PracticePeople In PracticeNAO finds £17m savings for Wales

NAO finds £17m savings for Wales

Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office and the first auditor general for Wales, has identified £17m worth of potential savings at the Welsh National Assembly.

Pounds 15m could be saved by ensuring that free medicinal prescriptions are no longer given to ‘ineligible individuals’, Sir John said.

And in one of seven ‘value for money’ reports, he estimated that the Welsh NHS had wasted Pounds 4.2m during 1999 and 2000 due to clinical negligence resulting from ‘administrative communications and wider systems errors’.

Reducing errors at the NHS by a third could save the NHS in the region of Pounds 1.4m.

In addition Sir John made 108 recommendations on a wide range of accounting and auditing issues, including the improvement of financial systems, procedures and controls. These were accepted by the Assembly’s cabinet office who also agreed to act on 83 recommendations by the Audit Committee.

The NAO chief said most of the 200 recommendations for specific improvements made in the last financial year had been implemented, as a result of the first external audit.

Sir John said: ‘I am pleased that so many improvements are being implemented as a result of public audit in Wales.’ He promised to continue to provide ‘the best possible audit service’ in the coming year.

‘I will continue to focus on identifying savings that can be used by the Assembly for the improvement and extension of public services.’

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