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Written Statement - Update on the proposal to establish a Public Services Staff Commission

Leighton Andrews, Minister for Public Services

Members will be aware that on 21 October 2014, I launched a White Paper consultation on proposals to establish an independent, non-statutory Public Services Staff Commission to advise the Welsh Ministers and public service organisations on workforce issues needing action and resolution.

We know the dedication and excellence of the public service workforce is instrumental to the transformation of our public services. We are committed to working in partnership with Trade Unions and employers to help public service workers deliver the best possible public services to people across Wales.

I welcome the supportive response from social partners to the proposed establishment of a Staff Commission. I am today announcing that we will be establishing a non-statutory Public Services Staff Commission by autumn this year. The Commission will comprise up to 7 members (including the Chair).

There was clear consensus in the consultation responses that the appointments to the Staff Commission should follow a public appointments process. I recognise that attracting high quality members will be critical to establishing the authority and credibility of the Staff Commission.

Therefore, I will be initiating a public appointments process this Spring, with appointments to the Staff Commission confirmed by the autumn. We will also be openly advertising the role of the Head of Secretariat to the Staff Commission.

A summary of the consultation responses has now been published on the Welsh Government website.

My officials will also continue developing the legislative proposals for a statutory Staff Commission to be included in the Local Government Mergers and Reform draft Bill for publication in autumn 2015.

Our model of social partnership is embodied in the Workforce Partnership Council (WPC) which brings together Trade Unions and public service employers to address shared challenges and opportunities for public services and the public service workforce. In line with our commitment to partnership working we will be continuing our dialogue with the WPC as we finalise the detailed arrangements for the non-statutory Public Services Staff Commission. This will include consultation on the proposed work programme of the Staff Commission at the next meeting of the WPC.

I will make a further statement in September when I will announce the Commission members.