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Government of Wales Act 2006

The Act in Operation

7.In February 2002, in debating its Review of Procedure, the Assembly unanimously approved a motion calling for “the clearest possible separation between the Government and the Assembly which is achievable under current legislation”. Since March 2002, those (Ministers and civil servants) exercising executive powers on behalf of the Assembly have used the title “Welsh Assembly Government” to distinguish themselves from the wider Assembly, and the Assembly’s support service has adopted the title “Assembly Parliamentary Service”.

8.In July 2002 the Welsh Assembly Government appointed a Commission, under the chairmanship of Lord Richard of Ammanford, to review the operation of the devolution arrangements(8).

9.Having analysed the consequences for development and implementation of distinctive policies for Wales of the Assembly’s limited legislative powers, the Richard Report recommended that the Assembly should be able to make primary legislation for Wales (although Parliament would continue to have important legislative responsibilities for Wales as well).

10.The Commission therefore concluded, in the light of both this and of its analysis of the implications of the Assembly’s corporate body status, that the status quo was not a sustainable basis for the future development of the Assembly. It recommended that the existing Assembly should be “replaced by two separate bodies – an executive and a legislature”.

11.On 6 October 2004, the Assembly adopted a resolution calling for early legislation to amend GoWA.

12.In June 2005 the Secretary of State for Wales published a White Paper(9)”Better Governance for Wales”, setting out proposals for new legislation to:

a)

effect a formal separation between the executive and the legislative branches of the Assembly;

b)

reform existing electoral arrangements;

c)

enhance the legislative powers of the Assembly..

8

The Report of the Commission on the Powers and Electoral Arrangements of the National Assembly for Wales (“the Richard Report”) was published in March 2004.

9

Cm 6582

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