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Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, the Celtic Sea to the south west and the ...
, address = , leader_title =
First Minister A first minister is any of a variety of leaders of government Cabinet (government), cabinets. The term literally has the same meaning as "prime minister" but is typically chosen to distinguish the office-holder from a superior prime minister. Cur ...
() , appointed = First Minister approved by the
Senedd The Senedd (; ), officially known as the Welsh Parliament in English language, English and () in Welsh language, Welsh, is the Devolution in the United Kingdom, devolved, unicameral legislature of Wales. A democratically elected body, it makes ...
, ceremonially appointed by the
Monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2001. p. 707. Life tenure, for life or until abdication, and therefore the head of state of a monarchy. A monarch may exercise the highest authority ...
(
Charles III Charles III (Charles Philip Arthur George; born 14 November 1948) is King of the United Kingdom and the 14 other Commonwealth realms. He was the longest-serving heir apparent and Prince of Wales and, at age 73, became the oldest person to a ...
) , main_organ = Cabinet , budget = £18.4 billion (2019/20) , responsible =
Senedd The Senedd (; ), officially known as the Welsh Parliament in English language, English and () in Welsh language, Welsh, is the Devolution in the United Kingdom, devolved, unicameral legislature of Wales. A democratically elected body, it makes ...
, url = The Welsh Government ( cy, Llywodraeth Cymru) is the devolved government of
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, the Celtic Sea to the south west and the ...
. The government consists of ministers and deputy ministers, and also of a counsel general. Ministers only attend the Cabinet Meetings of the Welsh Government. It is led by the
first minister A first minister is any of a variety of leaders of government Cabinet (government), cabinets. The term literally has the same meaning as "prime minister" but is typically chosen to distinguish the office-holder from a superior prime minister. Cur ...
, usually the leader of the largest party in the
Senedd The Senedd (; ), officially known as the Welsh Parliament in English language, English and () in Welsh language, Welsh, is the Devolution in the United Kingdom, devolved, unicameral legislature of Wales. A democratically elected body, it makes ...
(Welsh Parliament; ), who selects ministers and deputy ministers with the approval of the Senedd. The government is responsible for tabling policy in devolved areas (such as health, education, economic development, transport and local government) for consideration by the Senedd and implementing policy that has been approved by it. The current Welsh Government is a Labour minority administration, following the
2021 Senedd election The 2021 Senedd election took place on Thursday 6 May 2021 to elect 60 members to the Senedd (Welsh Parliament; ). It was the sixth Devolution in the United Kingdom, devolved general election since the Senedd (formerly the National Assembly for ...
.
Mark Drakeford Mark Drakeford (born 19 September 1954) is a Welsh politician serving as First Minister of Wales and Welsh Labour, Leader of Welsh Labour since 2018. He previously served in the Welsh Government as Minister for Finance (Wales), Cabinet Secretar ...
has been the first minister of Wales since December 2018.


History


The Welsh Office

Prior to
devolution Devolution is the statutory delegation of powers from the central government of a sovereign state A sovereign state or sovereign country, is a polity, political entity represented by one central government that has supreme legitimat ...
in 1999 many executive functions for Wales were carried out by the
Secretary of State for Wales The secretary of state for Wales ( cy, ysgrifennydd gwladol Cymru), also referred to as the Welsh secretary, is a Secretary of State (United Kingdom), secretary of state in the Government of the United Kingdom, with responsibility for the Offi ...
and the
Welsh Office The Welsh Office ( cy, Swyddfa Gymreig) was a department in the Government of the United Kingdom with responsibilities for Wales. It was established in April 1965 to execute government policy in Wales, and was headed by the Secretary of State f ...
. The Welsh Office was a department in the
Government of the United Kingdom ga, Rialtas a Shoilse gd, Riaghaltas a Mhòrachd , image = HM Government logo.svg , image_size = 220px , image2 = Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg , image_size2 = 180px , caption = Royal coat of arms of t ...
with responsibilities for Wales. It was established in April 1965 to execute government policy in Wales, and was headed by the Secretary of State for Wales, a post which had been created in October 1964. The post however had no Welsh electoral mandate, and over the ensuing years there were complaints of a "democratic deficit". For eleven years prior to 1997 Wales had been represented in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom by a Secretary of State who did not represent a Welsh constituency at Westminster. These factors led to growing calls for political devolution. The Welsh Office was disbanded on 1 July 1999 when most of its powers were transferred to the National Assembly for Wales.


