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Government of Wales Act 2006

  • Explanatory Notes Table of contents

Please note:

All reference to 'Parts' and 'sections' are from the Government of Wales Act 2006. For other versions of these Explanatory Notes, see More Resources.

  1. Introduction

  2. Background

    1. The Government of Wales Act 1998

    2. The Act in Operation

    3. Formal separation between the executive and legislative arms of the Assembly

    4. Enhanced legislative powers for the Assembly

    5. Reforming the Assembly’s electoral arrangements

    6. The Act

  3. Territorial Extent and Application

  4. Commentary on Sections and Schedules

    1. General Overview of the Act

      1. Part 1: National Assembly for Wales

        1. Overview of Part 1

    2. Detailed Comments on Part 1

      1. The Assembly

        1. Section 1: The Assembly

        2. Section 2: Assembly constituencies and electoral regions

    3. General Elections

      1. Section 3: Ordinary general elections

      2. Section 4: Power to vary date of ordinary general election

      3. Section 5: Extraordinary general elections

      4. Section 6: Voting at general elections

      5. Section 7: Candidates at general elections

      6. Sections 8 and 9: Calculation of Electoral Region Figures and Allocation of seats to electoral region members

    4. Vacancies

      1. Section 10: Constituency Vacancies

      2. Section 11: Electoral Region Vacancies

    5. The Franchise and conduct of elections

      1. Section 12: Entitlement to Vote

      2. Section 13: Power to make provision about elections

    6. Duration of membership

      1. Section 14: Term of office of Assembly members

      2. Section 15: Resignation of members

    7. Disqualification

      1. Section 16: Disqualification from being Assembly member

      2. Section 17: Exceptions and relief from disqualification

      3. Section 18: Effect of disqualification

      4. Section 19: Judicial proceedings as to disqualification

    8. Remuneration, oaths

      1. Section 20: Remuneration of Assembly members

      2. Section 21: Limit on salaries of members

      3. Section 22: Remuneration: Supplementary

      4. Section 23: Oath or affirmation of allegiance

      5. Section 24: Assistance to groups of Assembly members

    9. Presiding Officer and administration

      1. Section 25: Presiding Officer

      2. Section 26: Clerk of the Assembly

      3. Section 27: Assembly Commission

    10. Committees,

      1. Section 28: Committees and sub-committees

      2. Section 29: Composition of committees

      3. Section 30: Audit Committee

    11. Proceedings

      1. Section 31: Standing orders

      2. Section 32: Participation by UK Ministers

      3. Section 33: Consultation about UK Government’s legislative programme

      4. Section 34: Participation by Counsel General

      5. Section 35: Equality of treatment

      6. Section 36: Integrity

    12. Witnesses and documents

      1. Section 37: Power to call

      2. Section 38: Notice

      3. Section 39: Offences

      4. Section 40: General

    13. Legal issues

      1. Section 41: Proceedings by or against Assembly

      2. Section 42: Defamation

      3. Section 43: Contempt of court

      4. Section 44: Corrupt practice

      5. Part 2: Welsh Assembly Government

        1. Overview of Part 2

    14. Ministers

    15. Exercise of Functions

    16. Duties placed on Ministers

  5. Detailed Commentary on Sections in Part 2

    1. Government

      1. Section 45: Welsh Assembly Government

    2. Ministers, staff,

      1. Section 46: The First Minister

      2. Section 47: Choice of the First Minister

      3. Section 48: Welsh Ministers

      4. Section 49: The Counsel General

      5. Section 50: Deputy Welsh Ministers

      6. Section 51: Limit on number of Ministers

      7. Section 52: Staff

      8. Section 53: Remuneration

      9. Section 54: Remuneration: supplementary

      10. Section 55: Oath or affirmation

      11. Section 56: Introduction

      12. Section 57: Exercise of functions

      13. Section 58: Transfer of Ministerial functions

      14. Section 59: Implementation of Community law

      15. Section 60: Promotion of well-being

      16. Section 61: Support of culture

      17. Section 62: Representations about any matter affecting Wales

      18. Section 63: Consultation about cross-border bodies

      19. Section 64: Polls for ascertaining views of the public

      20. Section 65: Private bills

      21. Section 66: Provision of information to Treasury

      22. Section 67: Legal proceedings

      23. Section 68: Contracts

