounts must contain such information in such form as the Treasury may

direct.

30

(5)   

The Treasury must exercise the power under subsection (4) with a view to

ensuring that the accounts—

(a)   

present a true and fair view, and

(b)   

conform to generally accepted accounting practice subject to such

adaptations as are necessary in the context.

35

(6)   

For the purposes of subsection (5)(a) and (b) the Treasury must in particular—

(a)   

have regard to any relevant guidance issued by the Accounting

Standards Board Limited or any other body prescribed for the purposes

of section 256 of the Companies Act 1985 (accounting standards) or to

international accounting standards (as defined in section 262 of that

40

Act), and

 
 

Government of Wales Bill
Part 5 — Finance

78

 

(b)   

require the accounts to include, subject to paragraph (a), a statement of

financial performance, a statement of financial position and a cash flow

statement.

(7)   

Any accounts which the Welsh Ministers are required to prepare under this

section for any financial year must be submitted by the Welsh Ministers to the

5

Auditor General no later than 30th November in the following financial year.

(8)   

But the Welsh Ministers may by order substitute another date for the date for

the time being specified in subsection (7).

(9)   

No order may be made under subsection (7) unless the Welsh Ministers have

consulted—

10

(a)   

the Treasury, and

(b)   

the Auditor General.

(10)   

A statutory instrument containing an order under subsection (7) is subject to

annulment in pursuance of a resolution of the Assembly.

142     

Functions of Auditor General

15

(1)   

The Auditor General must examine accounts submitted under section 141 with

a view to being satisfied that they present a true and fair view.

(2)   

Where the Auditor General has conducted an examination of accounts under

subsection (1), the Auditor General must—

(a)   

certify them and issue a report, and

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(b)   

no later than four months after the accounts are submitted, lay before

the Assembly a copy of them as certified by the Auditor General

together with the Auditor General’s report on them.

(3)   

A person who acts as auditor for the purposes of section 10(2)(c) or (8)(c) of the

Government Resources and Accounts Act 2000 (c. 20) must give the Auditor

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General such information and explanations as the Auditor General may

reasonably require for the purposes of this section.

Treatment of accounts and audit reports etc.

143     

Audit Committee reports

(1)   

The Accounts Committee may consider, and lay before the Assembly a report

30

on, any accounts, statement of accounts or report laid before the Assembly

by—

(a)   

the Auditor General, or

(b)   

the auditor appointed under paragraph 14 of Schedule 8 (auditor of

Auditor General’s accounts).

35

(2)   

If requested to do so by the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts,

the Accounts Committee may—

(a)   

on behalf of the Committee of Public Accounts take evidence from any

of the persons mentioned in subsection (3), and

(b)   

report to the Committee of Public Accounts and transmit to that

40

Committee any evidence so taken.

(3)   

The persons referred to in subsection (2)(a) are—

 
 

Government of Wales Bill
Part 6 — Miscellaneous and supplementary

79

 

(a)   

the principal accounting officer for the Welsh Ministers,

(b)   

the principal accounting officer for the Assembly Commission, and

(c)   

additional accounting officers designated under section 133 or 138.

144     

Publication of accounts and audit reports etc.

(1)   

The Assembly must publish a document to which this subsection applies as

5

soon after the document is laid before the Assembly as is reasonably

practicable.

(2)   

The documents to which subsection (1) applies are—

(a)   

any accounts, statement of accounts or report laid before the Assembly

by the Auditor General,

10

(b)   

any accounts or report laid before the Assembly by the auditor

appointed under paragraph 14 of Schedule 8, and

(c)   

any report or estimate laid before the Assembly by the Audit

Committee under section 143(1) or paragraph 12(3) of Schedule 8.

Auditor General for Wales

15

145     

Auditor General

(1)   

There is to be an office of Auditor General for Wales or Archwilydd

Cyffredinol Cymru (referred to in this Act as “the Auditor General”).

(2)   

For provision about the Auditor General see Schedule 8.

(3)   

The Welsh Ministers must co-operate with the Auditor General where it seems

20

to them appropriate to do so for the efficient and effective discharge of their

functions in relation to Welsh NHS bodies.

(4)   

“Welsh NHS bodies” has the meaning given by section 60 of the Public Audit

(Wales) Act 2004 (c. 23).

Part 6

25

Miscellaneous and supplementary

Welsh public records

146     

Status of Welsh public records

(1)   

Welsh public records are not public records for the purposes of the Public

Records Act 1958 (c. 51).

30

(2)   

But that Act has effect in relation to Welsh public records (as if they were public

records for the purpose of that Act) until an order under section 147 imposes a

duty to preserve them on the Welsh Ministers (or a member of the staff of the

Welsh Assembly Government).

(3)   

Subsection (2) applies to Welsh public records whether or not, apart from

35

subsection (1), they would be public records for the purposes of the Public

Records Act 1958.

 
 

 
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