Sections 20 to 22 – Reviews by the Commissioner, recommendations made and the duty to follow recommendations
89.Section 20 provides for the Commissioner to conduct a review of the extent a public body, though this can relate to more than one public body, is safeguarding the ability of future generations to meet their needs by taking account of the long term impact what that body does. The Commissioner may review the steps taken by a body or which it proposes to take to meet its well-being objectives, the extent those well-being objectives are being met and whether in taking those steps it has acted in accordance with the sustainable development principle.
90.The Commissioner may make recommendations as a result of any review; this means the Commissioner may recommend a course of action that a public body should take in order to address a specific matter. These recommendations may be about the steps a public body has taken to meet its well-being objectives and how to set well-being objectives and take steps to meet them in line with the sustainable development principle. In respect of the Welsh Ministers these recommendations may also be about the well-being goals or the national indicators.
91.The Commissioner must publish any review she or he makes, and a copy of the review and its recommendations must be sent to the Welsh Ministers.
92.The Commissioner may require a public body to provide any information the Commissioner considers she or he needs to conduct the review. The Commissioner may only request the information if the body is not prohibited from disclosing the information by any other enactment or rule of law.
93.The Commissioner must publish any recommendations she or he makes, and a copy of the recommendations must be sent to the Welsh Ministers.
94.Section 22 requires public bodies to follow the course of action set out in any recommendation the Commissioner makes under section 20(4) of the Act. However, the body may disregard all or part of the recommendation should they be satisfied that there is good reason to do so. The body may also decide to follow an alternative course of action in respect of the matter to which the recommendation refers, but where it decides not follow the recommendation it must explain its response and the alternative action it intends to do instead.
95.Section 22(2) provides the Welsh Ministers with a power to prepare and issue guidance to the public bodies about how to respond to a recommendation of the Commissioner. When deciding how to respond to a recommendation, the public body must take any guidance issued by the Welsh Ministers under this power into account.