In this section
Section highlightThe People’s NHS Part of an initiative to engage the public in creating a safe and sustainable health service for the future.
Spreading the word »Action on the ground to increase learning materials in the medium of Welsh.Learn more »
First science star for Wales announced
A world-leading neurobiologist will take up a post at Cardiff University as the first appointment under the Welsh Government’s £50M flagship science initiative.
- Minister launches All Wales Continence Bundle
- People turning to emergency help due to welfare changes Minister warns London
- First science star for Wales announced
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- Business and economy
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- Culture and sport
- Education and skills
- Environment and countryside
- Equality and diversity
- Health and social care
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- Improving public services
Welsh languageWelsh-language technology and digital media action plan
The action plan sets out our commitment to drive developments in the field of Welsh-language technology and digital media.Learn more »
In this section
Section highlightAccess to information
The Welsh Government has followed the principles of openness in government for many years. Find out how you can make a freedom of information request or see requests that have already been made.
The Strategy for Older People in Wales 2013-2023 »The 3rd phase focuses on ensuring that older people in Wales have the resources to deal with the challenges and opportunities they face.Learn more »
- Consultation on Draft Technical Advice Note (TAN) 23 Economic Development
- Amendments to the Motor Vehicle (Competitions and Trials) Regulations 1969 and the Motor Vehicles (Off Road Events) Regulations 1995
- Local government (Wales) Measure 2011 - Part 7: Communities and community councils
- Draft industrial and commercial sector plan
- Waste Prevention Programme
- Building Control system and Approved Document supporting regulation 7
Featured consultation »Improving access to substance misuse treatment for veterans
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In this section
Section highlightIndex of Planning Policy Guidance for Wales
Our land use planning policy guidance is set out in two core documents, "Planning Policy Wales" and "Minerals Planning Policy Wales".
Legislative programme 2012 - 2013 »
Addressing the Assembly in the Senedd today, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, detailed the eight bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the second year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightCommunity Infrastructure Levy
Local authorities can charge a Community Infrastructure Levy on new developments to support the infrastructure needed.
Infrastructure Investment Case Studies »
Examples of infrastructure investment projects funded by the Welsh Government across Wales.Learn more »
Oral Statement - Efficiency and Innovation Programme
Further to my oral statement of 29 June, I want to update Assembly Members on progress with the Wales efficiency and innovation programme. The programme, which I lead, involves and supports those who provide our public services to deal with the most challenging financial climate that we have experienced in many years. Its clear remit is to focus on securing better social outcomes for the citizens of Wales.
This is being driven by a comprehensive 'adopt or justify’ approach where efficiency gains can be made by the increased take-up and transfer of proven best practice. This will make a significant contribution to the running of public services at this challenging time, assisting all organisations to improve services, reduce costs and secure better value for money.
The efficiency and innovation board met last week and received draft charters from each of the seven work streams. We were updated on the progress being made on a number of initiatives that will yield significant efficiency gains over the short, medium and longer terms.
Under the collaborative procurement and commissioning workstream, a comprehensive review will identify how we can save at least £200million. Collaborative deals have already realised £8million this year. Our savings plan will include the efficiencies available from implementing electronic procurement under the xchangewales programme and all local authorities have been targeted with developing a business case for e-trading by mid autumn.
Improving how we carry out public procurement has a major impact for business. We estimate that the private sector spends over £20million per year submitting pre-qualification documents for Welsh contracts. We are piloting a simplified questionnaire using the supplier qualification information database, which will substantially reduce the cost to business and improve the quality of public tendering. This approach is being successfully adapted for construction, which is the largest spend area. Welsh indigenous businesses have now won 12 of the 20 major capital contracts awarded in the last eight months, with additional community benefits secured.
The board also endorsed the development of a business case for a collaborative career transition programme under the workforce development workstream, which will support interchange and career development opportunities. Partners include Jobcentre Plus and the Careers Service, as well as engagement by the Wales Trades Union Congress and the Equality and Human Rights Commission.The prospects for greater utilisation of shared services are now being taken forward by the transforming the business workstream.
