Sir John Bourn, the auditor general for Wales, has used his first report on the principality to praise the support and interest from members of the new Welsh Assembly. Speaking at the presentation of his inaugural report on the Welsh Historic Monuments executive agency committee, Sir John said he was looking forward to working with the assembly's audit committee which will take evidence on the results of his work. 'Ultimately, the aim of my work is to reinforce public confidence in the assembly by helping secure the highest possible standards of public administration in Wales, by ensuring that the resources available to the assembly are used to the best possible effect and that value for money is achieved,' explained Sir John, who is head of the National Audit Office. The report urged the agency - CADW - to take a more strategic view of its role and identify particular priorities to identify buildings worthy of its grants. Additionally, Sir John said the agency's priorities should be outlined in its annual reports and they, along with the grants CADW has available, should be more widely publicised via the Historic Buildings Council. Sir John was appointed by the Queen as auditor general for Wales for a two-year term starting in June this year. His report will be considered by the National Assembly's audit committee on 18 November. CADW is a National Assembly executive agency. It advises on policy matters affecting the built heritage in Wales. It manages around 130 monuments held in the National Assembly's care. Its expenditure for 1998/99 was &£163;14m, of which more than half was spent on protecting the built heritage through listing and scheduling property, dealing with planning consent procedures and making grants towards the costs of preservation, maintenance or repair of buildings and monuments.
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