Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru

Yn ôl i Chwilio

Y Pwyllgor Materion Allanol a Deddfwriaeth Ychwanegol

External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee

25/06/2018

Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol

Committee Members in Attendance

Jack Sargeant AC
Jane Hutt AC
Jenny Rathbone AC
Mark Isherwood AC
Steffan Lewis AC
Suzy Davies AC

Y rhai eraill a oedd yn bresennol

Others in Attendance

Aileen Burmeister Masnach Deg Cymru
Fair Trade Wales
Cat Jones Hub Cymru Africa
Hub Cymru Africa
Fadhili Maghiya Panel Cynghori Is-Sahara
Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel

Swyddogion Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru a oedd yn bresennol

National Assembly for Wales Officials in Attendance

Gerallt Roberts Dirprwy Glerc
Deputy Clerk
Joe Champion Ymchwilydd
Researcher
Rhys Morgan Ail Glerc
Second Clerk

Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle mae cyfranwyr wedi darparu cywiriadau i’w tystiolaeth, nodir y rheini yn y trawsgrifiad.

The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. Where contributors have supplied corrections to their evidence, these are noted in the transcript.

Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 14:00.

The meeting began at 14:00.

1. Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.22 i benodi Cadeirydd dros dro
1. Motion under Standing Order 17.22 to elect a Temporary Chair

Prynhawn da, bawb. 

Good afternoon, everyone. 

We've received apologies from the Chair, David Rees, today. Jane Hutt has been nominated as temporary Chair. Does any Member object? 

I therefore declare that Jane Hutt is temporary Chair for the duration of today's meeting. 

Penodwyd Jane Hutt yn Gadeirydd dros dro.

Jane Hutt was appointed temporary Chair.

2. Cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau
2. Introductions, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest

Thank you very much, and welcome to members of the committee and also to our witnesses today. Of course, the meeting is bilingual, so we've got headphones for use for simultaneous translation from Welsh to English, or for amplification. I remind people to turn off their mobile phones and any other electronic equipment that may interfere with broadcasting equipment. In the event of a fire alarm, directions from the ushers should be followed. 

So, can I just say that apologies have been received, as the clerk said, from David Rees? Steffan, I'm delighted, is here today. We're moving to the Hub Cymru Africa evidence session meeting. First of all, any declarations of interest? I'm going to declare that I'm a trustee of the charity, Vale for Africa. 

I'd like to declare, Chair, that I'm a member of the Welsh Centre for International Affairs. 

3. Hub Cymru Africa—Sesiwn dystiolaeth
3. Hub Cymru Africa—Evidence session

Right, so we're moving into the Hub Cymru Africa evidence session. Perhaps you'd just like to introduce yourselves. 

Prynhawn da. Fy enw i yw Cat Jones, a fi yw pennaeth partneriaeth Hub Cymru Africa. 

Good afternoon. My name is Cat Jones. I am the head of Hub Cymru Africa partnership. 

I'm Cat Jones, the head of the Hub Cymru Africa partnership. 

Prynhawn da. My name is Fadhili Maghiya, and I'm project co-ordinator for the Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel. 

Prynhawn da. I'm Aileen Burmeister, and I'm the national co-ordinator for Fair Trade Wales. 

Thank you very much, and thank you for joining us this afternoon. I'm going to just start off by getting an overview of the work of Hub Cymru Africa. Perhaps, Cat, you could just provide us with a brief background of the organisation's activities and biggest achievements in the last year, perhaps. 

Yes. Thank you. So, the Hub Cymru Africa partnership was founded in 2015. We are comprised of five individual organisations. So, we're hosted by the Welsh Centre for International Affairs; they are the lead organisation. We also work together with Fair Trade Wales, which Aileen is representing today, the Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel that Fadhili is representing, the Wales for Africa Health Links Network, who unfortunately were not able to dial in this afternoon, and the Wales Council for Voluntary Action, who are the fifth member of the partnership. 

