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Official logo of the Welsh Assembly Government
The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) ( , LlCC) was firstly an executive body of the National Assembly for Wales, consisting of the First Minister and his Cabinet from 1999 to 2007.

In May 2007, separation between the legislature (National Assembly for Wales) and the executive (Welsh Assembly Government) took effect under the Government of Wales Act 2006. The National Assembly’s functions, including those of making subordinate legislation, in the main, transferred to the Welsh Ministers upon separation and should help to clarify the respective roles of the legislature and the executive. The result mirrors much more closely the relationship between the UK Government and UK Parliamentmarker and that between the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliamentmarker.

Rt Hon Rhodri Morgan AM was nominated as First Minister by the Assembly during a plenary meeting on 25 May 2007 and appointed by HM Queen Elizabeth II later that day.

1999 to 2007 (Executive Body of the National Assembly)

The Welsh Assembly Government had no independent executive powers in law (unlike, for instance, the Scottish Ministers and Ministers in the UK government). The Assembly was established as a body corporate by the Government of Wales Act 1998 and the executive, as a committee of the Assembly, only had those powers that the Assembly as a whole voted to vest in ministers.

The Government of Wales Act 2006 formally separated the Assembly and the Welsh Assembly Government giving Welsh Ministers independent executive authority, enacted after the May 2007 elections.

Under the arrangements in the 1998 Act, executive functions were conferred on the National Assembly for Wales, and then separately delegated to the First Minister and to other Cabinet Ministers and staff as appropriate. Following separation, the Welsh Ministers exercise functions in their own right. Further transfers of executive functions from the UK Government can be made directly to the Welsh Ministers (with their consent) by an Order in Council approved by Parliament.

Post-National Assembly for Wales Election, 2007

Legal Separation

The new arrangements provided for in the Government of Wales Act 2006 create a formal legal separation between the National Assembly for Wales, the legislature comprising the 60 Assembly members, and the Welsh Assembly Government, the executive, comprising the First Minister, Welsh Ministers, Deputy Welsh Ministers and the Counsel General. This separation between legislature and executive took effect on the appointment of the First Minister by Her Majesty the Queen following the Assembly election on 3 May 2007.

Separation should help to clarify the respective roles of the legislature and the executive. The role of the executive will be to make decisions; develop and implement policy; exercise executive functions and make statutory instruments. The 60 Assembly members in the National Assembly will scrutinise the Assembly Government’s decisions and policies; hold Ministers to account; approve budgets for the Welsh Assembly Government’s programmes; and have the power to enact Assembly Measures on certain matters. Assembly Measures can go further than the subordinate legislation which the Assembly currently has the power to make.

Transfer of Functions

The Assembly’s functions, including those of making subordinate legislation, in the main, transferred to the Welsh Ministers upon separation. A third body was also established under the 2006 Act from May 2007, called the National Assembly for Wales Commission. It is responsible for employing the staff supporting the new National Assembly for Wales and for holding property, entering into contracts and providing support services on its behalf.

Welsh Ministers

The 2006 Act makes new provision for the appointment of Welsh Ministers. The First Minister will be nominated by the Assembly and then appointed by Her Majesty the Queen. The First Minister will subsequently appoint the Welsh Ministers and the Deputy Welsh Ministers, with the approval of Her Majesty. The Act creates a new post of Counsel General for Wales, who will be the principal source of legal advice to the Welsh Assembly Government. The Counsel General will be appointed by the Queen, on the nomination of the First Minister, whose recommendation will need to be agreed by the National Assembly. The Counsel General may be, but does not have to be, an Assembly Member. The Act permits a maximum of 12 Welsh Ministers, which includes Deputy Welsh Ministers, but excludes the First Minister and the Counsel General. Accordingly, the maximum size of the Welsh Assembly Government is 14.

Department of the First Minister

The official office of the First Minister is in Ty Hywelmarker and the Seneddmarker in Cardiff Baymarker, however, an office is also kept at the Welsh Assembly Government building in Cathays Parkmarker where the majority of Cardiff-based Assembly Government civil servants are located.


The Assembly Government has a total of 86 offices throughout Wales, and a number overseas. Traditionally, most Welsh Office staff were based in Cardiff, especially in Cathays Park. However, in 2002, the Fullerton Review concluded that "the Assembly could no longer sustain having the majority of its operational functions located in and around Cardiff." Since 2004, Assembly Government civil servants have been relocated across Wales as part of the Location Strategy, which involves the creation of new offices at Merthyr Tydfilmarker, Aberystwythmarker and Llandudno Junctionmarker. In 2006, the mergers of ELWa, the Wales Tourist Board and the Welsh Development Agency into the Assembly Government brought these agencies' offices into the Assembly Government estate.

Permanent Secretary

The Permanent Secretary heads up the Civil Service of the Welsh Assembly Government and chairs the Management Board Directors, which are appointed at the discretion of the Permanent Secretary. The Management Board is not wholly dependent on functional responsibilities; it is designed to provide balanced advice and support to the Permanent Secretary, and collective leadership to the organisation as a whole.

Current Assembly Government

The current structure of the ministerial team proposed by the Welsh Labour Party and Plaid Cymru after coalition agreement (One Wales).

Office Name Term Party
First Minister Rhodri Morgan 2007– Labour
Deputy First MinisterMinister for Economy and Transport Ieuan Wyn Jones 2007– Plaid Cymru
Minister for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills Jane Hutt 2007– Labour
Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing Jane Davidson 2007– Labour
Minister for Finance and Public Service Delivery Andrew Davies 2007– Labour
Minister for Health and Social Services Edwina Hart 2007– Labour
Minister for Social Justice and Local Government Brian Gibbons 2007– Labour
Minister for Heritage Alun Ffred Jones 2008– Plaid Cymru
Minister for Rural Affairs Elin Jones 2007– Plaid Cymru
Office holders given special provisions to attend Cabinet
Leader of the HouseCounsel General for Wales Carwyn Jones 2007– Labour
Chief Whip Carl Sargeant 2007– Labour
Deputy Welsh Ministers
Deputy Minister for Social Services Gwenda Thomas 2007– Labour
Deputy Minister for Regeneration Leighton Andrews 2007– Labour
Deputy Minister for Skills John Griffiths 2007– Labour
Deputy Minister for Housing Jocelyn Davies 2007– Plaid Cymru


  1. Management Board Meeting, 29th February 2008
  2. Welsh Assembly Government | All offices
  3. Welsh Assembly Government | Update on Location Strategy
  4. Welsh Assembly Government | Location Strategy

See also

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