Government of Wales Act 2006
|Long title||An Act to make provision about the government of Wales.|
|Chapter||2006 c 32|
|Royal Assent||25 July 2006|
|Amendments||National Assembly for Wales (Official Languages) Act 2012|
|History of passage through Parliament|
|Text of statute as originally enacted|
|Revised text of statute as amended|
|Treaty of Windsor||1175|
|Treaty of York||1237|
|Treaty of Perth||1266|
|Treaty of Montgomery||1267|
|Treaty of Aberconwy||1277|
|Statute of Rhuddlan||1284|
|Treaty of Edinburgh–N'hampton||1328|
|Treaty of Berwick||1357|
|Laws in Wales Acts||1535–1542|
|Crown of Ireland Act||1542|
|Treaty of Edinburgh||1560|
|Union of the Crowns||1603|
|Union of England and Scotland Act||1603|
|Act of Settlement||1701|
|Act of Security||1704|
|Treaty of Union||1706|
|Acts of Union||1707|
|Wales and Berwick Act||1746|
|Acts of Union||1800|
|Government of Ireland Act||1920|
|Royal and Parliamentary Titles||1927|
|N. Ireland (Temporary Provisions)||1972|
|N. Ireland Assembly Act||1973|
|N. Ireland Constitution Act||1973|
|Northern Ireland Act||1998|
|Government of Wales Act||1998|
|Government of Wales Act||2006|
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
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.
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 Act
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. A 'Field' is a broad subject area, e.g. education and training; environment; health and health services; highways and transport; 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 by which this can happen: either as a result of clauses included in legislation passed by an Act of Parliament in 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 progress). The end result of either method is to amend the 20 "Fields" by inserting specific "Matters" into each "Field". 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 (which also indicates where amendments are proposed) is available on the National Assembly's website.
Fields of Schedule 5
- Field 1: agriculture, fisheries, forestry and rural development
- Field 2: ancient monuments and historic buildings
- Field 3: culture
- Field 4: economic development
- Field 5: education and training
- Field 6: environment
- Field 7: fire and rescue services and promotion of fire safety
- Field 8: food
- Field 9: health and health services
- Field 10: highways and transport
- Field 11: housing
- Field 12: local government
- Field 13: National Assembly for Wales
- Field 14: public administration
- Field 15: social welfare
- Field 16: sport and recreation
- Field 17: tourism
- Field 18: town and country planning
- Field 19: water and flood defence
- Field 20: Welsh language
- Official text of the Government of Wales Act 2006 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from the UK Statute Law Database
- Explanatory notes to the Government of Wales Act 2006.