Via Adrian Crompton, Auditor General for Wales

Consultation on three-year forward programme of work
I am consulting on a three-year programme of work. For the first time, there is a single consultation across all of my national studies: central government and cross-cutting studies, local government studies and the local audit work that I plan to undertake across all relevant NHS bodies. The attached Annex sets out potential topics for inclusion in my work programme between 2019-20 and 2021-22. Our Annual Plan 2018-19, set out the national work already in train, some of which has recently been completed.

Having taken account of the responses to our public consultation – Shape Our Audits – that ran over the summer, I have selected topics that will help to achieve the strategic aim of the Wales Audit Office: that the people of Wales and National Assembly know whether public money is being managed wisely. This is my first programme of work as Auditor General and I am keen to ensure that it covers the big issues facing Welsh public services, as well as enabling us to offer detailed commentary on governance, management and service delivery. The proposals are anchored in the following themes, aimed at providing balanced coverage of new topics alongside ongoing follow-up work:

• Key risks and opportunities facing Welsh public services, such as austerity, demographic change, Brexit, digital and public service transformation.

• Governance and management of Welsh public bodies.

• Delivery of key programmes, projects and services.

For ease of comment, I have separated out my programme into three broad categories around central government & cross cutting topics, health and local government. For each sector, I have included more potential study topics than I could possibly deliver and I am conscious that there may be some overlap between proposals. I will use your views to help me prioritise and develop a final programme of work that is balanced, relevant, impactful and takes account of cross-cutting issues. I will also, of course, retain flexibility within the programme to respond to any emerging or unanticipated issues over the next three years.

As well as specific topics for future studies, you may also wish to be aware that I am considering changes in the way that we carry out our work and the nature of our reports and outputs. I am keen to produce shorter, sharper reports, make more use of data analytics, issue more real-time commentary on the big issues facing public services, and use different media to communicate our messages.

Central government and cross-cutting studies
For 2019-20, I have set out my preferred options for value for money work, funded from the Welsh Consolidated Fund. While these are my preferred options for that year, I would very much welcome your views on priorities within that list. For 2020-21 and 2021-22, I have set out a long list of potential topics on which I would welcome your views. These proposals will be delivered alongside work to follow-up previous studies. Also, I have initiated a programme of work on preparations for Brexit that is already in train, which I may choose to expand to respond to emerging issues over the coming months.

Health related studies
Plans for my 2019 programme of local work at NHS bodies are already well advanced and include work to fulfil my statutory duties in relation the Well Being of Future Generations Act, alongside my annual structured assessment work. The latter will include a specific review of the governance arrangements underpinning quality and safety committees in NHS bodies, given the challenges observed in this area over recent years.
The studies shown could be funded and delivered in a number of ways and I will decide on the best approach for each topic when finalising the programme. Please note that for any given year I would typically look to include a maximum of two thematic reviews in my local audit plans alongside annual structured assessment work. Those thematic reviews may include follow up of topics I have previously examined.

Local government studies
While some of the topics set out in my national value for money programme may cover aspects of local government, I have a distinct national programme of studies covering local government. The Annex contains a list of proposed topics over the three years 2019-20 to 2021-22. The programme focuses on how local authorities are responding to the challenge of working with less money and on services and/or topic specific issues that local authorities and others have identified as significant risks or where opportunities exist to improve performance, efficiency, use of resources and impact on citizens.

Responding to the consultation and how we will use your information

Anfonwyd ar ran Swyddfa Archwilio Cymru/Sent on behalf of the Wales Audit Office

If you wish to contribute to this consultation, in the first instance, please contact Mark Jeffs (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for a link to their survey. However, if you’d like to provide a more general reply then the key issues the Audit Office is seeking views on are:

• which of the topics listed you would particularly support;
• whether, for the topics supported, there are specific issues that might be of particular concern/interest (to support more detailed scoping work once the final programme is confirmed);
• whether there are topic areas that are of interest/concern but that are not currently covered in some way by the proposals.

The FGM Act 2003 was amended by sections of the Serious Crime Act 2015. Since then, ‘female genital mutilation’ has been an increasingly important focus within the work of the Welsh Government, the Public Sector, Community and Charitable Organisations; and has impacted the lives of specific women, girls and communities.

Although welcomed by many, others have expressed concerns in regard to aspects of the Act, most notably Mandatory Reporting, Submission of Patient Data and FGM Protection Orders.

Representatives of invited organisations will discuss how the Act has impacted their work and the lives of the people they work with, how they have responded to the challenges it presents and addressed associated concerns.


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Happy New Year!

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Training Jan2019


Arbed am Byth are working in Partnership with Cardiff Council to offer residents of Grangetown North Free Energy Efficiency measures within their properties.

They are holding an informal Meeting on Wednesday 15th January 2019 at the Grangetown Hub from 12am to 6pm for Grangetown North residents


Who are Arbed am Byth?
Arbed am Byth is a joint venture formed between Energy Saving Trust and Everwarm with the sole purpose of delivering the next phase of the Welsh Government’s Arbed programme in communities across Wales. Arbed am Byth’s role is to manage the programme from end-to-end; beginning with the development of schemes and local relationships, carrying out whole-house assessments, providing tailored packages of recommended energy efficiency measures for each home, procuring and working with local installers to fit any required improvements, inspecting and signing off all measures before undertaking detailed and collaborative evaluations of each scheme.

Arbed am Byth’s mission:
To improve the lives of people in Wales by reducing fuel poverty through improving the energy efficiency of homes in a way which maximises the social, environmental and economic benefits, as well as the longer-term legacy by working towards the goals of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015

Arbed am Byth’s vision:
To deliver a high-quality service to some of the most vulnerable and fuel-poor people throughout Wales, which is innovative, offers value for money, is right first time, meets customer expectations, and makes their staff proud.

Commitment to Welsh Communities
• The Welsh Government wants to see early and meaningful engagement with SMEs and local businesses, in the supply chain
• Their supply chain will create apprenticeships, enhance skills & bring value to Welsh communities
• They will be a local presence and deliver across all of Wales – not focusing on certain areas or house types
• They will work closely with local voluntary and community groups ( in individual schemes)to raise awareness around the work they do and the opportunities it will provide
• They want to leave a lasting legacy and reputation with effective schemes that have demonstrably tackled fuel poverty.

Arbed am Byth is focused on delivering community benefits throughout the lifecycle of the contract and is committed to working with and supporting highly-skilled sub-contractors, taken from communities across Wales, that can provide a genuinely local service.

Contract Objectives
A programme with local community benefits at its core; this is reflected in their approach to delivering Arbed with a key focus on supporting and growing the SME and micro supply chain in Wales and their commitment to providing valuable job opportunities, by locating the contact and operations centre in Nantgarw, which is within an area prioritised for economic development, by the taskforce for South Wales Valleys.
Their approach aims to be fundamentally collaborative with SMEs, local communities, local authorities and third sector organisations throughout Wales. Their operations will be embedded in these communities and measures will be delivered to Welsh householders, by a Welsh supply chain, providing a legacy of affordable warmth across Wales and clear economic, social and environmental impact.

Holiday Playscheme Pilot for Children with Additional Needs

Cardiff Council are calling for expressions of interest from organisations interested in piloting a Playscheme in February half term (25 February to 1 March 2019). The deadline for Expressions of Interest is 5pm on Tuesday, 15 January 2019. For more information please click here.