Little scrutiny of private advisory panels, say AMs

November 21, 2013 1:22 AM

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Little scrutiny of private advisory panels, say AMs

AMs raised concerns about the lack of scrutiny for privately-led advisory panels during the meeting of the Committee for the Scrutiny of the First Minister on 20 November 2013.

First Minister Carwyn Jones was being scrutinised on the Welsh government's relationship with third and private sectors.

Liberal Democrat AM Eluned Parrott asked the minister to comment on the number of advisory groups from the private sector working with different governmental departments, such as the Economy, Science and Transport Department.

Carwyn Jones said there were a total of nine advisory groups within this specific department and stressed that they were fundamental in aiding the minister with her work.

However Ms Parrott raised questions about why these advisory groups were not scrutinised by the assembly and asked the first minster for an annual report from specific departments, that would "allow for greater scrutiny".

The first minister insisted that private advisory panels had no executive powers and he refused to accept the need for an annual report.

Mr Jones stressed that AMs are given a chance to question ministers on a monthly basis during plenary.

He said: "We're not attempting to avoid scrutiny...they are providing advice to us, for us then to go through scrutiny."

The minister also faced questions regarding the voluntary sector during the first part of the meeting.

Mr Jones emphasised the need for the voluntary sector to be innovative as well as delivering goals.


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