Welsh Government

Government of Wales Act 2006The Government of Wales Act 1998 did not establish the Welsh Administration as a separate entity from the National Assembly for Wales. This changes that by creating the Welsh Assembly Government as a separate entity from the National Assembly. The Government is accountable to the National Assembly in the same way that the UK Government is answerable to the British Parliament. The First Minister (formerly “First Secretary”) is appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the National Assembly. He/she appoints the Ministers and Deputy Ministers of the Welsh Government.The Act also created the post of the Counsel General to the Welsh Assembly Government. It created the Welsh Seal and designated the First Minister (Prif Weinidog Cymru) as its keeper. It grants the Assembly new powers to enact legislation, subject to the approval of the UK Parliament. These are known as Assembly Measures. There are provisions in the Act for the holding of a referendum in Wales as to whether the National Assembly should acquire more extensive powers, including the right to enact primary legislation. There are detailed provisions governing elections in Wales. The Secretary of State for Wales may participate in Assembly proceedings but is not entitled to vote. He/she is also required to consult the Assembly about the UK Government’s legislative programme.The National Assembly must, so far as is reasonably practicable, adhere to the principle of equality of the Welsh and English languages. Section 61 empowers Welsh Ministers to do anything that they consider appropriate to support archaeological remains, ancient monuments, buildings and places of historic or architectural interest, historic wrecks, museums, galleries and libraries in Wales; to support arts and crafts, archives and historical records, other cultural activities and projects, sport and recreation and to support the Welsh language. Ministers are required to adopt a Welsh Language Strategy for promoting and facilitating the Welsh language. They must also adopt a sustainable development scheme and submit an annual report to the Assembly.

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