So, since 2015, our overall objectives have been to support the work of the Wales Africa community in Wales, starting with individuals, also small groups, but also registered charities in Wales who have interests in partnerships in Africa. Our objectives over the three years were to make sure that groups in Wales are better placed to contribute to Welsh society and economy, to make a positive contribution to development outcomes in Africa in line with the sustainable development goals, and to support Welsh institutions and businesses to engage in global issues. So, our focus has been very much on ensuring that people and groups around Wales are able to get involved in global issues. 

Over the last three years since we've been running, we've reached approximately 2,000 to 2,500 people every year around Wales, and awarded about £220,000 per year in small grants to people making applications through the small grants scheme. Over the last financial year, we awarded £221,101 to 34 individual organisations. We also provided development support to 80 individual organisations. By development support, I mean technical advice and guidance to people who are operating projects overseas. So, it can be guidance around the work of their charity, how to get financial stability in place and working with trustees, but it's also around the project management cycle of implementing individual projects, and it's about funding and fundraising for projects outside of Welsh Government funding, including working with the Department for International Development, the Big Lottery Fund, Comic Relief and other international donors. 

We've leveraged approximately £30,000 of funding in the last financial year from other donors and are currently working with four projects to get funding from the Department for International Development, worth around £50,000 each. Over the last few years, we've led an annual international development summit. The last one was hosted in Swansea, brining together a bit of a celebration of the community, and bringing in speakers from sub-Saharan Africa to inspire the groups that we work with in Wales. We've also hosted the Wales-Africa annual health conference, together with the health links network, putting a specific emphasis on the work done by members of the NHS in Wales in their various partnerships in Africa. We also support a regular programme of shared learning events, training, and celebration events in north, south and west Wales, supporting the groups who work in those areas. I think maybe Fair Trade Wales and SSAP can add a little bit specifically about the work of their organisations. 

14:05

Thank you. So, the Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel is a network of African communities in Wales who are contributing to development initiatives in the countries they come from, or the communities they come from, across sub-Saharan Africa. And, in 2009, the Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel came into force because members of the African diaspora communities in Wales discussed and wanted to know more on how they could engage with the sector in Wales and how they could add value to the sector as well. So, a lot of what came out of it is really looking at how the diaspora communities can link up with the the international development sector by connecting the diaspora communities with charities, organisations, community links who are doing projects in sub-Saharan Africa. So, for example, if the community is from Tanzania and there is a project or there is an organisation working in Tanzania, how can the diaspora community add value to the organisation, or to the activities that the organisation is doing?

Further to that, we've also identified that members within the diaspora communities are running their own organisations. So, there are kind of organisational issues, organisational challenges that diaspora communities are facing, because most of them are smaller organisations. So, access to funding, training has been an issue. It was an issue back then. And, so, another side to the Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel is supporting the diaspora organisations to equip themselves and sustain themselves, and deliver, obviously, sustainable development within sub-Saharan Africa. 

Various activities have been taking place—so, working collaboratively with Hub Cymru Africa and delivering events to diaspora communities, looking at how we can engage policy makers, such as high commissioners within the UK, with the diaspora communities, looking at how we can create a network of diaspora communities in Wales, sharing learning, sharing experiences, but also delivering specific training for diaspora groups. As I've mentioned, some of them do find challenges in terms of accessing funds, writing funding reports or funding applications altogether. So, really, the challenge has been, 'Okay, how much capacity, how much development do we need to give to diaspora communities?' and that's where SSAP comes on board. 

Other than that, also we've been using the skills and knowledge within the diaspora communities. So, we have people who are working within education institutions, working within the health sector here in Wales, and the discussion has been about how we tap into the skills and knowledge found within the Welsh community to deliver projects back home and, obviously, link with the international development sector here in Wales. So, those have been most of our activities in Wales. Thank you. 