Executive Committee of the National Assembly for Wales 1999 to 2007

The National Assembly was created by the
Government of Wales Act 1998 The Government of Wales Act 1998 (c. 38) is an Act of Parliament, Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It was passed in 1998 by the Labour Party (UK), Labour government to create a Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament, Welsh Assembly, t ...
, which followed a referendum in 1997. As initially established, the Welsh Government had no independent executive powers in law (unlike, for instance, the Scottish ministers and British government ministers). The National Assembly was established as a '' body corporate'' by the
Government of Wales Act 1998 The Government of Wales Act 1998 (c. 38) is an Act of Parliament, Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It was passed in 1998 by the Labour Party (UK), Labour government to create a Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament, Welsh Assembly, t ...
and the executive, as a
committee A committee or commission is a body of one or more persons subordinate to a deliberative assembly. A committee is not itself considered to be a form of assembly. Usually, the assembly sends matters into a committee as a way to explore them more ...
of the assembly, only had those powers that the assembly as a whole voted to delegate to ministers. The
Government of Wales Act 2006 The Government of Wales Act 2006 (c 32) is an Act of Parliament, Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that reformed the then-National Assembly for Wales (now the Senedd) and allows further powers to be granted to it more easily. The Act ...
formally separated the National Assembly for Wales and the Welsh Government, giving Welsh ministers independent executive authority, this taking effect after the May 2007 elections. Following separation, the Welsh ministers exercise functions in their own right. Further transfers of executive functions from the
British government ga, Rialtas a Shoilse gd, Riaghaltas a Mhòrachd , image = HM Government logo.svg , image_size = 220px , image2 = Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg , image_size2 = 180px , caption = Royal coat of arms of t ...
can be made directly to the Welsh ministers (with their consent) by an
Order in Council An Order-in-Council is a type of legislation in many countries, especially the Commonwealth realms. In the United Kingdom this legislation is formally made in the name of Monarchy of the United Kingdom, the monarch by and with the Advice (constit ...
approved by the
British parliament The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It meets at the Palace of We ...
. Separation was designed to clarify the respective roles of the assembly and the government. Under the structures established by the
Government of Wales Act 2006 The Government of Wales Act 2006 (c 32) is an Act of Parliament, Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that reformed the then-National Assembly for Wales (now the Senedd) and allows further powers to be granted to it more easily. The Act ...
, the role of Welsh ministers is to make decisions; develop and implement policy; exercise executive functions and make statutory instruments. The remainder of the 60 assembly members in the National Assembly scrutinise the government's decisions and policies; hold ministers to account; approve budgets for the Welsh Government's programmes; and enact acts of assembly on subjects that have been devolved to the Welsh administration. The result mirrored much more closely the relationship between the British government and British parliament and that between the Scottish Government and the
Scottish Parliament The Scottish Parliament ( gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba ; sco, Scots Pairlament) is the devolution in the United Kingdom, devolved, unicameralism, unicameral legislature of Scotland. Located in the Holyrood, Edinburgh, Holyrood area of the capital ...
.


After the 2007 election of the National Assembly for Wales


Legal separation

The new arrangements provided for in the
Government of Wales Act 2006 The Government of Wales Act 2006 (c 32) is an Act of Parliament, Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that reformed the then-National Assembly for Wales (now the Senedd) and allows further powers to be granted to it more easily. The Act ...
created a formal legal separation between the National Assembly for Wales, comprising 60 assembly members, and the Welsh Assembly Government, comprising the first minister, Welsh ministers, deputy ministers and the counsel general. This separation between the two bodies took effect on the appointment of the first minister by
Queen Elizabeth II Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; 21 April 1926 – 8 September 2022) was Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms from 6 February 1952 until Death and state funeral of Elizabeth II, her death in 2022. She was queen ...
following the assembly election on 3 May 2007. Separation was meant to clarify the respective roles of the assembly and the government. The role of the government is to make decisions; develop and implement policy; exercise executive functions and make statutory instruments. The 60 assembly members in the National Assembly scrutinise the Welsh Government's decisions and policies; hold ministers to account; approve budgets for the Welsh Government's programmes; and have the power to enact assembly measures on certain matters. Assembly measures can now go further than the subordinate legislation which the assembly had the power to make prior to 2007.


