Lobby briefing

Bethan Lewis, policy officer, Welsh Council for Voluntary Action.

What is the Government of Wales Act?

It gives the Welsh Assembly more powers. It currently has secondary legislation powers, but the Act will enable it to legislate, with the agreement of Westminster, in primary legislation areas. It takes effect in May.

What are the implications for voluntary bodies?

We will have to rethink how we work with and lobby the assembly. We will also have to familiarise ourselves with new structures.

What are these?

The assembly is now drawing up standing orders - procedures that determine how the assembly will work - but it will essentially separate into two. There will be an executive body, like the cabinet, and the National Assembly for Wales, consisting of backbench and opposition members. There is currently a cabinet, but the distinction isn't as clear. We don't yet know if there will be standing committees and suchlike. We expect standing orders about these details by 31 January.

How will this change the way you lobby?

Organisations currently focus on cabinet members. The changes give other members a much bigger role in policy development and scrutiny. We will therefore need to take a more balanced approach instead of focusing solely on cabinet members.

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