Speaking at the Wales Audit Office conference ‘Finance for the Future’, Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner said:

“The Well-being of Future Generations Act is incredibly relevant to finance professionals who can become the agents of change for the future. The success of this piece of legislation lies largely in how accountants approach their work which will either enhance or limit the Act’s success.

“It requires all of us to think differently about the way we do public service, the way we think about how we spend public money, the way in which public services work with citizens instead of doing to them, and the way we account for the natural resources upon which everything else depends. This is crucial because we know that our current systems often do not work well, the way we’ve thought about money, and perhaps the very fact that we’ve only thought about money has left us with a mounting debt of challenges.

“There needs to be a shift from the traditional approach to economic development and to move beyond thinking in short-term budget cycles and invest in the long term.

“Public bodies need to use the Well-being of Future Generations Act to help them to make better quality decisions. Specifically, decisions that safeguard the ability of future generations to meet their needs; and that take better account of the long term impact of the things they do.

“Long term thinking will ensure a stronger, securer Wales amongst Brexit and the backdrop of other uncertainties, as the Welsh Government seeks to take all reasonable steps to meet its well-being objectives.

“My role as Wales’ first Future Generations Commissioner is to hold public bodies to account over the extent to which they are not just talking the talk but walking the walk. They must be able to demonstrate just how they are improving the well-being of people in Wales, in its most holistic sense.”