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Jane Hutt MS, Minister for Social Justice and Chief Whip

Today I am announcing my intention to introduce regulations to extend the well-being duty (Part 2) of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 to eight additional public bodies: 

  • Qualifications Wales
  • Social Care Wales
  • Health Education and Improvement Wales
  • Welsh Revenue Authority
  • Transport for Wales
  • Centre for Digital Public Services
  • Digital Health and Care Wales 
  • Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust

Subject to the regulations being made, these public bodies will be subject to the well-being duty from 30 June 2024, bringing the total number of devolved public bodies under the Well-being of Future Generations Act to 56. The inclusion of these additional public bodies will increase the scope and breadth of the sustainable development agenda in Wales and will strengthen the sustainable ways of working which are central to how our One Welsh Public Service works.

The decision to extend the well-being duty to these eight public bodies follows feedback received during the public consultation that we carried out in 2022, a summary of which can be found on the Welsh Government’s website.

The Well-being of Future Generations Act gives a legally-binding common purpose – the seven well-being goals – for national government, local government, health boards and other specified public bodies. It details the ways in which specified public bodies must work, and work together to improve the well-being of Wales. It provides for better decision-making by ensuring those public bodies take account of the long-term, help to prevent problems occurring or getting worse, take an integrated and collaborative approach, and consider and involve people of all ages. Working towards achieving the well-being goals needs effective leadership in public bodies to drive action across Wales. 

The well-being duty requires public bodies to carry out sustainable development, which is the process of improving the economic, social, environmental, and cultural well-being of Wales by acting in accordance with the sustainable development principle, aimed at achieving the well-being goals as set out in the Well-being of Future Generations Act.

In doing so, they must set and publish well-being objectives designed to maximise their contribution to achieving each of the well-being goals and take all reasonable steps to meet those objectives. Subject to the regulations being made, the eight public bodies will be required to set well-being objectives by 31 March 2025 and must then publish annual reports on their progress towards those objectives.  

From 1 April 2024, public bodies subject to the well-being duty will also be subject to the social partnership duty in the Social Partnership and Public Procurement (Wales) Act 2023. This means that these bodies will need to work with their recognised trade unions or other representatives of staff in both the setting and delivering of their well-being objectives.

To help prepare the eight bodies to discharge their duties, my officials have convened a series of knowledge exchange sessions to share learning and good practice between the existing and proposed public bodies under the Well-being of Future Generations Act and will continue to do so in 2024.

I am grateful to our network of partners who continue to support us in our work to make Wales a more sustainable and resilient country.