Great. So, Fair Trade Wales is the national organisation for fair-trade education, policy, procurement, support and campaigning in Wales. The organisation was initially set up as the Wales Fair Trade Forum in order to oversee the Fairtrade Nation campaign, and that was successful on June 6, 2008, when Wales became the world's first Fairtrade Nation. So, since then, we've been supporting the grass-roots fair-trade movement in Wales, raising awareness and campaigning on fair-trade issues, and offering advice, support and guidance to organisations, schools, businesses et cetera, who are interested in doing more with fair trade, whether sourcing it or campaigning about it. We also work with UK and international fair-trade organisations, to raise awareness, to support fair-trade links and to discuss what a Fairtrade Nation is and what that means.

So, each year, during Fairtrade Fortnight, we bring fair-trade producers over to Wales and we tour them around Wales and get them to meet people and talk about their experiences. We also, each year, do a partnership farm visit with a farm in Wales. We partner with the Farmers Union of Wales and National Farmers Union Cymru to make sure that that happens so that farmers from different parts of the world get to talk to each other about the huge similarities they have, globally.

Last year, for Fairtrade Fortnight, people across Wales also held their own events. There were over 3,000 people who attended over 77 community events alone; we didn't count schools events, but there were plenty of them, as Twitter demonstrated. And we also had lots of schools, churches, AMs and MPs joining in. We did a campaign on Sainsbury's, who changed their policy around fair-trade tea, and we worked with other organisations in the UK around that. We helped to support businesses who are interested in becoming fair  trade. We have created, and are continuing to provide, secretarial support for a new fair-trade universities network within Wales, and we've also been doing some policy work around Brexit and the future of trade deals, and what that means for developing countries and for Wales. So, yes, that's what we've been doing in the past year.

14:10

There'll be lots more to ask. Obviously, your organisation goes beyond the Hub Cymru Africa links, really.

Yes, we do more—we obviously work with people in Africa, but we work with people in other parts of Asia and Latin America as well.

Right. So, I think we'll follow on with questions, which will bring this out. It is about the outcomes of the work and how we can ensure that we're securing the best that we can from your efforts and the investment. Over to you, Jenny.

How do you measure the impact that your programmes are having on people in Africa? Obviously, you're very good at promoting the importance of Wales having good relationships with African countries, buying their products, et cetera, but what impact does it have on the countries that you encourage people to go and do things in?

So, the first thing I should probably flag is that we've had a little bit of a change in structure since March 2018. So, I can talk about the work that we were doing when we were managing the small grants pot, which we no longer do. So, with the funding that we were giving to partners in Africa, a huge amount of the monitoring and evaluation work that we were doing was directly with Welsh partners on this side, so ensuring that the project management cycle is in place in the first place, ensuring that any partner working in Wales has a clear idea of what the objective of the partnership is before they take any project forward. So, with that, we were supporting people to do a comprehensive needs assessement to begin with, to identify what challenges were wanting to be worked on within the community, and then making sure that the activities that were being suggested were correctly meeting the needs that that community had identified. So, every organisation that we funded had an M&E framework—what we would call a logframe—that they were working to, and had a set of targets, and a set of indicators, so that we worked with the partner to make sure they were in place. And then, at the end of the project cycle, we went with the partner back through those indicators to make sure that everything had been met.

One of the challenges I think we faced as a very, very small donor based in Wales—every project that we funded was up to a maximum of £15,000, and then the partner would take that money and work on the project in Africa with that money—is that, as Hub Cymru Africa, we didn't have the capacity to travel to each of the countries in Africa to identify exactly how those projects were being implemented. Last year, we funded 34 individual projects, covering about 20 countries in Africa, so, of course, to be able to visit every one of those projects individually is quite difficult. However, we do require that people who are implementing the projects take a series of photographs and that they report quite comprehensively on all of the achievements that they've had. In that sense, the impact of each project is seen as an individual project. So, from where we sit, because we have a fairly broad range of projects that we are funding, we don't look at the cumulative impact. For example, if we have 15 health projects, they will be health projects in 15 countries in Africa, with 15 sets of outcomes. So, we'll be looking at those individually within projects, rather than having an overall impact as Hub Cymru Africa in Africa. Our impact is in Wales, in making sure that we are improving the quality and improving the standards for each one of those individual projects. So, we've made quite a concerted effort to make sure that we're reducing the risk where we identify projects that come to us that we suspect might not be on quite the right track. There might be potential risk of doing harm, for example. We make sure that those organisations get the training and the support that they need to reduce the risk that anything that they might be doing might not be development best practice, for example—the standards that we would use within the development industry. 

