We will consider the report in detail and respond in due course. However, we have already implemented a number of improvements to the way grants are managed in Wales and will continue to ensure we build on this work to further improve our performance in this area.
– Welsh Government spokesperson
The committee makes 18 recommendations, including:
The Welsh Government publishes an annual grants report setting out how individual grants are reviewed
Timescales for the introduction of a central grant management IT system are drawn up
The development of a mechanism for increasing monitoring arrangements
People outside the Welsh Government may think of it as a single entity: 'the Welsh Government.' But in managing its grants, the Welsh Government currently appears to operate as a collection of different departments that don't necessarily know what other departments within the organisation are doing, or what they have done in the past.
One of the biggest things that the Welsh Government can do is to itself prioritise the importance of getting on top of its grant management processes.
We recognise and welcome some of the progress detailed to us during the course of our inquiry, but we believe a change in cultural approach to managing grants is necessary to ensure problems similar to those which came to light at AWEMA do not happen again.
In a time of economic hardship, it is vital that Wales gets the best from every pound of public money spent.
– Darren Millar AM, Public Accounts Committee chair
The Welsh Government's handing of the All Wales Ethnic Minority Association (AWEMA) was 'symptomatic of grants management shortcomings,' according to a report from the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee.
The committee concluded that there is often "a lack of communication or co-ordination" between those responsible for Welsh Government grants, which meant that there was not always effective monitoring and safeguards in place.
Bitter words continue to be traded between the Welsh Government and the opposition parties as a result of the fallout of last week's critical report into ministers' supervision of the failed charity AWEMA.
There was strong criticism of the Welsh Government in the chamber this afternoon when opposition parties forced an urgent question but surprisingly the Conservative, Plaid Cymru and Liberal Democrat leaders didn't raise it in First Minister's Questions.
A government source has seized on this, saying:
Opposition parties clearly chickened-out of confronting the First Minister over AWEMA during FMQs this afternoon. The WAO report scuppered their attempt to smear the Government on this issue. They have failed miserably.
Police have confirmed they are investigating the All Wales Ethnic Minority Association after allegations of dishonesty. It comes after a Welsh Government report found significant and fundamental failures by the charity. AWEMA is currently winding down after sacking its Chief Executive.