      24. Section 69: Charges for documents

      25. Section 70: Financial assistance

      26. Section 71: Supplementary

    3. “Inclusive” approach to exercise of functions

      1. Section 72: Partnership Council

      2. Section 73: Local government scheme

      3. Section 74: Voluntary sector scheme

      4. Section 75: Business scheme

      5. Section 76: Regulatory impact assessments

      6. Section 77: Equality of opportunity

      7. Section 78: The Welsh Language

      8. Section 79: Sustainable development

      9. Section 80 : Community law

      10. Section 81: Human Rights

      11. Section 82: International obligations

      12. Section 83: Agency arrangements and provision of services

      13. Section 84: Different exercise of functions by Welsh Ministers

      14. Section 85: Construction of references to Ministers and Departments

      15. Section 86: Laying of reports and statements

    4. Property, rights and liabilities

      1. Section 87: Property, rights and liabilities of Welsh Ministers

      2. Section 88: Transfer of Ministerial property rights and liabilities

    5. Supplementary

      1. Section 89: Rights and liabilities of the Crown in different capacities

      2. Section 90: Documents

      3. Section 91: Validity of acts

      4. Section 92: Official secrets

      5. Part 3: Assembly Measures

        1. Overview of Part 3

  6. Detailed Commentary on Sections in Part 3

    1. Section 93: Assembly Measures

    2. Section 94: Legislative competence

    3. Section 95: Legislative Competence : supplementary

    4. Section 96: Scrutiny of proposed Orders in Council

    5. Procedure

      1. Section 97: Introduction of proposed Assembly Measures

      2. Section 98: Proceedings on proposed Assembly Measures

      3. Section 99: Scrutiny of Proposed Assembly Measures by Supreme Court

      4. Section 100: ECJ references

      5. Section 101: Power to intervene in certain cases

      6. Section 102: Approval of proposed Assembly Measures

    6. Part 4: Acts of the Assembly

      1. Overview of Part 4

  7. Detailed Commentary on Sections in Part 4

    1. Referendum

      1. Section 103: Referendum about commencement of Assembly Act provisions

      2. Section 104: Proposal for referendum by Assembly

      3. Section 105: Commencement of Assembly Act provisions

      4. Section 106: Effect on Measures of commencement of Assembly Act provisions

      5. Section 107: Acts of the Assembly

      6. Section 108: Legislative competence

      7. Section 109: Legislative competence: supplementary

    2. Procedure

      1. Section 110: Introduction of Assembly Bills

      2. Section 111: Proceedings on Bills

      3. Section 112: Scrutiny of Bills by Supreme Court

      4. Section 113:  ECJ references

      5. Section 114: Power to intervene in certain cases

      6. Section 114: Royal Assent

      7. Section 116: Welsh Seal and Letters Patent

      8. Part 5: Finance

        1. Overview of Part 5

    3. The Welsh Consolidated Fund

    4. Accounts and Audit – Sections 131 – 145

  8. Detailed Commentary on Sections in Part 5

    1. Welsh Consolidated Fund

      1. Section 117: Welsh Consolidated Fund

    2. Payments into Welsh Consolidated Fund

      1. Section 118: Grants

      2. Section 119:  Statement of Estimated Payments

      3. Section 120: Destination of Receipts

    3. Borrowing

      1. Sections 121-123

    4. Expenditure

      1. Sections 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129 and 130

      2. Section 131: Welsh Ministers’ Accounts

      3. Section 132: Account Relating to Welsh Consolidated Fund

      4. Section 133: Accounting Officers for Welsh Ministers

      5. Section 134: Accounts of Subsidiaries of Welsh Ministers

      6. Section 135: Examinations into Welsh Ministers’ Use of Resources

      7. Section 136: Examinations by Comptroller and Auditor General

      8. Section 137: Assembly Commission’s accounts

      9. Section 138: Accounting officers for Assembly Commission

      10. Section 139: Accounts of subsidiaries of Assembly Commission

      11. Section 140: Examinations into Assembly Commission’s use of resources

      12. Section 141: Whole of government accounts:  Welsh Ministers, and Section 142:  Functions of Auditor General

      13. Section 143 : Audit Committee Reports

      14. Section 144: Publication of Accounts and Audit Reports

      15. Section 145: Auditor General

      16. Part 6: Miscellaneous and Supplementary

        1. Overview of Part 6

  9. Detailed Commentary on Sections in Part 6

    1. Welsh public records

      1. Section 146: Status of Welsh public records