Aside from that, in terms of the monitoring and evaluation of our own work in Wales, we have a series of indicators that, again, we work to to make sure that we're on track. For things like individual events, we will do surveys and ongoing evaluation and we have an open feedback loop with the groups that we work with to make sure that they're getting the service they need from us. Because, as a partnership and as a platform, we're essentially a service delivery organisation. We do have a more comprehensive logframe, which I can share with the committee, from last year's work—so, of the three years that we were funded, when we were a small grants funder. The detail of that will show how we've been able to demonstrate improvement over time in the quality and the impact of individual projects.

14:15

When you're assessing whether or not you're going to sponsor a particular project, how much do you assess the sustainability of the idea? Because I'm sure people are very grateful when somebody's actually on site. How do you evaluate whether this project is going to have a life after individual people from Wales have returned?

It's one of the biggest things that we ask, actually, in the application form that we were asking people to fill out. Again, just to flag, the process has now changed so we're no longer responsible for the small grants funding. So, we would no longer be part of the process that makes decisions around this.

It's now the Wales Council for Voluntary Action, the WCVA. So, the process has changed within Welsh Government. There's been a sort of split in the funding, so we just provide the technical support to the projects, but we don't provide—

Yes, but we're not part of the funding decision making, if you like.

Okay. So, the WCVA is doing that on behalf of the Welsh Government.

Okay. So, what are the priorities and objectives set for you in terms of your relationship with the Welsh Government and our well-being goals? Who decides what you get up to?

That's a very good question. At the moment, we are responding to the funding bid that was put out by Welsh Government, which came with a series of activities. So, within the application form that we filled out, there wasn't a strategic direction as such, there wasn't an overview of strategy, but there was a list of activities to be completed. So, we are responsible for delivering those activities. They include an annual celebration event and a training and events programme.

We've also inserted into it two slightly new areas of work. One of those is around mentoring, which is a complement for the development support work that we already do, which would allow us to engage at a deeper level with five individual organisations that had applied for mentorship. It allows us to work with them on both developing their capacity, but also bringing new skills into their organisations, depending on what specific gaps they've identified in their own activities.

Then, the other new strand is around engaging with volunteers, so allowing there to be more people able to engage in international volunteering, both in Wales and overseas, particularly looking at bringing younger people into the sector. So, students in particular who might have an interest in going into a more professional career of international development, we'll be able to get them in from an early stage. But then the other group that we're particularly interested in is mid-career professionals who might be looking at a change and would like to do something more within the voluntary sector or engaging on international issues, and how we provide them with something concrete to actually get involved in in Wales without necessarily having to go overseas, but who could still lend a skill set somewhere within the community.

Just to go back to the point you made about, last year, 34 grants were awarded in over 20 countries, but that you can't rely upon evaluating all those projects in person and often rely on photographic evidence. How many of those projects failed or were deemed to have been unsuccessful?

From what we know, there weren't any that were not successful. In the reports that we've got back from those organisations, they've all been able to demonstrate impact and they've all been able to demonstrate that they've had a success in what they were trying to do. We have had a couple that were delayed. So, implementation was delayed for one reason or another. Some of that might often be logistical reasons around visas, around inability to get to a country when they wanted to get there—bearing in mind that a lot of the people who are implementing these projects are volunteers, so they would be doing this outside of their day job. If I take the example of volunteers who work within the NHS, they'll be full-time professional nurses, doctors, cardiologists who are working within the NHS and they will take two weeks of special leave or annual leave to go and do these projects. So, their ability to switch things around within their diaries obviously can be challenging, but we haven't had any projects that have been what we would class as a failure, and by that I mean projects have been successfully delivered. Because we've been running a fairly short time, we're not really able to say that these have got sustainable impact yet.

