On Monday 13th September 2015 Civil Service College were delighted to welcome a delegation of thirty-two high ranking Civil Service employees from India. The purpose of the delegations visit to the UK was to give a thorough introduction to the UK Public Sector, focusing in particular on governance and citizen-centric policies.
Study Visit: Value for Money, Wales Audit Office
One of the highlights of the delegations visit was a study visit to the Wales Audit Office, which took place on day four. The delegation wanted an opportunity to learn about the governance of good pubic management, and as Civil Service College is fortunate enough to have developed a strong relationship with the WAO over the year, they seemed to be the ideal organisation to demonstrate Value for Money to the delegation. Speakers during the visit included Huw Vaughan Thomas, the Auditor General for Wales, and Anthony Barrett, the Assistant Auditor General.
The speaker presentation demonstrated the function of the boards and the bodies that they regulated, including the police and fire rescue authorities, the Welsh Government, its sponsored and related public bodies and the Assembly Commission. It also looked at both Performance Audit and Financial Audit.
As well as a visit to the WAO, the day also included some cultural elements, including a visit to the Welsh Assembly and a trip to Cardiff Castle, giving the delegates an opportunity to experience a wider view of the UK and not limiting them to just sightseeing in London.
The study visit was incredibly well received by the Indian Delegation, as indicated by their feedback forms. Out of the thirty feedback forms collected by Civil Service College, twenty two of the delegates marked the speakers five out of five on their knowledge of the topic, presentation skills, good communication skills, good facilitation skills, allowing sufficient time to tend to delegates development needs and using a variety of learning approaches. The other 8 forms gave a mix of threes, fours and fives for each of these elements.
When asked if delegates thought that the programme delivered their stated objectives, twenty six marked the programme five out of five, while three delegates gave a score of four out of five.
Twenty one of the delegates also gave a score of five out of five when asked if the programme enhanced both their knowledge and their skills, while six of the delegates gave a score of four out of five for these questions.
Delegates also gave positive feedback about their training experience at the Wales Audit Office, indicating that the programme was well executed and informative. The feedback also demonstrated that the work of the WAO itself would be useful in influencing Audit practice back in India:
"The visit was useful and showed how the Auditor general independently functions without fear and how transparent the system is."
"Excellent presentation with clarity in explaining the concept and practicalities being followed by the Welsh."
"Though it seems auditing functions in Wales appear to be similar to those developed in India, yet the variations in the recommendations were clearly thought out."
"A very important office to check corruption at public offices."
"Really important by the way of functioning of the Audit office."
"It was good to experience to visit the Welsh Audit office."
"The Wales Audit Office has good systems in place."
"A good, interactive presentation that was very informative."