      2. Section 147: Transfer of responsibility

      3. Section 148: Meaning of “Welsh public records”

    2. Miscellaneous

      1. Section 149: Resolution of devolution issue

      2. Section 150: Power to make consequential provision

      3. Section 151: Power to remedy ultra vires acts

      4. Section 152: Intervention in case of functions relating to water

      5. Section 153: Power to vary retrospective decisions

      6. Section 154: Interpretation of legislation

      7. Section 155: Functions exercisable in relation to Wales

      8. Section 156: English and Welsh texts of legislation

      9. Section 157: Orders and directions

      10. Section 158: Interpretation

      11. Section 159: Index of defined expressions

      12. Section 160: Minor and consequential amendments

      13. Section 161: Commencement

      14. Section 162: Transitional provision

      15. Section 163: Repeals and revocations

      16. Section 165: Extent

      17. Section 166: Short title

      18. Schedule 1: Alteration of Assembly Electoral Regions

      19. Paragraph 1 – Introduction

      20. Paragraph 1(2)

      21. Paragraph 2 - Assembly electoral region issue

      22. Paragraphs 2(1) and 2(2)

      23. Paragraph 3 - Notice of Committee’s proposed recommendations

      24. Paragraph 3(1)

      25. Paragraph 3(2)

      26. Paragraph 3(3)

      27. Paragraph 3(4)

      28. Paragraph 3(5)

      29. Paragraph 3(6)

      30. Paragraph 4 - Local inquiries

      31. Paragraph 4(6)

      32. Paragraph 5 – Committee’s Report

      33. Paragraph 6 – Consideration of the Committee’s Report by the Commission

        1. General

      34. Paragraph 6(1)

      35. Paragraphs 6(2) to (4)

      36. Paragraph 7 – Directions by Commission to the Committee

      37. Paragraph 8 – Commission’s Report

      38. Paragraph 8(1)

      39. Paragraph 9 - Rules

        1. General

      40. Paragraph 9(1)

        1. The rules are as follows:

      41. Paragraph 9(2)

      42. Paragraph 9(3)

      43. Paragraph 9(4)

      44. Paragraph 9(5)

      45. Paragraph 9(6)

      46. Paragraph 10 – Orders in Council giving effect to Commission reports

      47. Paragraph 10(1)

      48. Paragraph 10(2)

      49. Paragraph 11 – Interpretation: the regional electorate

      50. Paragraph 11(1) to 11(3)

      51. Paragraph 12: Interpretation: general

      52. Paragraph 12

      53. Schedule 2: Assembly Commission

    3. Membership

      1. Paragraph 1

    4. Property

      1. Paragraph 2

    5. Staff

      1. Paragraph 3

    6. Powers

      1. Paragraph 4

    7. Promotion of awareness of election system and devolved government

      1. Paragraphs 5 and 6

    8. Delegation

      1. Paragraph 7

    9. Principles in accordance with which functions are to be exercised

      1. Paragraph 8

    10. Annual report

      1. Paragraph 9

    11. Validity of acts

      1. Paragraph 10

    12. Proceedings

      1. Paragraph 11

    13. Crown status

      1. Paragraph 12

      2. Schedule 3: Transfer Etc. of Functions: Further Provisions

        1. Part 1: Functions transferable

        2. Part 2: Exercise of transferred functions

        3. Part 3: Supplementary

      3. Schedule 4: Transfers of Ministerial Property, Rights and Liabilities

        1. Transfers of Ministerial Property, Rights and Liabilities

      4. Schedule 5: Assembly Measures

        1. Part 1: Matters

        2. Parts 2 and 3: General Restrictions and Exceptions

      5. Schedule 6: Referendums on Commencement of Assembly Act Provisions

        1. Paragraph 1: Entitlement to vote

        2. Paragraph 2: Conduct of referendums

        3. Paragraph 3: Referendum Question and Statement

        4. Paragraph 4: Date of Referendum

        5. Paragraph 5: Referendum Period

        6. Paragraph 6: Combination of Polls

        7. Paragraph 7: Encouraging voting

        8. Paragraph 8: Provision of information to voters

        9. Paragraph 9: Referendum Material

        10. Paragraphs 10 and 11: Funding and Accounts

        11. Paragraph 12: No legal challenge to referendum result

      6. Schedule 7: Acts of the Assembly

        1. Part 1: Subjects

        2. Parts 2 and 3: General Restrictions and Exceptions

      7. Schedule 8: Auditor General for Wales

      8. Schedule 9: Devolution Issues

        1. Part 1

          1. Preliminary

        2. Part 2

          1. Proceedings in England and Wales

    14. Civil proceedings in the magistrates’ courts

    15. Civil proceedings begun in other courts

    16. Tribunal proceedings

    17. Criminal proceedings – summary

    18. Criminal proceedings – on indictment

      1. Part 3

        1. Proceedings in Scotland

