Agenda item

Annual Report and Accounts

Minutes:

ACARAC (04-17) Paper 4 - Annual Report and Statement of Accounts 2016-17 – cover paper

ACARAC (04-17) Paper 5 – Annual Report and Statement of Accounts 2016-17

4.1        The revised annual report and statement of accounts were welcomed by the Committee.  They suggested some areas that could be revised to provide further clarity, but overall the activity during the 2016-17 period was well documented and presented effectively.    

4.2        Nia agreed to consider revising the wording on page 109 to reflect the re-allocation of resources between budget lines whilst remaining within the overall budget.

4.3        Ann-Marie Harkin raised an issue relating to salary payments made to the Auditor General for Wales (AGW) in May and June 2016.  Due to the appropriate legislation not being followed for setting the salary of the AGW, the salary payments due to the AGW in May and June 2016 could not be paid out of the Welsh Consolidated Fund (WCF).  Instead, the Assembly Commission had used funds voted to it for other purposes to pay the AGW during those two months.  The Assembly Commission’s sole alternative option would have been to withhold salary payments to the AGW during those two months.

4.4        Ann-Marie emphasised that the Assembly Commission’s budget is voted for on an annual basis.  The Assembly Commission had subsequently been reimbursed from the WCF, so the position had been regularised by year end. It was, therefore, the position of the AGW and the WAO audit team that there was no question of the Assembly Commission’s accounts being qualified (the opinion on regularity section). 

4.5        However, for transparency it was proposed that disclosure of this issue be made in the financial statements.  This could either be done through an AGW Report appended to his Audit Opinion and Certificate or by the Assembly Commission disclosing the matter within the notes to the financial statements.  Assembly Commission management expressed a preference for the matter to be disclosed in the notes to the financial statements. 

4.6        Ann-Marie agreed that in a meeting with the AGW later that day, she would suggest that an explanatory note be added to the accounts, describing the issue.  It was made it clear that the agreed course of action would be a decision for the AGW to make.

4.7        Nia agreed to draft and circulate a note to append to the Committee minutes to disclose the processes around the treatment of payment of AGW salary. 

4.8        The Committee agreed with the WAO that pending agreement from the AGW, a note be added, but wanted to be clear that no misuse of public funds had occurred. 

4.9        Nia agreed to provide an update on the position and the agreed course of action once she had been informed of the outcome of the meeting between Ann-Marie and the AGW.

         Actions

-         Nia Morgan to consider revising the wording on page 109 of the AR&A to reflect the re-allocation of resources between budget lines whilst remaining within the overall budget.

-         Nia Morgan to draft and circulate a note to append to the Committee minutes to disclose the processes around the treatment of payment of AGW salary. 

-         Nia Morgan to provide an update on the position of disclosure and treatment of Wales Consolidated Fund following WAO auditors meeting with AGW. 

 

 

 

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