The national asset management workstream has ensured that, to date, 95 per cent of the NHS estate and 75 per cent of the police forces estate have been captured on the electronic property information management system. Nine pilot projects have been selected, representing a range of collaborative property initiatives across Wales, and a review of the crucial protocols that govern land transfers will commence this week.
The information and communications technology workstream is considering a number of priority projects. That includes data centre rationalisation, where, importantly, a moratorium on the establishment of any further data centres has been agreed, pending further analysis. Other projects are an accelerated roll-out of public sector broadband aggregation, establishment of a public sector ICT design and architecture board and the implementation of the public services ICT strategy.
We are developing a unique response in the UK to the challenging financial climate. Others are observing and learning from this approach and in my recent meeting with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and the other UK finance Ministers, I was able to outline the ambitions and activities of the programme and compare them favourably with progress elsewhere.
The public service workforce is of paramount importance to the programme and this is fully recognised by Cabinet and we are committed to real engagement with our workforce and citizens. The First Minister chairs the Assembly Government workforce partnership council, which has a crucial relationship with the efficiency and innovation programme. Membership comprises the trade unions and our public services, maintaining a strong dialogue with our social partners and supporting Ministers to keep abreast of best practice.
In the same vein, in my last statement, I announced that both the First Minister and I would be meeting staff and users to hear their ideas about redesigning front-line services and to set out the timetable for our response to the spending review. My colleague the Minister for Social Justice and Local Government, Carl Sargeant, has also been meeting with local government front-line services in his successful, 'Your Service, Your Say’ tour, about which we will hear more in his statement this afternoon.
As a Cabinet, we are making our commitment to front-line services clear by engaging regularly and with purpose with those who deliver them day by day, year by year. On my 'Community Counts’ tour, I have met a wide range of front-line staff from a number of organisations. It forms an important part of my pre-budget consultation and engagement with the people who work in and use our public services, hearing their views on opportunities to secure efficiencies and innovations in the delivery of services and on priorities for the challenging budget that lies ahead. I have been impressed by the immense commitment of front-line workers to the communities and individuals they serve—that has been the outstanding feature of the tour so far. Their deep understanding of the challenges that we are dealing with and their ideas for the solutions will be taken on board. They have highlighted on behalf of the people whom they serve their concerns about the impact of the forthcoming UK Government spending review, its impact on our budget, and the importance of protecting preventative services in times of financial constraint. This is also expressed by people who use our services. For example, mental health service users greatly valued the routes to recovery engagement in the Assisting Recovery in the Community centre in Bridgend and in Treharris College through third sector organisations such as Mentro Allan.
I have seen some excellent examples of collaboration, innovation and efficiency. For example, in Llandeilo, I heard about a 10 per cent reduction in operating costs, driven by Carmarthenshire County Council through collaboration with other local authorities at the customer service centre and care line. We must support projects such as those and our £60 million invest-to-save fund is a key tool that we will continue to utilise to trigger efficiency and innovation.
The Minister for Health and Social Services and I are delighted to announce £9 million in funding for the Gwent frailty programme, which is one of the iconic projects featured at the second public services summit. The project is a partnership comprising the Aneurin Bevan Local Health Board, five local authorities, key voluntary sector partners and four Government departments. It is designed to deliver a one-stop shop for assessment and reablement to deliver dignified outcomes for some of the most vulnerable in society. It will also deliver significant efficiencies. It is another great example of what we can achieve with focused, invest-to-save, use of our resources. It is this type of outcome—real improvement and efficiency, delivered through genuine innovation and focused on the citizen—that I have seen on my tour, and I hope to see more of it in the next invest-to-save round.
Finally, I want to mention the other major element of the efficiency and innovation programme, the public services summits. The second summit took place at the start of July, with more than 120 public service leaders attending. It featured integrated working across health and social care as its principal theme and other innovative, cross-agency initiatives. A third public services summit will take place on 25 November, and will highlight the education front-line review of resources and underline the important role of the local service boards in delivering efficiency locally. I will be publishing the full details of the efficiency and innovation programme in November as part of the draft budget consultation.