Some of the projects we've funded have been fairly new start-ups, but we know that by the time they've got around to receiving money from the Hub Cymru Africa partnership they were in a good place to be able to effectively implement. And we have had organisations that have come to us, for example, three or four times to get funding and they haven't been funded, because we felt that they weren't yet ready to implement a successful project. So, we make sure before we press go on any of the funding that they're in a good place to be able to do that. So, we're setting them up for success in the first place. Obviously, working on international development in Africa there are no guarantees and a lot of things can go wrong on the other side when you hit the ground, including working with volunteers working on the African side who obviously have other priorities and other professional commitments that they might need to prioritise. But, to date, we haven't had any failures. 

14:20

Well, it's the same point, actually. Okay, well, who comes in behind your projects once your funding in them stops, because obviously there's only a finite amount of money there, in order to assist with sustainability? Particularly, I'm thinking of fair trade with the local economy, if you like, and whether there are projects that have been so successful that someone else is prepared to pick them up when you're not able to do so anymore. 

So, we have had success stories of organisations that were funded by the Hub Cymru Africa partnership that have then gone on to get other funding. 

Yes. So, for example, Bangor University developed a sustainability lab that got initial seed funding from the Hub Cymru Africa partnership. They've gone on to get £15,000 from the World Bank with the project they're working on in Uganda. I mentioned earlier, there are four organisations that we're working with at the moment that are applying for the Department for International Development small charities challenge fund, which is a £50,000 pot. So, they're trying to go through that process at the moment. A lot of the organisations we work with do independent fundraising through coffee mornings, bake sales—very grass-roots fundraising. We have provided training about GlobalGiving, crowd funding and online campaigns, which some organisations have now started to use and are demonstrating success that way. We have had a couple of other organisations who are doing television adverts in parts of Africa and they're getting quite a bit of independent funding that way. 

So, within Africa is actually producing supporters as well.  

Yes. There is one group in Wales who've been very successful actually in Somaliland. I think it was £100,000 of funding that they managed to get by having a television advert where they were sponsoring an emergency appeal. 

Would it be safe to say then that you're very much responding to the demands of individuals in Wales who have individual interests about country X or project Y? There's no prioritisation of the poorest countries, the countries most affected by climate change or any other category.  

Yes, absolutely, I think that's correct. So, we're very responsive to the people who make applications to us, and we look at the individual application and we work out whether it makes sense, whether it's going to be a success, whether it's a safe project to fund and whether it's going to have a good outcome. But we're not driving the Wales Africa community in saying, for example, 'We will now only fund projects in Uganda or Lesotho, because we want to focus the impact there.' I think it is one of the challenges of having such a very tiny small grants scheme. So, the scheme that we were managing was £180,000 a year, which was divided down into very small pots. I think this year's funding is down to—. We were managing out of that to slice bits of the other part of the budget and get it up to £220,000. I think the funding that will now be launched for this year is £230,000, but, again, it's up to £15,000. So, in terms of getting overall comprehensive impact out of a pot of money that that's small, there would have to be a pretty sharp strategic decision to say, 'Okay, well, actually, because it's such a small amount of money, we will only fund projects in Lesotho', for example. To spread that money around, it's very much a case of keeping the community in Wales going and the benefit is definitely making sure that there's a grass-roots community that is active and vibrant and is doing all these different projects that we can see the benefit from in Wales. From an international development perspective, it's harder to see the benefit on the African side.

14:25

Sorry. Can I add something in there? So, obviously there is a focus on Africa specifically. I know that some of the fair-trade retailers that I work with, they work with producer groups in Chile, South America and Mexico. So, they haven't been able to access funding to do things with their producers; they have been able to access funding to do awareness-raising fair-trade activities in Wales. The other thing is that when we administered the funding, there were four funding themes that groups had to apply under—one or more of the themes—so they were health, climate change, lifelong learning and sustainable livelihoods. That's quite broad—

There were four themes, yes. They're quite broad, but, yes, we did have elements.

