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The Government of Wales Act 2006 (c 32) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that reforms the National Assembly for Wales and allows further powers to be granted to it more easily. The Act creates a system of government with a separate executive drawn from and accountable to the legislature.

Government of Wales Act 2006[1]
Act of Parliament
Long titleAn Act to make provision about the government of Wales.
Citation2006 c. 32
Dates
Royal assent25 July 2006
Other legislation
Amended byNational Assembly for Wales (Official Languages) Act 2012, Wales Act 2014, Wales Act 2017
Status: Amended
History of passage through Parliament
Text of statute as originally enacted
Revised text of statute as amended

Contents

ProvisionsEdit

The Act has the following provisions:

  • creates an executive body—the Welsh Assembly Government (known since May 2011 as the Welsh Government)—that is separate from the legislative body, that is, the National Assembly for Wales. The Welsh Government is therefore altered from being a committee of the National Assembly to being a distinct body
  • forbids candidates both contesting constituencies and being on a regional list
  • provides a mechanism for Orders in Council to delegate power from Parliament to the Assembly, which will give the Assembly powers to make "Measures" (Welsh Laws). Schedule 5 of the Act describes the fields in which the assembly has Measure making powers.
  • provides for a referendum for further legislature competencies, to be known as "Acts of the Assembly"
  • creates a Welsh Seal and a Keeper of the Welsh Seal (the First Minister)
  • creates a Welsh Consolidated Fund
  • creates the post of Counsel General as a member of the Welsh Government and its chief legal adviser.
  • assigns to the Queen new functions of formally appointing Welsh ministers and granting royal assent to Acts of the Assembly.

The bill received Royal assent on 25 July 2006.

Schedule 5 of the ActEdit

Schedule 5 of the Act describes the 20 "Fields" and "Matters" in which the National Assembly for Wales has Legislative competence i.e. the ability to pass Assembly Measures (or, since 2011, Acts). A Field is a broad subject area, such as education and training, the environment, health and health services, highways and transport, or housing. A Matter is a specific defined policy area within a Field.

The Assembly can gain further legislative competence by the amendment of Schedule 5. There are two ways in which this can happen: either as a result of clauses included in legislation passed by an Act of Parliament at Westminster, or by Legislative Competency Orders (LCOs) granted by Parliament in response to a request from the National Assembly itself (LCOs may be proposed by the Welsh Government, or by individual members, or by Assembly Committees, but must be approved by the National Assembly before they can go forward). The result of either method is to amend any of the 20 Fields by inserting specific Matters. The Assembly then has competence to pass legislation on those Matters.

Schedule 5 is regularly updated as result of these two processes. An up-to-date version of the Schedule (which also indicates where amendments are proposed) is available on the National Assembly's website.[2]

Fields of Schedule 5Edit

CriticismEdit

The Government of Wales Act 2006 was criticised by Plaid Cymru for not delivering a fully-fledged parliament.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ The citation of this Act by this short title is authorised by section 166 of this Act.
  2. ^ Schedule 5 | NAFW Archived 2010-11-20 at the Wayback Machine. Assemblywales.org. Retrieved on 2013-08-24.

External linksEdit

UK LegislationEdit