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Section highlightThe People’s NHS Part of an initiative to engage the public in creating a safe and sustainable health service for the future.
Community Support Officers at work »Action on the ground to provide reassurance and tackle anti-social behaviour.Learn more »
First Minister’s call for action on the Welsh language
People from across Wales with an interest in the Welsh language are being asked to take action on its future in a national online conversation.
- Local Government Democracy Bill approved
- Minister welcomes report which could change shape and structure of education delivery in Wales for the better
- First Minister’s call for action on the Welsh language
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- Business and economy
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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 »
- A new vision for a National Youth Work Strategy
- The future delivery of education services in Wales
- Consultation on Draft Technical Advice Note (TAN) 23 Economic Development
- Draft industrial and commercial sector plan
- Waste Prevention Programme
- Building Control system and Approved Document supporting regulation 7
In this section
Section highlightReview of the Planning Enforcement System
The research covers 18 recommendations for the future Welsh enforcement system.
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.
WIIP Pipeline »
The June 2013 pipeline includes key infrastructure investment data for both the Welsh Government and Local Government schemes.Learn more »
Writtten - Review of Tribunals Operating in Wales
A copy of the Welsh Committee of the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council’s recently published special report ‘Review of Tribunals Operating in Wales’ has been laid before the National Assembly for Wales. The report examines the arrangements for devolved tribunals in Wales and a copy is provided for members with this Statement.
The statutory Welsh Committee of the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council (established in June 2008 and chaired by Sir Adrian Webb) is responsible for keeping under review the administrative system, tribunals and inquiries in Wales. That role includes reporting on:
- The constitution and working of listed tribunals operating in Wales.
- Any other matter relating to listed tribunals operating in Wales that the Committee determines to be of special importance.
- Any particular matter relating to tribunals in Wales that is referred to the Committee by the Welsh Ministers or the Lord Chancellor.
Against a background of concerns within, and outside, the Welsh Committee about the arrangements for devolved tribunals operating in Wales, the Committee initiated a review of those tribunals in November 2008. The informed concerns are in regard to:
- The complexity and fragmentation of tribunals in Wales with significant differences in the way the various devolved tribunals operate and are administered.
- Instances of reform relating to devolved tribunals being considered in an ad hoc way.
- An apparent lack of independence of Welsh tribunals - often the responsibility for tribunals rests with those who make the decisions which are being considered by the tribunals
The ’Review of Tribunals Operating in Wales’ raises matters of serious concern but also opportunities for improvements in the cost-effectiveness of tribunals and of the administration of public services to which they relate. It also :
- Highlights the urgent need for strong and informed leadership in a specialist but crucial area of the devolution agenda that bears directly on the rights of citizens and the quality of citizen-centred public services delivery”.
- Looks at the “patchwork of tribunals that evolved in an ad hoc way prior to devolution”.
- Highlights the need for independence of tribunals from the Policy Departments whose decisions they review.
- Compares the arrangements in Wales with the recently established tribunal system across the UK (which operates in Wales for non-devolved tribunals).
The report contains 21 ’core’ and ’other’ recommendations. Acceptance of all of these would imply a programme of work over 2-3 years.
’Core’ recommendations cover rationalization of jurisdictions (i.e. combining some of the tribunal jurisdictions to achieve efficiencies and other benefits), Tribunal Judiciary (i.e. collaborating on issues of common concern), the National Assembly (i.e. the National Assembly for Wales scrutinizing and monitoring the Welsh Assembly Government’s implementation of the recommendations-including holding a debate in plenary). ’Other’ recommendations outline areas for further work and reform i.e. under specific headings such as Accessibility, Procedures, Advice and Representation.
The Committee’s primary conclusion is that there should be a single focal point for administrative justice within the Welsh Assembly Government covering matters of general policy, practice guidelines and overall administration of tribunals and that such a focal point should be within the Department of the First Minister and Cabinet (to secure the necessary independence for tribunals from the portfolio areas whose decisions they might be called upon to review).
I have taken the first step to address this by appointing an official to scope the internal actions needed for substantive consideration of the recommendations.
Several recommendations anticipate/support work already underway within the Assembly Government to improve the administration of devolved tribunals e.g. the imminent rationalization of the Valuation Tribunals and the proposal for a single Education Tribunal. Other recommendations will require more detailed consideration, not least of their financial implications.
I will be giving detailed consideration to the 21 core and other recommendations, with a view to bringing the Government’s formal response to the recommendations before the National Assembly for Wales in a debate during the Autumn 2010 session.