Accounts and Audit (Wales)

January 13th, 2015

The Accounts and Audit (Wales) Regulations 2014, SI 2014/3362 (W.337), made and laid before the National Assembly on 23 December 2014, and coming into force on 31 March 2015, make provision with respect to the accounts and audit of bodies whose accounts are required to be audited in accordance with Section 39 of the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004 (“the 2004 Act”) other than a local probation board for an area in Wales or a Welsh probation trust. The bodies who are subject to the Regulations are: county and county borough councils (and their committees and joint committees); community councils; fire and rescue authorities; National Park authorities; police and crime commissioners; chief constables; port health authorities; internal drainage boards; and conservation boards.

The Regulations replace the Accounts and Audit (Wales) Regulations 2005 which, together with amending Regulations, are revoked.

The Regulations differ in a number of respects from previous Accounts and Audit Regulations. Of particular note among the changes are the following: the bodies which are subject to the Regulations are specified on the face of the Regulations; the increase in the threshold of gross income or gross expenditure for smaller relevant bodies, from £1 million per year to not more than £2.5 million (regulation 2); changes to the procedures for approving and publishing accounts (regulations 10 and 15); the separation of procedures governing published accounts and audit for larger relevant bodies from that for smaller relevant bodies in the structure of the Regulations (see Parts 4 and 5); and it is no longer an offence to fail to comply with any aspect of the Regulations.

Part 1 is introductory.  Regulation 2 sets out the defined terms used in the Regulations.

Part 2 concerns specifying bodies so that those bodies come within the meaning of local authority for the purposes of Section 23(1) of the Local Government Act 2003. Under that Section the Welsh Ministers may make provision about accounting practices to be followed by local authorities as defined in the 2003 Act. Regulation 3 specifies internal drainage boards and port health authorities and regulation 4 identifies accounting practices for those bodies.

Part 3 concerns financial management and internal control. Regulation 5 requires relevant bodies to be responsible for ensuring that the financial management of the body is adequate and effective and the body has a sound system of internal control which they regularly review. Regulation 6 makes provision in respect of the accounting records which are to be kept, and the control systems that must be maintained, by relevant bodies. Regulation 7 makes provision for relevant bodies to maintain an adequate and effective internal audit of their accounting records and system of internal control.

Part 4 concerns the published accounts and audit for larger relevant bodies. Regulation 8 contains the requirements for the preparation of the statement of accounts for a body; regulation 9 the requirement for the statement of accounts to include notes relating to remuneration; regulation 10 the requirements for signing, approval and publication of the statement of accounts; regulation 11 the procedure for the public to inspect the accounts of a body; regulation 12 the procedure for a body to give notice of the public rights relating to the accounts and audit procedure; and regulation 13 the requirement for a body to give notice as to the conclusion of audit and the availability of its statement of accounts for inspection by local government electors.

Part 5 concerns the published accounts and audit for smaller relevant bodies. Regulation 14 contains the requirements for the preparation of accounting statements for a body; regulation 15 the requirements for signing, approval and publication of accounting statements; regulation 16 the procedure for the public to inspect the accounts of a body; regulation 17 the procedure for a body to give notice of the public rights relating to the accounts and audit procedure; and regulation 18 the requirement for a body to display a notice stating that the audit has concluded and that the relevant accounting statements are available for inspection by local government electors.

Comments are closed.