Transfer of functions

The assembly's functions, including that of making subordinate legislation, in the main, transferred to the Welsh ministers upon separation. A third body was also established under the 2006 Act from May 2007, called the National Assembly for Wales Commission. It employs the staff supporting the new National Assembly for Wales, and holds property, enters into contracts and provides support services on its behalf.


Welsh ministers

The 2006 Act made new provision for the appointment of Welsh ministers. The
first minister A first minister is any of a variety of leaders of government Cabinet (government), cabinets. The term literally has the same meaning as "prime minister" but is typically chosen to distinguish the office-holder from a superior prime minister. Cur ...
is nominated by the Senedd and then appointed by His Majesty the King. The first minister then appoints the Welsh ministers and the deputy Welsh ministers with the approval of the monarch. The Act created a new post of Counsel General for Wales, the principal source of legal advice to the Welsh Government. The counsel general is appointed by the monarch, on the nomination of the first minister, whose recommendation must be agreed by the Senedd and who cannot be dismissed without the Senedd's consent, but automatically leaves office when a new first minister is nominated. The counsel general may be, but does not have to be, a member of the Senedd. The Act permits a maximum of 12 Welsh ministers, which includes deputy Welsh ministers, but excludes the first minister and the counsel general. Accordingly, the maximum size of the Welsh Government is 14. In Acts of the Senedd and of the UK Parliament, the expression "the Welsh Ministers" is used to refer to the Welsh government in similar contexts to those where "the Secretary of State" would be used to refer to the British government; it is defined to include only the first minister and ministers, not the deputy ministers or the counsel general.


2011 referendum on law-making powers


Functions and areas of competence

Following the "yes" vote in the referendum on further law-making powers for the assembly on 3 March 2011, the Welsh Government is now entitled to propose bills to the National Assembly for Wales on subjects within 20 fields of policy. Subject to limitations prescribed by the Government of Wales Act 2006, Acts of the National Assembly may make any provision that could be made by Act of Parliament. The 20 areas of responsibility devolved to the National Assembly for Wales (and within which Welsh ministers exercise executive functions) are: *Agriculture, fisheries, forestry and rural development *Ancient monuments and historical buildings *Culture *Economic development *Education and training *Environment *Fire and rescue services and promotion of fire safety *Food *Health and social services *Highways and transport *Housing *Local government *National Assembly for Wales *Public administration *Social welfare *Sport and recreation *Tourism *Town and country planning *Water and flood defences *Welsh language


Renaming

The Welsh Assembly Government was renamed Welsh Government (') in practice in 2011, and in law by the Wales Act 2014.


Cabinet members and deputy ministers

The government is composed of ministers and deputy ministers. The counsel general is also a member of the Cabinet. The current government is a minority by
Welsh Labour Welsh Labour ( cy, Llafur Cymru) is the branch of the United Kingdom Labour Party (UK), Labour Party in Wales and the largest party in modern Politics of Wales, Welsh politics. Welsh Labour and its forebears won a plurality of the Welsh vote at ...
.


Deputy ministers


Civil service

The Welsh Government also includes a civil service that supports the Welsh ministers. As of March 2018, there are 5,015 full-time equivalent civil servants working across Wales. The civil service is a matter
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to the
British Parliament The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It meets at the Palace of We ...
at
Westminster Westminster is an area of Central London, part of the wider City of Westminster. The area, which extends from the River Thames to Oxford Street, has many Tourism in London, visitor attractions and historic landmarks, including the Palace of W ...
: Welsh Government civil servants work within the rules and customs of His Majesty's Civil Service, but serve the devolved administration rather than the
British Government ga, Rialtas a Shoilse gd, Riaghaltas a Mhòrachd , image = HM Government logo.svg , image_size = 220px , image2 = Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg , image_size2 = 180px , caption = Royal coat of arms of t ...
.


Permanent secretary

The
Permanent Secretary A permanent secretary (also known as a principal secretary) is the most senior Civil Service (United Kingdom), civil servant of a department or Ministry (government department), ministry charged with running the department or ministry's day-to-day ...
heads the civil service of the Welsh Government and chairs the Strategic Delivery and Performance Board. The Permanent Secretary is a member of His Majesty's Civil Service, and therefore takes part in the Permanent Secretaries Management Group of the Civil Service and is answerable to the most senior civil servant in Britain, the Cabinet Secretary, for his or her professional conduct. He or she remains, however, at the direction of the Welsh ministers. * Sir Jon Shortridge (May 1999 to April 2008) * Dame Gillian Morgan (May 2008 to August 2012) * Sir Derek Jones (October 2012 to February 2017) * Dame Shan Elizabeth Morgan (February 2017 to 31 October 2021) * Andrew Goodall (November 2021 to date)


