A report, issued today by the Auditor General for Wales, found that the Arts Council has sound systems in place for monitoring and safeguarding the risks associated with awarding cash to various projects.
The report also identifies some areas where the funding programme could be further improved. For example, the Arts Council of Wales will develop its co-operation and coordination with funding partners - such as the Welsh European Funding Office - to make things easier for applicant organisations.
Today's report, The Arts Council of Wales: Supporting Major Capital Projects, tests whether changes in recent years to the way ACW runs its capital programme are both adequate and effective.
Peter Tyndall, Chief Executive of ACW welcomed the report's findings:
"This report recognises the effective processes and strategic approach which were put in place to manage the very successful capital programme managed by the Arts Council of Wales. Not only have we helped to develop major new landmarks in the artistic landscape of Wales, we have also been recognised as having done so in an effective and strategic fashion.
"I would like to pay tribute to the staff and Committee Members who have driven this work forward. Sadly, the reduced Lottery income available to us now means that the programme has had to be closed to new applications but I am confident that we have sound arrangements in place for the future. The Wales Audit Office has identified some further ways in which we can improve our capital programme management and work is already in hand to take these suggestions on board."
The report notes that the ACW has well-established processes in place to assess and monitor its funding and exposure to risk. It applies consistent assessment criteria when selecting projects to sponsor, it monitors projects during construction and requires grant recipients to complete post project evaluation. It manages its spending against a background of fluctuating and uncertain Lottery income and faces a number of other challenges. For example, it co-funds major building refurbishment and upgrade projects with other bodies, such as local authorities, each with their own objectives, priorities and financial constraints.
A number of recommendations for further improvement are included in the report.