CONCORDAT BETWEEN HM TREASURY AND THE CABINET OF THE
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY FOR WALES
The Government of Wales
Act 1998 established the National Assembly for Wales (“the Assembly”).
HM Treasury has retained responsibility for macro management of the
UK economy including setting the totals of spending funded by the
UK taxpayer and by borrowing and some other functions such as the
regulation of financial services. Responsibility for many other functions
(that is, in broad terms, those described in Schedule 2 of the Government
of Wales Act 1998 and set out in the Transfer of Functions Order made
under section 22 of the Government of Wales Act 1998) have been devolved
to the Assembly. Primary legislative powers rest with the UK Parliament
The purpose of this concordat is to set out clearly
the relationship between HM Treasury and the Assembly to ensure that
both are aware of the requirements of the other and that both are
consequently able to fulfil their responsibilities fully.
This concordat is made in addition to any statutory
arrangements for the provision of information to HM Treasury made
under section 123 of the Government of Wales Act 1998 and the Statement
of Funding Policy, an updated version of which was published by HM
Treasury on 18 July 2000.
This concordat is made between HM Treasury and the Cabinet
of the National Assembly for Wales.
This concordat is non-statutory and not legally binding.
However, HM Treasury and the Assembly agree to abide by its provisions.
It should be read in conjunction with the Memorandum of Understanding
between the devolved administrations and the UK Government.
This concordat will be reviewed initially after 12 months
and then at least every three years. It may also be reviewed at any
other time at the request of either party.
There will be regular consultations between officials
from HM Treasury and those of the Assembly to ensure that there is
full co-operation between the two administrations and that the business
of both operates effectively.
To this end there should be a formal liaison meeting
between officials from HM Treasury and the Assembly at least twice
a year if possible.
In addition, the Principal Finance Officer of the Assembly
will be invited to attend HM Treasury=s
regular meetings of Principal Finance Officers of Government departments
in addition to any attendance from the Office of the Secretary of
State for Wales.
Exchange of Information
Provision for the supply of information required by
HM Treasury under section 123 of the Government of Wales Act 1998
is set out separately. In addition to that information, the Assembly
undertakes to provide HM Treasury with the following in response to
all reasonable requests:
information to allow HM Treasury to issue proper accounts directions;
sufficient information to enable HM Treasury to fulfil its responsibility
of managing the UK's national debt;
all the information
necessary to allow HM Treasury to maintain and update its Public Expenditure
Database, including that information needed to classify correctly
the activities and transactions of the Assembly in the national accounts
and in the UK Government's public expenditure control system, and
the information needed to prepare Whole of Government Accounts;
necessary to allow HM Treasury to maintain and update its General
Expenditure Monitoring System;
advance notice, wherever practical, of any proposed
Welsh secondary legislation or other policy developments which will
have an impact on HM Treasury’s responsibilities, including macroeconomic
management, the management of foreign currency reserves, fiscal policy
and regulation of financial services;
information on National Non-Domestic Rates as they relate to Wales
to allow HM Treasury to produce National Non-Domestic Rates forecasts;
procedural advice and guidance issued by the Assembly Finance Group
to Assembly Groups on issues such as accounting, public procurement,
external auditing and finance.
In return, HM Treasury undertakes to provide
the Assembly with the following:
advance notice wherever practicable of any UK legislation
proposed by HM Treasury or HM Treasury’s policy developments which
will have an impact on devolved areas as they relate to Wales. HM
Treasury undertakes to ensure that any such legislation reflects the
legislative structure in Wales;
information relating to or affecting the level of
Wales’s Departmental Expenditure Limit, Assigned Budget and Annually
Managed Expenditure allocations as soon as it is known, via the Secretary
of State for Wales or directly as appropriate and consistent with
the timing of Budget and spending review announcements, in order to
allow the Assembly to manage its resources properly;
guidance to UK Government departments, such as DAO letters, and advice
and guidance on accounting, public procurement, external audit and
Access to the Reserve
Treasury officials will inform Assembly officials
on a confidential basis about cases of access to the Reserve in respect
of comparable programmes of UK Government departments as soon as practicable.
Decisions on access to the Reserve on the part of the Welsh Assigned
Budget will be made on the basis of the criteria set out in the Statement
of Funding Policy.
Under section 84(6) of
the Government of Wales Act, the Treasury may make a direction specifying
certain receipts or categories of receipt which are not required to
be paid into the Consolidated Fund. The Treasury will review, in consultation
with the Assembly, any such direction not more than one year after
it is made, and thereafter annually unless otherwise agreed with the
Assembly. The Assembly may at any time request a fresh review of
any such direction, and the Treasury will endeavour to respond within
a reasonable time to such a request.
Government Accounting Service
Accountants working for the Assembly will
continue to be members of the Government Accounting Service (GAS)
and will therefore continue to take part in all GAS activities.
Audit Policy and Advice Team (APA)
APA will continue to advise their Assembly
colleagues. Liaison meetings on internal audit matters will therefore
continue between the APA Group, HM Treasury and the Internal Audit
Team of the Assembly, as will participation in the benchmarking, quality
assurance and HIA letter process.
Government Procurement Service
Officials working for the Assembly in designated
procurement posts will continue to be members of the Government Procurement
Service (GPS) and will therefore continue to take part in all GPS
Resolution of Disputes
The main intention of this concordat is to
provide a framework for consultation and co-operation which minimises
the chances of disputes occurring. To this end, both HM Treasury and
the Assembly undertake to conduct their relationship on a “no surprises”
basis. In addition, should disputes arise between HM Treasury and
the Assembly, both parties should attempt to solve these through the
consultation arrangements set out above.
If it is not possible to resolve such disputes
within the consultation framework established by this document, the
issues shall be decided by consultation between the Treasury Ministers,
the Secretary of State for Wales and members of the Assembly Cabinet.
Should agreement still not be possible, the
matter shall be referred to the Cabinet Office for the machinery established
by the Cabinet Office to mediate on the disputed matter.
In case of disagreement
or dispute over matters relating to the level of the Assembly’s Assigned
Budget, the operation of the funding Rules or other actions of either
the Assembly or the Treasury relating to finance for Wales, the Assembly
Minister or Secretary of State for Wales can pursue the issue with
Treasury Ministers. This is the normal procedure for resolving disputes
on all financial issues and mirrors the arrangements between the Treasury
and departments of the United Kingdom Government. The Treasury will
consider and respond to any such representation in taking this forward
with the relevant party. Such matters can also be raised at the Joint
Ministerial Committee, which will include the relevant Ministers from
the United Kingdom Government and devolved administrations.