Departments

* Office of the First Minister **Cabinet Division **Cabinet Office **Co-operation Agreement Unit *Permanent Secretary's Office **Propriety and Ethics Directorate *Chief Operating Officer's Group **Finance Directorate **Care Inspectorate Wales **Communications Division **Health Inspectorate Wales **Planning & Environment Decisions Wales **Commercial and Procurement Directorate **HR Directorate **Digital, Data & Technology Directorate *Covid Recovery & Local Government Group **Risk, Resilience and Community Safety Directorate **Local Government Directorate ***North Wales Division *Climate Change & Rural Affairs Group **Sustainable Transport & Digital Infrastructure Directorate **Climate Change, Energy & Planning Directorate **Housing & Regeneration Directorate **Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer **Environment & Rural Affairs Direcrorate **Finance and Operations Directorate *Economy, Treasury & Constitution Group **Welsh Treasury **International Relations & Trade Directorate **Regional Investment & Borders Directorate **Constitution & Justice Directorate **Legal Services Directorate **
Office of the Legislative Counsel The Office of the Legislative Counsel of the United States House of Representatives is a nonpartisan government organization which assists the House with the drafting and formatting of laws. The Office was first created as the Legislative Drafting ...
**Welsh Government Office for Science **Business & Regions Directorate **Culture, Sport & Tourism Directorate **Finance and Operations Directorate *Education, Social Justice & Welsh Language Group **Social Partnership, Employability and Fair Work Directorate **Education & Welsh Language Directorate **Communities & Tackling Poverty Directorate **Operations Directorate **Ukraine Response Directorate *Health & Social Services Group **Office of the Chief Executive of NHS Wales **Office of the Chief Medical Officer for Wales **COVID-19 Vaccination Directorate **Health and Wellbeing Directorate **Health Protection Directorate **Quality & Nursing Directorate **Social Services & Integration Directorate **NHS Performance & Planning Directorate **NHS Finance Directorate **Community & Primary Care, Mental Health & Vulnerable Groups Directorate **Digital, Technology & Innovation Directorate **Workforce & Corporate Services Directorate **CAFCASS Cymru


The Board

The Welsh Government Board translates the strategic direction set by the Welsh cabinet and its committees into work that is joined up across Welsh Government departments and makes the best use of its resources. The board is made up of six directors general, six directors and four non-executive directors, and is chaired by the permanent secretary. Board members are appointed at the discretion of and by the permanent secretary. Membership is not wholly dependent on functional responsibilities; it is designed to provide balanced advice and support to the permanent secretary, and collective leadership to the organisation as a whole.


Welsh Government sponsored bodies

The Welsh Government is responsible for a number of Welsh Government sponsored bodies (WGSBs). These are, respectively, *executive WGSBs, which are non-departmental public bodies such as the Arts Council of Wales; *advisory WGSBs, which are non-departmental public bodies; and *tribunals such as the Mental Health Review Tribunal for Wales. WGSBs are staffed by public servants rather than civil servants. The Welsh Government is also responsible for some public bodies that are not classed as WGSBs, such as
NHS Wales NHS Wales ( cy, GIG (Gwasanaeth Iechyd Gwladol) Cymru) is the Publicly-funded health care, publicly-funded healthcare system in Wales, and one of the four systems which make up the National Health Service in the United Kingdom. NHS Wales was f ...
, and the Welsh Offices of England and Wales legal offices.


