The Welsh Government budget strategy and decision-making process are a fundamental part of driving change across public services in Wales as it frames a significant proportion of decisions by public bodies.
The Commissioner has advised and successfully agreed with the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Mark Drakeford AM a definition for prevention.
Whilst this will take a while to be fully understand across Government, the Commissioner expects to see how it is informing spending decisions we’re pleased to see some analysis in this year’s budget.
The budget is structured in a more integrated way, which helpfully mirrors the structure of the recently published Prosperity for All Annual report and reflects the requirement under the Well-being of Future Generations Act to develop and deliver policy in an integrated way.
The Commissioner will use her powers to scrutinise the draft budget, with a particular consideration on the key points of the budget overall and analyse in more depth a number of themes and well-being objectives:”
- Mental health, in relation to “Promote good health and well-being for everyone”
- Decarbonisation, in relation to “Drive sustainable growth and combat climate change”
- Social care, in relation to “Deliver quality health and care services fit for the future”
The definition of prevention
The definition of prevention we agreed with the Welsh Government.
Prevention is working in partnership to co-produce the best outcomes possible, utilising the strengths and assets people and places have to contribute. Breaking down into four levels, each level can reduce demand for the next:
- Primary prevention (PP) – Building resilience – creating the conditions in which problems do not arise in the future. A universal approach.
- Secondary prevention (SP) – Targeting action towards areas where there is a high risk of a problem occurring. A targeted approach, which cements the principles of progressive universalism*.
- Tertiary prevention (TP) – Intervening once there is a problem, to stop it getting worse and prevent it reoccurring in the future. An intervention approach.
- Acute spending (AS) – Spending, which acts to manage the impact of a strongly negative situation but does little or nothing to prevent problems occurring in the future. A remedial approach.
* progressive universalism is a determination to provide support for all, giving everyone and everything a voice and vested interest, but recognises more
support will be required by those people or areas with greater needs.
Finance Committee November 2017
The evidence that the Commissioner gave to the National Assembly Finance Committee for Wales in November 2017 emphasised the need for a tangible shift to preventative approaches, better integration across policy, and for Government decisions (such as the M4) to be framed in the long-term.
Her evidence to the Finance Committee resulted in three of their nine recommendations relating to the Well-being of Future Generations Act:
Recommendation 7. The Committee re iterates the recommendation it made in relation to the 2017-2018 draft budget that the Government should demonstrate greater alignment between its draft budgets, the well-being goals and the five ways of working. Future draft budgets should also demonstrate how the Government’s allocation of funds will meet the priorities outlined in its national strategy, currently Prosperity for All.
Recommendation 8. The Committee recommends that the strategic integrated impact assessment provided alongside future draft budgets should provide a clear explanation as to how decisions were reached.
Recommendation 9. The Committee recommends that the Cabinet Secretary consider the suggestion that the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales has a role in assessing the impact of Government’s budget in supporting the well-being goals, both in the short- and longer-term.