Delivering Prudent Healthcare in Wales »Prudent healthcare principles ensure patients receive the most appropriate treatments to achieve mutually-agreed goals.Learn more »
Come and welcome Team Wales home!
The First Minister is urging the public to come and join the celebrations and give Team Wales the hero's welcome they deserve at a special Commonwealth Games homecoming event next week.
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- Come and welcome Team Wales home!
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- Draft Undertaking Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessments guidance
- Draft Designing Gypsy and Traveller Sites in Wales guidance
- Draft Managing Gypsy and Traveller Sites in Wales guidance
- Reservoir Safety in Wales: Consultation on the Commencement of Schedule 4 to the Flood and Water Management Act 2010
- Strategic Environmental Assessment: Environmental Report, Ireland Wales cooperation Programme 2014-2020
- Agricultural Waste Call for Evidence
Featured consultation »Draft guidance on notifiable event for registered social landlords
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Section highlightThe Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) BillThe Bill strengthens existing governance arrangements for improving the well-being of Wales to ensure that present needs are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Legislative programme 2014 - 2015 »
Bills that the Welsh Government will bring forward in 2014/2015.Learn more »
Section highlightWales for Africa grant
The Wales for Africa grant supports projects that build mutually beneficial links between Wales and Sub-Saharan Africa.
1st Supplementary Budget 2014-15 »
The 1st Supplementary Budget proposes a number of changes to the Final Budget for 2014-15, which was published in December 2013.Learn more »
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Written Statement - Welsh Government Response to ‘Working Smarter’ – a report of recommendations to the Welsh Government on better regulation in farming
I welcome the publication today of Gareth Williams’ Working Smarter report which recommends a way forward towards a more simplified and improved way of working for both regulators and farmers in Wales. Gareth is to be commended for tackling this issue head-on and for managing to propose a range of workable solutions to address the most burdensome regulations and processes.
Farming is arguably unique in terms of its level of reliance on public money; largely in the form of CAP support. Regulations, controls and accountability is the inevitable price paid for receipt of public funds, but it should not automatically follow that the regulatory process must be complex to understand, present an obstacle to business development and cause undue stress on the recipient of that support.
Gareth has identified many examples of good practice where regulations have been shaped to accommodate Wales’ specific circumstances and where customer communication and engagement has been very supportive which aids compliance with the rules. The Farm Liaison Service, Farming Connect and Divisional Office Front Office support services are highlighted as exemplary in this respect and we now need to build on this successful approach.
Unfortunately, there are also many shortcomings in the regulatory process that is implemented by Government and its agencies including poor customer communications, repeated inspections, replicate recording and barriers to livestock trading and to farm diversification. It is these issues that we are now going to address and I want to do this working in true partnership with the farming industry.
I want to develop a shared and much improved understanding of essential regulations and target inspections and controls where they are most needed. Farmers who are acting responsibly and fully within the regulations will, where regulation permits, be rewarded with fewer checks and controls.
Gareth has identified a need for closer working between Government, farmers, the farming unions and agencies. I welcome his recommendation to use advisory groups who will focus on key issues and report their findings and recommendations directly to me.
Working Smarter details 74 recommendations which I intend to take forward. The first 20 have a challenging delivery deadline of the summer recess but I am confident that through partnership working we will make significant progress and begin to replace complexity with simplicity, confusion with clarity and regulatory enforcement with shared responsibility and action.
I will now ensure that there is a clear and transparent process to implement the findings of this report. I will lead a debate on the report in the National Assembly on Tuesday 7th February and will host a meeting for stakeholders and partners 2 days later on Thursday 9th February. I am also very pleased that Gareth Williams has agreed to review the Welsh Government’s implementation of his report. I hope that these measures will reassure Members of my commitment to taking this process forward, to being thorough and ensuring that accountability is built into this programme.