Audit, Inspections & Reports

Page updated on: 13/09/2019

From social care to schools to Welsh language, find out how council services are audited and assessed.

The Auditor General is independent of government and is appointed by Her Majesty the Queen. He leads the Wales Audit Office and is held accountable by the Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly for the Wales Audit Office’s work.

The Auditor General’s appointed auditors are responsible for the annual audit of the majority of public money spent in Wales, including the £15 billion of funds that are voted to Wales annually by the Westminster Parliament. Nearly £5.5 billion of this funding is passed by the Welsh Government to local government in the form of general and specific grants. Local government, in turn, raises a further £2.1 billion through council tax and business rates.

As well as carrying out financial audit, the Auditor General’s role is to examine how public bodies manage and spend public money, including achieving value in the delivery of public services. The Wales Audit Office aims to make public money count, by promoting improvement, so that people in Wales benefit from accountable, well-managed public services that offer the best possible value for money. It is also committed to identifying and spreading good practice across the Welsh public sector.

Estyn is the office of Her Majesty's Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales. They are independent of, but funded by, the National Assembly for Wales. The purpose of Estyn is to inspect quality and standards in education and training in Wales. They are responsible for inspecting:

  • Nursery schools
  • Primary schools
  • Secondary schools
  • Special schools
  • Pupil referral units
  • Independent schools
  • Further education
  • Independent specialist colleges
  • Adult community learning
  • Local authority education services for children and young people
  • Teacher education and training
  • Work-based learning
  • Careers companies
  • Offender learning

They are the independent regulator of social care and childcare in Wales. They register, inspect and take action to improve the quality and safety of services for the well-being of the people of Wales.

They:

  • carry out functions on behalf of Welsh Ministers
  • decide who can provide services
  • inspect and drive improvement of regulated services and local authority social services
  • undertake thematic reviews of social care services
  • take action to ensure services meet legislative and regulatory requirements
  • investigate concerns raised about regulated services

The principal aim of the Welsh Language Commissioner, an independent body established by the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011, is to promote and facilitate use of the Welsh language. This will entail raising awareness of the official status of the Welsh language in Wales and by imposing standards on organizations. This, in turn, will lead to the establishment of rights for Welsh speakers.

Two principles will underpin the Commissioner’s work:

  • In Wales, the Welsh language should be treated no less favourably than the English language
  • Persons in Wales should be able to live their lives through the medium of the Welsh language if they choose to do so.

The Commissioner’s functions include:

  • Promoting the use of the Welsh language
  • Facilitating the use of the Welsh language
  • Working towards ensuring that the Welsh language is treated no less favourably than the English language by imposing duties on some organizations to comply with standards relating to the Welsh language
  • Conducting inquiries into matters relating to the Commissioner's functions
  • Investigating interference with the individual’s freedom to use the Welsh language.

Council & Democracy