Concise Minutes - Public Accounts Committee

Meeting Venue:

Committee Room 3 - Senedd

Meeting date: 6 October 2015

Meeting time: 09.00 - 10.58
This meeting can be viewed
on Senedd TV at:




Assembly Members:

Darren Millar AM (Chair)

Mohammad Asghar (Oscar) AM

Jocelyn Davies AM

Mike Hedges AM

Sandy Mewies AM

Julie Morgan AM

Jenny Rathbone AM

Aled Roberts AM


Gawain Evans, Welsh Government

Sir Derek Jones, Welsh Government

Peter Kennedy, Welsh Government

David Richards, Welsh Government

Committee Staff:

Fay Buckle (Clerk)

Claire Griffiths (Deputy Clerk)

Joanest Varney-Jackson (Legal Adviser)

Richard Harries (Wales Audit Office)

Huw Vaughan Thomas (Wales Audit Office)




View the meeting transcript.



1       Introductions, apologies and substitutions

1.1        The Chair welcomed the Members to the meeting.

1.2        There were no apologies.

1.3        Sandy Mewies AM declared an interest as a Member of the Assembly Commission.



2       Papers to note

2.1 The papers were noted.



2.1     Scrutiny of Accounts 2014-15: Additional information from the National Library of Wales



3       Scrutiny of Accounts 2014 - 15: Welsh Government Consolidated Annual Accounts 2014-2015

3.1 The Committee considered the Welsh Government’s Consolidated Annual Accounts 2014-15, questioning Sir Derek Jones, Permanent Secretary, David Richards, Director of Governance, Peter Kennedy, Director Human Resources and Gawain Evans, Deputy Director Finance, Welsh Government.

3.2 Sir Derek Jones agreed to send further information on the following issues:

·         Details of website traffic and number of hits the Welsh Government Consolidated Accounts receive on the web to give an indication of readership

·         Reasons why the amount of food waste over the Welsh Government’s estate has increased from 2013-14

·         Reasons why the NHS risk pool has not been itemised in the consolidated accounts for 2014-15 as it has been in previous years and explain why this information has not been reported in the accounts

·         Provide a full breakdown on non-cash items and AME and include the figures from 2013-14 for comparison

·         How the Welsh Government addresses cash management and in particular the £86.8m underspend relating to health boards

·         Details of what the £19.6m other liabilities consists of

·         When the original receipts were expected in for the special payments relating to Tryst Engineering Company and Desk Link Office

·         Situation regarding restocking of anti-viral drugs for a pandemic influenza outbreak

·         The cause of the losses regarding Careers Choices Dewis Gyrfa Ltd

3.3 During the consideration of the evidence received, Members asked that the Permanent Secretary send details of how his strategy to achieve a gender balance of 50:50 by 20:20.




4       Meeting the Financial Challenges Facing Local Government in Wales: Committee correspondence

4.1 Members noted the correspondence.

4.2 It was suggested that it would be helpful if the Welsh Government asked local government to provide a more detailed level of information on what each reserve is intended for and how they expect to spend it over a period of time.

4.3 The Chair advised that it is unlikely that the Committee will revisit this issue before the end of the Assembly term.



5       Responding to Welfare Reform in Wales: Letter from the Auditor General for Wales

5.1 Members agreed that the Chair should write to the Welsh Government seeking further clarification on the response to the Committee’s report.



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

6.1 The motion was agreed.



7       Scrutiny of Accounts 2014 - 15: Consideration of evidence received

7.1 Members considered the evidence received.