Estate

The Welsh Government has a total of 18 core and operational offices across Wales. It also has an office based in Westminster. Additionally, it has 7 specialist properties across Wales, which include stores, traffic management centres and the pavilion at the Royal Welsh Showground. The Government also has 21 offices located in 11 countries outside the United Kingdom: Belgium; Canada; China; France; Germany; Ireland; India; Japan; Qatar; United Arab Emirates, and the United States of America. Historically, most
Welsh Office The Welsh Office ( cy, Swyddfa Gymreig) was a department in the Government of the United Kingdom with responsibilities for Wales. It was established in April 1965 to execute government policy in Wales, and was headed by the Secretary of State f ...
staff were based in Cardiff, especially in Cathays Park. However, in 2002, the Fullerton Review concluded that "the Assembly could no longer sustain having the majority of its operational functions located in and around Cardiff". Since 2004, Welsh Government civil servants have been relocated across Wales as part of the Location Strategy, which involved the creation of new offices at
Merthyr Tydfil Merthyr Tydfil (; cy, Merthyr Tudful ) is the main town in Merthyr Tydfil County Borough, Wales, administered by Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council. It is about north of Cardiff. Often called just Merthyr, it is said to be named after Tydf ...
,
Aberystwyth Aberystwyth () is a university and seaside town as well as a community in Ceredigion, Wales. Located in the historic county of Cardiganshire, means "the mouth of the Ystwyth". Aberystwyth University has been a major educational locatio ...
and
Llandudno Junction Llandudno Junction ( cy, Cyffordd Llandudno), once known as Tremarl, is a village in the Conwy (county borough), county borough of Conwy, Wales. It is part of the ancient parish of Llangystennin, and it is located south of Llandudno. It adjoins ...
. In 2006, the mergers of ELWa, the Wales Tourist Board and the
Welsh Development Agency Welsh Development Agency (WDA; cy, Awdurdod Datblygu Cymru) was an executive agency (or QUANGO) and later designated an Assembly Sponsored Public Body (ASPB). Established in 1976, it was tasked with rescuing the ailing Welsh economy by encoura ...
into the Welsh Government brought these agencies' offices into the Welsh Government estate. The office of the
First Minister A first minister is any of a variety of leaders of government Cabinet (government), cabinets. The term literally has the same meaning as "prime minister" but is typically chosen to distinguish the office-holder from a superior prime minister. Cur ...
is in Tŷ Hywel in
Cardiff Bay Cardiff Bay ( cy, Bae Caerdydd; historically Tiger Bay; colloquially "The Bay") is an area and freshwater lake in Cardiff, Wales. The site of a former tidal bay and estuary, it serves as the river mouth of the River Taff and River Ely, Ely. The ...
; an office is also kept at the Welsh Government building in Cathays Park where the majority of Cardiff-based Welsh Government civil servants are located. Cardiff 13741 Crown Buildings 01.JPG, Cathays Park 1, Cathays Park, Cardiff – the original home of the
Welsh Office The Welsh Office ( cy, Swyddfa Gymreig) was a department in the Government of the United Kingdom with responsibilities for Wales. It was established in April 1965 to execute government policy in Wales, and was headed by the Secretary of State f ...
Crown Building-CP2, Cardiff.jpg, Cathays Park 2, Cathays Park is the home to many of the Welsh Government's civil servants National Assembly for Wales.jpg, Tŷ Hywel, the office of the First Minister of Wales Welsh Assembly Government (N. Wales).jpg, Llandudno Junction offices Aberystwyth Welsh Government-geograph-3765160-by-Ian-Capper.jpg, Aberystwyth offices


Budget

Wales receives a budget allocation from the UK GovernmentWelsh Government , Budgets
Wales.gov.uk (8 July 2013). Retrieved on 24 August 2013.
determined by the Barnett Formula, which makes up roughly 80% of the Welsh budget. The remaining 20% comes from devolved taxes such as non-domestic rates, land transaction tax, landfill disposal tax and the Welsh rates of income tax. These taxes are collected and managed by the
Welsh Revenue Authority The Welsh Revenue Authority ( cy, Awdurdod Cyllid Cymru) is a non-ministerial department Non-ministerial government departments (NMGDs) are a type of Departments of the Government of the United Kingdom, department of the Government of the Unit ...
, except for income tax which is collected by His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs on behalf of the Welsh Government. The Welsh Government sets out its spending and financing plans for the forthcoming financial year in the autumn. The
Senedd The Senedd (; ), officially known as the Welsh Parliament in English language, English and () in Welsh language, Welsh, is the Devolution in the United Kingdom, devolved, unicameral legislature of Wales. A democratically elected body, it makes ...
scrutinises the budget and associated taxation and spending plans.


List of successive Welsh Government ministries


See also

* List of political parties in Wales * List of Wales-related topics * Government spending in the United Kingdom * Welsh Youth Parliament *
Welsh devolution Welsh devolution (Welsh language, Welsh: ''Datganoli i Gymru'') is the transfer of legislative power for Devolution, self-governance to Wales by the Government of the United Kingdom. Wales was conquered by England during the 13th century; the 128 ...


References


External links

*
Welsh Government Ministers

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