Our guest blogger today is Kate Kuring who is currently on a study tour of Public Audit organisations in the UK and Ireland. Kate is currently based at the Wales Audit Office as part of her six month tour and writes about her experience so far .
Each day, the staff of the Wales Audit Office go to work at locations across the country to make public money count. On the other side of the world, I spend my days doing exactly the same thing at the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office in Melbourne. Our organisations share a focus on holding governments to account, and driving improvements in the performance of the public sector.
Throughout April, I’ll be spending time with staff at the Wales Audit office to learn more about how they do this, and share my experiences from Victoria.
The Victorian Auditor-General’s Office and the Wales Audit Office have much in common, and much to learn from one another. Between us, we’re responsible for auditing combined expenditure of approximately £43 billion in public funds, and do so through both financial and performance audits, however are operating in considerably different contexts. It’s been fascinating to get an insight into the issues facing public services in Wales, and how the WAO is working to understand and influence the public sector’s ability to meet them.
I’m delighted to be spending this time in Wales. I’ve been here for just over a week but already, a few things are plain to see.
First, the people of Wales are exceptionally friendly and warm.
Second, the people of Wales are a notably hardworking bunch, and seem committed to nurturing and shaping their country so its strength and cohesion grows. Observing this reminds me why it’s so important for them to be able to know that public money is being managed wisely, and for public bodies understand how to improve outcomes.
This is the aim of the Auditor-General for Wales, and it’s wonderful to be in a position to visit WAO and observe how this happens in practice.
I hope that my time visiting the WAO will lead to a mutually beneficial exchange of good practice, and build lasting relationships between our two organisations.
While some things are plain to see, others are causing considerable confusion, specifically how and why Welsh Cakes have remained a national secret despite their unmistakable deliciousness, and how the Welsh Rugby team could have been defeated in the Six Nations, despite so clearly being the better side. Further investigation is pending.
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