Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance
The annual Whole of Government Accounts (WGA) training series
is designed to provide practical support and updates to English local
government practitioners involved with the Whole of Government Accounts (WGA) data
In response to positive
feedback from previous years the training programme offered a choice of a full
day ‘beginners’ session for those brand new to the WGA process, or a half-day
update for those wanting to know just the main messages and what had changed
for this year.
The events covered the key facts,
figures and learning points from the most recent published WGA and a summary of
the key changes planned for this year’s data collection tool (DCT), centred on
a walk-through of the DCT by members of the HM Treasury WGA Team. Delegates
were given the opportunity to ask questions of both Treasury and FAN and raise
issues on an interactive basis during the events.
The main areas of change for
2015/16 are in addressing the niggles and bugs reported in last year’s WGA DCT, based on
feedback from the new Local Government WGA User Group and of course the
feedback from last year’s training sessions. More substantial amendments are
expected in 2016/17 following the changes made to the CIPFA Accounting Code
(notably for the highways network asset and the outcomes from the Telling the
Story consultation) as well as changes to the OSCAR system used by the Treasury
to produce WGA.
The half-day update events
included a feedback session, designed to identify how the DCT and the submission
process might be improved to reduce the burden on practitioners and help speed
up the production of WGA.
At the training it was
confirmed that there is a delay to the development of the 2015/16 DCT caused by
the extension to the 2014/15 WGA audit, following the late publication of the
Department for Education’s 2014/15 accounts in April 2016. The expected
timeline is for a macro-free pro-forma version of the DCT to be available around the end
of May, with the full macro version being released in early June. The 2015/16
DCT and related guidance will be available from the GOV.UK website.
The slides and DCT walk-through hand-out from
the series are available below to download. A summary of the FAQs and key
messages from the series will be published in due course.
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