Expert Advice for the Williams Commission Published

The first expert assignments completed by the Public Policy Institute for Wales (PPIW) have been published alongside the recommendations of the Commission on Public Service Governance and Delivery.

The First Minister established the Commission under the chairmanship of Sir Paul Williams, former chief executive of NHS Wales, to provide objective analysis of the way in which public services are governed and delivered in Wales, and how they could be improved.

Public interest in the Commission’s findings has focused on its proposals for local government re-organisation.  Sir Paul Williams and his fellow commissioners have come out in favour of halving the number of councils from 22 to between 10 and 12 new authorities.

The Commissioners asked us to advise on four key questions:

  • How to improve accountability in public services
  • The best ways to monitor and manage the performance of public services
  • Whether it is possible to improve services through collaboration between local authorities, health, the police and other local agencies
  • What lessons can be learnt from other small countries about the ways in which national, regional and local government should work together.

The PPIW commissioned some of the leading academic experts in local government policy to look at these issues for Williams.

Dr Rachel Ashworth, Professor Alistair Cole, Dr James Downe, Dr Tom Entwistle and Dr Ian Stafford gave presentations to the Commissioners at a specially convened workshop in September.  They then wrote up their findings in four evidence reviews.  Their written reports were published alongside the Commissioners’ recommendations on Monday and were cited a total of ten times in Williams’ report.

Copies of the evidence reviews provided by our experts can be downloaded from the Welsh Government at: http://wales.gov.uk/topics/improvingservices/public-service-governance-and-delivery/report/?lang=en

Steve Martin

Professor Steve Martin is Director of the Public Policy Institute for Wales

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