The development of those themes was deliberately very broad because when we put those in, we were sort of looking back at who was in this community, what kind of work they did and how we could make sure that it was the broadest possible net that people could apply to. So, again, those themes were put in place in response to the projects that were already out there. I think it's an ongoing question. There's £50,000 that is ring-fenced in that for health activities specifically, because the health community has got a particularly vibrant set of project partners, but it was definitely trying to keep the net very wide rather than having a narrower strategic focus. 

Okay. So, obviously any questions we might have about the current programme we'll need to direct to WCVA and the Welsh Government. Just looking at what are your current objectives, how are the targets that you have set now? Is that by discussion with Welsh Government?

And you have a review meeting, do you, at the end of the year to ensure that you've met those objectives?

Yes. So, we have a target document that was set with Welsh Government at the beginning of the funding cycle. We have a monthly meeting with Welsh Government, just as a slightly more informal check in, and then we have a formal quarterly meeting to review targets. That would be the cycle for the three-year funding duration. 

I'm just wondering, Fadhili, how you feel the sub-Saharan diaspora panel influences any of this. Do you steer people to Hub Cymru Africa? How close are the links to—? Because that's accessing funding. 

Yes, sure, very much so. I think I'll just quickly show you that we developed this directory of a number of Wales-based diaspora organisations. There are roughly about 30 of them, but currently there are more than 30—I think it is probably 35 or 36 that we work with and who are members of the Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel. So, these are just organisations within the diaspora communities, but also there are individuals who are not part of an organisation whatsoever, but they want to obviously contribute within the international development sector, so, for example, giving advice and support to some of the Welsh links who are doing projects, whether in Zambia or in Lesotho or somewhere else. There’s that linking element between the diaspora community and the sector. I feel, over the last few years, especially since HCA started in 2015, that there has been a lot of that. There has been a lot of, I guess, involvement of the diaspora communities within the international development sector, not just by looking at the organisations involved, but also individuals who are taking part within it as well.

I can give you a set of examples of Somaliland, for example. We have maybe about three or four organisations within the community that are very active in Somaliland. We have Hyaat Women, an association who are working with young women in Somaliland and midwives in Somaliland as well. We've got the Somaliland Mental Health Support Organisation, so they work a lot with mental health issues in Somaliland—not just in Somaliland, but within Wales as well, supporting the communities in Wales. In terms of individual links, we've managed to connect some of the academics within Wales with the sector—individuals who have got different experiences of working in international development or in various sectors in the countries they come from and are currently working in those sectors or different sectors with the sector in Wales as well.

Chair, I just need to declare that I'm a patron of Hyaat, just for a declaration of interest. I think I've got a good idea of what you do. Thank you very much. 

14:30

Thank you, Jane. We talked about—earlier we talked about objectives, KPIs and so on, through Hub Cymru Africa and what not, and much of your evaluation comes from surveys et cetera, and you also mentioned that a lot of your programmes, currently, are start-up programmes and so on. Do you think that system is working properly? Is that actually a good system to measure success, and in terms of sustainability as well, because there are many start-up programmes? In the future, do you have the ability to measure success and evaluate that properly? 

So, I think, for the small grants funding that we did up until March 2018, the system we had in place was pretty robust. As I mentioned earlier, starting from the beginning of a project cycle, making sure that we're monitoring all the way through the development, design and then implementation of a programme, and then making sure that we've got a proper feedback loop with partners afterwards and making sure that we're supporting them to get the information they need from their partners overseas. So, we've got a fairly comprehensive data set that we manage within our contract management system internally, which is available.

In terms of how we monitor ourselves, I think we're able to say that the events that we deliver and the specific activities that we deliver on the Welsh side are successful and I think they're a testament to the work that we do to support the community. So, we support them, and then they come and support us back. So, when we do collective events, for example, they're always very well attended. We make sure that we are bringing in speakers that are of interest to people, and we're continually asking people what kind of things they would like to see. So, for example, we do training surveys. We ask people what are the specific skills they think they're missing, and then we try to cater to those needs. The one thing of working with the Wales Africa community—they're quite a vocal group. So, if there's something that they're not getting that they feel like they should be getting, they will come and tell us pretty quickly and then it's down to us to respond to that need.

