Monitoring and Assessing
By April 2017, the local and national public bodies across Wales covered by the Act were required to publish their well-being objectives and steps, showing how they will improve the social, environmental, economic and cultural well-being of Wales and contribute to the seven national well-being goals.
The Commissioner is required to monitor and assess the extent to which such objectives are being met. The Commissioner has been developing her approach to this, in advance of the first set of annual reports from public bodies which will be published between April 2018 and March 2019.
You can find the individual public bodies’ objectives here:
The Auditor General for Wales
The Auditor General for Wales is charged with examining how the five ways of working are being used by public bodies. The complementary nature of our functions, in addition to the ethos of the legislation (integration, collaboration and involvement in particular) have led us, the Auditor General for Wales and the Commissioner, to work very closely together and we developed parallel and complementary strategies to discharge our functions. It is paramount to us that we do not send conflicting messages to public bodies and that we pull together in the same direction to drive the deep and right changes towards the Wales we want.
Over time both the Commissioner, the Wales Audit Office and the people of Wales will expect public bodies to be able to demonstrate how the Act is shaping what they do. As we are now entering the third year of the legislation, the Commissioner expect to see more public bodies clearly adopting simple changes across Wales, as well as new approaches and moving towards making transformational change happen.
Commissioner’s Approach to Monitoring and Assessing Annual Reports
How do you find out where organisations are on their journey of cultural change?
These questions were at the forefront of our mind when we issued a recent call-out to anyone interested in working with our team to understand the progress the 44 public bodies subject to the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act are making towards their well-being objectives.
The Act is about public bodies using the principle of sustainable development to shape what they do, how they do it and how they communicate (via reporting) the difference they are making.
Public organisations are publishing their first annual reports under the Act, communicating how far they have come in the last year. The Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, must watch and judge this. Her call-out was focussed on looking at these annual reports, but the
project is an opportunity for the public bodies in Wales to shape how we communicate progress now and in future years.
Alongside this team of five researchers, public bodies themselves will help to design the approach to monitor and communicate their progress against their well-being objectives. I am writing to the Chief Executives of the organisations to ask for a lead contact to help shape this exciting programme of work. These lead contacts will be supported throughout the process by the research team.
We want to work with public bodies in a way that benefits them, makes best use of time and provides them with a way of improving communication of progress in future years.
Some more information on the proposed approach:
Building on the expectations I set out in ‘Well-being in Wales: the journey so far’, we will bring together a group of representatives of public and third sector to create a self-reflection exercise.
Each of the 44 public bodies will then be introduced to the exercise and asked to complete it in a timeframe. We will be taking steps to ensure the experience is not burdensome and for it to be a learning and developmental process.
The findings from the self-reflection will assist the Commissioner in understanding where public bodies are on their journey of change and help us to direct her advice, support and promote practice.
Following the self-reflection exercise, public bodies will be grouped into collaborative communities of practice to share their findings with each other.
The idea is that the self-reflection exercise and collaborative conversation with others will serve as feedback and learning for each public body, as they go about drafting their corporate plans and annual reports in future.
A summary report of the project is available here – Progress towards the Well-being of Future Generations.