New public sector audit guidelines for Wales

auditor general Gillian Body
has published a new code of practice
for private sector auditors and her own staff carrying out inspections of public
bodies in the principality.

The code includes the formal audit of accounts as well as value for money
examinations and studies, plus the certification of claims and returns – making
clear both the duties of auditors and the limitations of audit work.

It follows a consultation earlier this year and has been given the approval
of the Welsh Assembly.

The code “requires that auditors carry out their functions consistently in
accordance with four principles — being public focused, independent,
proportionate and accountable”.

Body appoints auditors to examine the accounts of local authorities and other
public bodies and has local government assessment, study and inspection

The publication of the code is provided for in the 2004 Public Audit (Wales)
Act and local government acts of 1998 and 2006.

It makes it clear that the purpose of public sector audit is “holding to
account, providing insight and promoting improvement”.

It states: “Audit adds value to society by providing assurance, stimulating
better decisions and better outcomes, and helping to provide public service

“But audit cannot act as a substitute for service providers’ own
responsibilities. It is for service providers to ensure that public business is
conducted in accordance with the law and proper standards, and that public money
is safeguarded, properly accounted for and used economically, efficiently and

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