Jane Hutt AM, Minister for Finance and Government Business
In June, I announced in Plenary that the Welsh Government had reached agreement with the UK Government on securing additional powers to regulate on public procurement in Wales.
I am pleased to report that these new powers came in to being on 13 August, representing a significant development in support of our approach to procurement policy in Wales.
The ability to regulate will provide great scope to maximise the opportunities presented by the modernised EU Procurement Directives and drive forward deployment of the Wales Procurement Policy Statement.
This is a pivotal milestone in my programme to transform public procurement and will help drive through change across the Welsh public sector.
It is important that these new powers are used to ensure that barriers to engaging in public procurement are reduced for business and to support the delivery of public services in Wales in a fair and efficient way.
Procurement will be used as strategic enabler, delivering key policy objectives. Supporting the tackling poverty agenda through community benefits and fairer employment practices will be an immediate focus and work is already underway with key stakeholders to scope out potential regulation.
I anticipate that we will introduce the first procurement regulation in Wales in 2016 and I will provide an update on progress in December.
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.