    19. Civil proceedings in a court consisting of three or more judges of the Court of Session

    20. Civil proceedings begun in other courts

    21. Tribunal proceedings

    22. Criminal proceedings in a court consisting of two or more judges of the High Court of Justiciary

    23. Criminal proceedings – other Scottish courts

      1. Part 4

        1. Proceedings in Northern Ireland

    24. Court proceedings (civil and criminal)

    25. Tribunal proceedings

      1. Part 5

        1. General

          1. Schedule 10: Minor and Consequential Amendments

          2. Schedule 11: Transitional Provisions

            1. Paragraph 1:  Alteration of Assembly electoral regions

            2. Paragraph 2:  2007 election to be election to Assembly constituted under this Act

            3. Paragraph 3: First meeting after 2007 ordinary election

            4. Paragraph 4: Date of 2011 election

            5. Paragraphs 5 and 6: No dual constituency and regional candidacy

            6. Paragraph 7: Electoral region vacancies before first general election

            7. Paragraph 8: Election orders

            8. Paragraph 9: Term of office of Assembly members

            9. Paragraph 10: Disqualification orders

            10. Paragraph 11: Disqualification of Lords of Appeal in Ordinary

            11. Paragraphs 12 and 13: Remuneration of Assembly members

            12. Paragraph 14: Publication of information about remuneration of Assembly members

            13. Paragraph 15: Assistance to groups of Assembly members

            14. Paragraph 16: First Presiding Officer

            15. Paragraph 17: First Clerk

            16. Paragraph 18: Promotion of awareness of election system and devolved government

            17. Paragraph 19: Crown status of Assembly Commission

            18. Paragraph 20: Standing Orders

            19. Paragraph 21: Witnesses and documents: penalties

            20. Paragraphs 22 to 25: Exercise of functions before appointment of first First Minister

            21. Paragraphs 26 to 28: Saving for existing instruments conferring or imposing functions

            22. Paragraph 29: First nomination of First Minister

            23. Paragraphs 30 to 32: Transfer of Assembly functions

            24. Paragraph 30

            25. Paragraph 31

            26. Paragraph 32

            27. Paragraph 33: Functions transferred by Order in Council under s.22 1998: Parliamentary and Assembly procedures

            28. Paragraphs 34 and 35: Functions conferred or imposed by pre-commencement enactment: Parliamentary and Assembly procedures

            29. Paragraphs 36 and 37: Transfers of Assembly functions: laying of reports and statements

            30. Paragraph 38 to 42: Transfers of Assembly functions: property, rights and liabilities

            31. Paragraph 43: Staff of the Assembly

            32. Paragraph 44: Powers to lend money

            33. Paragraph 45: Local Government scheme

            34. Paragraph 46: Voluntary sector scheme

            35. Paragraph 47: Equality of opportunity arrangements

            36. Paragraph 48: Welsh Language Strategy and Scheme

            37. Paragraph 49: Sustainable development scheme

            38. Paragraph 50 and 51: Orders in Council amending Schedule 5

            39. Paragraph 52: Assembly Measures: criminal penalties

            40. Paragraph 53: Welsh Consolidated Fund

            41. Paragraph 54: Grants

            42. Paragraph 55: Statement of estimated payments

            43. Paragraph 56: Destination of receipts

            44. Paragraph 57: Borrowing

            45. Paragraphs 58 and 59: Payments out of the Welsh Consolidated Fund

            46. Paragraph 60: Annual Budget motions

            47. Paragraph 61: Supplementary Budget motions

            48. Paragraph 62: Contingencies

            49. Paragraph 63: Approvals to draw

            50. Paragraph 64: Auditor General

            51. Paragraph 65: Advocate General for Northern Ireland

            52. Paragraphs 66 and 67: The Supreme Court

          3. Schedule 12: Repeals and Revocations

  10. Commencement

    1. Provisions which come into force on Royal Assent:

    2. Provisions which come into force on 1 April 2007:

    3. Provisions which come into force immediately after the first appointment of a First Minister under section 46:

    4. Repeal by Schedule 12 of sections 83, 88, 93(8), 97 and 101A :

    5. Assembly Act provisions:

  11. Glossary of Terms

  12. Hansard References

  • Explanatory Notes Table of contents

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.

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