Welsh Government’s mysterious Delivery Unit to be scrapped, confirms First Minister

The First Minister of Wales has confirmed that he is to scrap the Government’s Delivery Unit – an enduringly mysterious outfit which at the outset of the last Assembly term was tasked with achieving policy outcomes across Government portfolios.

Yet during its five years in operation, the Unit has been the focus of much controversy for its lack of transparency and absence of targets by which to monitor and judge the performance of policy pledges.

Responding to a series of Written Assembly Questions (WAQ) posed by the Welsh Conservatives, Carwyn Jones said that the Delivery Unit had undertaken “valuable work” during the previous government, but that the needs of the new government were “different” and therefore there would no longer be a Delivery Unit.

He refused, however, to divulge the overall cost if the Unit – which could run into the millions – and did not give details as to where the Unit’s staff would be reallocated.

When challenged on the Delivery Unit’s own record of delivery during the Fourth Assembly, the First Minister responded saying that its “performance and effectiveness” should be judged on the delivery of the programme of government.
“If we are to judge the Delivery Unit’s effectiveness on the Welsh Government’s record of delivery in the last Assembly term then fair to say it failed spectacularly to live up to its name, which is perhaps why it has now been scrapped by the First Minister,” said Welsh Conservative Nick Ramsay AM.

He added: “The previous Labour administration failed to honour a number of election pledges and targets from meeting ambulance response targets and safeguarding maternity services to furthering the education of teachers and directing more money to the classroom – each and many more were never delivered.

“It seems to me that the unit was nothing more than a rip-off of Tony Blair’s own delivery unit, which was scrapped in 2010. A devolved legislature is supposed to pioneer new ideas and not imitate the failures of others.

“That the First Minister has refused to say how much the Unit cost during its time in operation indicates a tacit acknowledgment that it has been a complete waste of taxpayers’ money.

“In terms of its cost, its performance indicators, its achievements, the fate of its staff; the Delivery Unit is shrouded in as much mystery now as it was five years ago.”

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Team @ AberdareOnline

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