Government of Wales Act 1998

The Government of Wales Act 1998 (c. 38) (Welsh: Deddf Llywodraeth Cymru 1998)[1] is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Passed in 1998, the act created the National Assembly for Wales, Auditor General for Wales and transferred devolved powers to the assembly. The act followed the 1997 Welsh devolution referendum.

Government of Wales Act 1998
Act of Parliament
Long titleAn Act to establish and make provision about the National Assembly for Wales and the offices of Auditor General for Wales and Welsh Administration Ombudsman; to reform certain Welsh public bodies and abolish certain other Welsh public bodies; and for connected purposes.
Citation1998 Chapter 38
Introduced byRon Davies, Secretary of State for Wales
Territorial extent United Kingdom
Royal assent31 July 1998; 25 years ago (1998-07-31)
Other legislation
Amended by
Relates toReferendums (Scotland & Wales) Act 1997, Scotland Act 1998, Northern Ireland Act 1998
Status: Amended
Text of statute as originally enacted
Revised text of statute as amended

Act edit

The Government for Wales Act 1998 brought about the then National Assembly for Wales as a corporate body.[2]

Under the 1998 act, the Welsh Assembly received powers to legislate on powers previously held by the Secretary of State for Wales. Powers included agriculture, forestry, fisheries and food; ancient monuments and historic buildings; culture (including museums, galleries and libraries); economic development; education and training; the environment; health and health services; highways; housing; industry; local government; social services; sport and recreation; tourism; town and country planning; transport; water and flood defence; the Welsh language.[3]

The Act also established the Auditor General for Wales and the Welsh Administration Ombudsman and also gave the National Assembly for Wales the ability to reorganise some Welsh public bodies.[2]

Bill provisions edit

On 26 November 1997, the Government of Wales Bill was first read in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament. This followed the white paper policy objectives in further legal detail and added the "First Secretary" role to lead the executive committee of a "National Assembly" (rather than "Assembly for Wales"). The Assembly would be an independent "corporate body" able to make secondary legislation in devolved areas whereas primary legislation powers would stay at Westminster for all matters.The Welsh Assembly would be funded using a "block grant" similarly to the already existing Welsh Office using the Barnett formula.[4]

Welsh Assembly elections would include one vote for a constituency Assembly Member (AM) and one regional vote of Wales' five electoral regions. There would be 40 constituency AM's were elected "first past the post" and 20 "list" AMs were elected via the D'Hondt method.[4]

Clause 34 of the Bill would allow the Assembly to consider “any matter affecting Wales” and a mechanism for potential further transfer of powers to allow the "process" of devolution to continue as suggested by Ron Davies.[4]

The Bill became an Act on 31 July 1998 and, on 1 July 1999, the Welsh Office was replaced with the “Wales Office”.[4]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Devolution in Wales: "A process, not an event"".
  2. ^ a b "Government of Wales Act 1998 | Law Wales". Retrieved 19 February 2023.
  3. ^ Watkin, Thomas Glyn (2007). The Legal History of Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-7083-2064-8.
  4. ^ a b c d Torrence, David (30 January 2023). "Devolution in Wales: "A process, not an event"" (PDF). pp. 14–15.