We are looking forward to our next Public Finance Live Cymru (Wales) conference which will take place in November 2023 in Cardiff, further details of which will be announced soon.
17 November 2022, Radisson Blu Hotel Cardiff
The CIPFA Public Finance Live Cymru (Wales) Conference was the first since the pandemic and was held against the backdrop of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement. CIPFA President, Jayne Owen and Branch President, Julie Masci, welcomed the delegates and remarked on the huge changes that had impacted on the public services. Jayne Owen also outlined her three presidential objectives of sustainability, social mobility and stronger together.
Vaughan Gething, Minister for the Economy, Welsh Government delivered his keynote address to the conference providing an overview of the current challenges (including those from the Autumn Statement) that public services in Wales would face. He also commented that finance staff are at the centre of the decisions that need to be made. He highlighted the opportunities facing Wales, including that of being a coastal nation and the opportunities that might generate from an environmental perspective, and of course, the huge boost for Welsh citizens that Wales was in the 2022 World Cup.
Adrian Crompton, Auditor General for Wales, focused on the future of public sector audit in Wales, featuring the Natural Fraud Initiative, the urgent need to invest to tackle decarbonisation and the role of Audit Wales in addressing the challenges faced by public services.
On her return from COP 27, Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner, discussed a new model for economic growth under the Well-being of Future Generations Act which asks us to consider growth that works in partnership with the environment, our culture and society.
The workshops were varied and included Zurich Municipal’s Whitepaper Rising to the Challenge: The Future of the Public and Voluntary Sector Sustainability, Tackling Fraud and Corruption, and Transforming Performance and Governance (Technology One).
In the afternoon, Michael Brodie, Chief Executive NHS Business Authority, reflected on dealing with the pandemic response and the importance of the purpose of what he does and the role we play in working with the public sector. CIPFA’s Chief Executive, Rob Whiteman followed with an update on CIPFA’s work and strategy and performance, including closer working with ICAEW. Rob also gave his views on current events, including the budget announcements earlier that day and workforce pressures. In particular, he focused on the current challenges across many sectors in recruitment as well as other observations on current issues affecting the UK public sector.
Andrew Lloyd-Williams, Senior Finance Business Partner, Climate Change and Rural Affairs Group, in the Welsh Government considered the Welsh Government’s approach to the foundational economy. He also discussed the impact that NHS and Social Care has on Wales and the role that finance plays in evidencing decisions on social value.
The day was closed with a lively, open question and answer session with Professor Laura McAllister from the Wales Governance Centre. Laura shared her thoughts on numerous issues including leadership, politics, and the World Cup. A fitting end to an interesting, thought provoking and dynamic conference on the future of public finance in Wales.