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Inquiry into the funding of directly funded bodies

The Finance Committee is undertaking a short inquiry into the funding of directly funded bodies. The aim of the inquiry is to ensure a consistent approach is taken by directly funded bodies when preparing their annual budget proposals.

Directly funded bodies, receive their funding from the Welsh Consolidated Fund. The directly funded bodies include:

  • Assembly Commission;
  • Auditor General for Wales and the Wales Audit Office; and
  • Public Services Ombudsman for Wales.

Wales has seen almost a decade of austerity and for some time the Committee has been concerned that the budgets of directly funded bodies have not been impacted in the same way that other public service budgets have been.

The Committee has provided guidance to directly funded bodies to ensure their budget requests are set in the context of budget constraints in the Welsh public sector. This has included ensuring their budgets did not exceed any changes to the Welsh block grant.

However, this has proved problematic as directly funded bodies have interpreted increases in the block grant differently. This has been further complicated by other influences on the amount of funding available in any given year, such as Welsh Government tax policy decisions, UK Government announcements of additional funding (leading to subsequent consequentials for Wales), and the UK Government’s Spending Review planned for 2019.

The Chair of the Committee wrote to the directly funded bodies and the Welsh Government asking for their views on the above. The Committee will shortly be considering options to formulate an agreed position.

Business type: Committee Inquiry

Reason considered: Assembly Business;

First published: 11/03/2019

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