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Written Statement - Welsh Language Commissioner update

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Leighton Andrews, Minister for Education and Skills

I wish to share with Members details of the membership of the selection panel which will be responsible for interviewing candidates and making recommendations to the First Minister in relation to the appointment of the Welsh Language Commissioner.

The Welsh Language Commissioner (Appointment) Regulations 2011 (“the regulations”) were approved by the Assembly on 28th June and came into force the following day. The regulations provide that the selection panel will include: an Assembly Member nominated by a relevant committee of the Assembly; a member of staff of the Welsh Government; an independent appointments assessor; and a person with experience of promoting the use of Welsh and/or another language.

I was asked by the First Minister to convene a selection panel based on the provisions in the regulations. I am now in a position to announce the names of the individuals who will sit on the selection panel. The panel will be chaired by Dr. Emyr Roberts, Director General, Department for Education and Skills. Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM has been nominated by the Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee to sit on the panel. I am pleased that Sir Roderick Evans has agreed to join the panel as someone who has experience of the promotion of the use of Welsh, particularly in the judicial system. I am also grateful to Mrs Elspeth Mitcheson who has agreed to sit on the panel in her capacity as independent assessor accredited by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

I can also confirm that the position of Welsh Language Commissioner will be advertised later this week, with a deadline for applications of 15th August.  Advertisments will appear in the Western Mail, Golwg, Y Cymro, Daily Post, online at Jobs Wales and Golwg 360 and on the Welsh Government website. I am delighted that we have been able to move quickly to advertise this important role and look forward to hearing of the First Minister’s decision regarding the successful applicant in the autumn.

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.