General Overview of the Act
Part 1 – Introduction
2.Part 1 provides an overview of the main provisions of this Act.
Part 2 – Improving well-being
3.Part 2 sets out the well-being goals which public bodies must seek to achieve.
4.This Part specifies which bodies are ‘public bodies’ for the purposes of Parts 2 and 3 of the Act and requires those public bodies to set and publish well-being objectives designed to maximise their contribution to the achievement of the well-being goals. Public bodies must set and take all reasonable steps to meet their well-being objectives in accordance with the sustainable development principle. The matters to which public bodies must take account of when acting in accordance with the principle are set out in this Part of the Act.
5.Under Part 2, the Welsh Ministers are required to set national indicators that must be used to measure progress towards achieving the well-being goals and must also set milestones in relation to the national indicators. The Welsh Ministers must publish annually, a report (the ‘annual well-being report’) on progress made towards achieving the well-being goals with reference to those indicators and milestones. Following each National Assembly election the Welsh Ministers must publish a ‘future trends report’ which includes an assessment of likely future trends in relation to the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales.
6.Part 2 also requires the Auditor General for Wales to carry out examinations into the extent to which public bodies set well-being objectives and take steps to meet them in accordance with the sustainable development principle. Finally, this Part requires public bodies, including the Welsh Ministers, to report annually on their progress towards achieving their well-being objectives. Schedule 1, which is introduced in this Part, sets out additional requirements in relation to annual reporting by public bodies (excluding the Welsh Ministers).
Part 3 – The Future Generations Commissioner for Wales
7.Part 3 and Schedule 2 establishes the office of Future Generations Commissioner for Wales (the ‘Commissioner’).
8.Under the provisions of this Part, the Commissioner is required to promote the sustainable development principle and monitor and assess the extent to which the well-being objectives set by public bodies under Part 2 of the Act are being met. Part 3 also establishes a panel of advisers to the Commissioner (the ‘advisory panel’) who provide advice to the Commissioner on the exercise of her or his functions.
Part 4 – Public Services Boards
9.Part 4 and Schedule 3 establishes statutory public services boards consisting of the main public services working in a local authority area. Part 4 establishes their aim in relation to improving well-being by contributing to the achievement of the well-being goals.
10.This Part requires public services boards to prepare and publish local well-being plans setting out their local objectives and the steps they propose to take to meet them. Public services boards are also required to undertake an assessment of the state of economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being in their local areas in order to inform the objectives within their local well-being plans.
11.Part 4 sets out who else a public services board may work with and provides for public services boards to merge or otherwise collaborate.
12.Schedule 4, also introduced by this Part, provides for consequential amendments and repeals to support the implementation of the provisions in Part 4 of the Act.
Part 5 – Final provisions
13.Part 5 contains general provisions regarding subordinate legislation, interpretation, commencement and provides for the short title of the Act.