Concise Minutes - Public Accounts Committee

Meeting Venue:

Committee Room 3 - Senedd

Meeting date: Monday, 15 January 2018

Meeting time: 14.00 - 16.40
This meeting can be viewed
on Senedd TV at:





Assembly Members:

Nick Ramsay AM (Chair)

Mohammad Asghar (Oscar) AM

Neil Hamilton AM

Rhianon Passmore AM

Adam Price AM

Lee Waters AM


Tracey Burke, Welsh Government

Andrew Slade, Welsh Government

Wales Audit Office:

Anthony Barrett – Assistant Auditor General for Wales

Mike Usher

Matthew Mortlock

Committee Staff:

Anthony Barrett

Mike Usher

Matthew Mortlock

Fay Bowen (Clerk)

Claire Griffiths (Deputy Clerk)

Owen Holzinger (Researcher)

Katie Wyatt (Legal Adviser)



1       Introductions, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest

1.1        The Chair welcomed the Members to the meeting.

1.2        Apologies were received from Vikki Howells AM who was attending a Supporting People National Advisory Board regional service user event.



2       Paper(s) to note

2.1 The papers were noted. Specifically, the Committee agreed:

·         Auditor General Report on Homelessness: The Chair will send a copy of the Report to John Griffiths AM, Chair of the Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee and ask for an undertaking as to whether the Committee has the capacity to undertake an inquiry into this issue and if so provide a timeline.

·         NHS Finance (Wales) Act 2014: The Chair to write to the Welsh Government seeking clarification on why the zero based review was only undertaken in the Hywel Dda University Health Board and if an overview within the Welsh NHS has been undertaken/is planned on its efficiency.

·         Hospital Catering and Patient Nutrition: The Chair to write to the Welsh Government requesting an explanation as to why the All Wales catering system has still not been delivered and is not expected to be available as a ‘call-off’ until 2019 and also request a timeline for the Gateway Review of the Wales Community Care Information System. 



2.1   Auditor General for Wales Report: Central Government Accounts 2016 -17



2.2   Auditor General for Wales Report: Local Government Homelessness 2017



2.3   Public Procurement: Welsh Government response to the Auditor General's Report



2.4   Implementation of the NHS Finance (Wales) Act 2014: Additional information from the Welsh Government (22 December 2017)



2.5   Hospital Catering and Patient Nutrition: Additional information from the Welsh Government (3 January 2018)



3       Community Safety in Wales

3.1 Members considered the Welsh Government’s review – Working Together for Safer Communities - and agreed that the Chair should write to the Welsh Government seeking clarity of the timescale for the implementation of the recommendations relating to the community safety strategy.



4       Introductory Session with new Director Generals, Welsh Government

4.1 Members held an introductory session with Tracey Burke, Director General, Education and Public Services and Andrew Slade, Director General, Economy, Skills and Natural Resources following their recent appointment.

4.2 Tracey Burke agreed to send further information on:

·         An update on the coding elements of the Hwb programme (website and collection of online tools provided to all schools in Wales by the Welsh Government) and include information on activities on teaching coding in schools more generally not just specifically to the Hwb programme.

4.3 Andrew Slade agreed to:

·         Provide a note on the relationship the Welsh Government has with the UK Government Digital Service;

·         Provide a follow-up note on the tables in the context of modelling the economy as part of the Economic Action Plan ;

·         Send a note to update how the proposed powers to give greater autonomy to Transport for Wales are progressing; and

·         Exposure for Wales as a result of today’s announcement of Carillion’s liquidation.



5       Motion under Standing Order 17.42 to resolve to exclude the public from the meeting for the following business:

5.1 The motion was agreed.



6       Scrutiny of Accounts 2016-17: Consideration of the draft report

6.1 The Members considered the draft Report and suggested a number of additional recommendations.

6.2 The Clerks will amend the draft report and circulate to Members, for agreement, by email.



7       Current Work Programme

7.1 Members noted the publication, on 11 January, of the Auditor General for Wales’ Report on the Informatics Systems in NHS Wales Report. The Welsh Government response is only expected to be received later in the term and as they had already agreed to undertake an inquiry into the issues, the Clerks will arrange for witnesses to attend Committee in the summer term.

7.2 Members discussed the funding issues around the film and media industries that have recently come into the public domain. It was agreed that policy issues should be considered by the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee and any financial management issues should be referred to this Committee. It was noted that the Auditor General’s response to concerns raised in corrspondence is expected to be received during the week of 22 January. Upon receipt, Committee will return to the issue.



8       The Welsh Government’s Supporting People Programme: Consultation Responses

8.1 The consultation responses were noted.