In terms of measuring that, we measure the number of people who are coming, we measure how many events we're able to deliver in a year. One of the objectives is to try and get more people involved in the sector and we've certainly seen an increase since the beginning of the partnership.

Okay. Thank you for that. I'd just like to move on to what your reporting requirements are to the Welsh Government and other stakeholders. You mentioned you meet informally with the Welsh Government and then on a quarterly basis formally. I know this isn't in your report specifically, but, in the Welsh Centre for International Affairs report, they do list Hub Cymru's achievements, but not necessarily their actual KPIs and the evaluation of success there. Is that something that you report to the Welsh Government on a quarterly basis—maybe not informally, but on a quarterly or yearly basis?

Yes. Yes, we report on KPIs quarterly, formally, in a formal report. Obviously, that sort of information—. So, for example, I think there would have been a copy of the last year report, which looks a bit like that. The reporting format has now changed for this quarter, so we'll be reporting slightly differently against more of a framework, which has got indicators within it. But, obviously, this wouldn't be the kind of document that we'd put out to the general public. We try to report in a way that is a bit more engaging with photographs and things that are a bit more colourful.

And, just finally, Chair, in terms of the evidence that you gather, whether it's through surveys or against your KPIs or some of the KPIs that you mentioned there, have you in the past—? Or do you accept that you may have to change your activities within the organisation to suit—? You clearly mentioned that you bring people in, your guest speakers and so on, but is that a thing that you do often or is it something that you think that, every fund that you support, it hits the nail on the head most times and you can just carry on, or is it often quite the alternative and very quickly you need to go in and change things? 

You mean change things in terms of the events?

Your activities or what you're funding, or do you need to—? If you're funding a programme and it's not exactly working in the way that you'd like it to through the feedback that you're getting, will you go in there and offer help and suggest changes there, or—?

Yes. Previously, when we've funded projects that have run into difficulties or are having a challenge for whatever reason, then, yes, we'll recommend that there are changes made. And, for some of those—for example, I mentioned there have been delays in some projects or some projects are simply not viable any more—then, in some instances, the money has been returned, where we think the project just isn't going to work. But in future, going forward, for the events and things that we put on in Wales, yes, we're very flexible and able to adapt things at the last minute if we need to do so, yes, and, again, I think we try to be as responsive as we can to the community's needs. 

14:35

Maybe just to add to what Cat said, one example of how we evolve and change according to the times is looking at, for example, how we deliver training. In the past, it used to be more face-to-face meetings with groups, and so someone would go to, say, Bangor or Wrexham and deliver a training session, and there are some challenges to that, in a sense—you can go to Bangor and there's probably one individual signing up. But what we have done is actually develop webinars, which means someone can actually go online and access webinars wherever they are, and this is something I guess we learnt over time, and we've got to change according to what the community needs, really.

So, talking of reporting, at the moment, Fair Trade Wales, our requirement over the next six months is to do a review into Wales as a Fairtrade Nation, and our targets for the next two and a half years will be set in September. So, when we're talking about the reporting, our specific three-year targets haven't been set yet. So, we're not doing a review of ourselves, but we're doing a review of Wales as a Fairtrade Nation, and we've got a briefing document that we have agreed with the Welsh Government on what that entails, and there are three elements of that. The first one is a look back at what Wales has achieved and what Wales has done so far. The second element that we're looking at is what's happening in the international movement. So, Wales was the world's first Fairtrade Nation in 2008, but Scotland has joined us, Northern Ireland has joined us; there are lots of other nations and regions that are interested in this concept and what it means.

The original criteria were set over 12 years ago, and they're looking a little bit worse for wear. So, there was a meeting in 2016 in Glasgow with these different nations and regions, and we're hosting another meeting in Cardiff in September, and we're going to be having another talk about what a Fairtrade Nation means, what that looks like, what it could mean in the future, and we're going to be feeding in the results of our review to that. The third element that it's covering is we're gathering views of people across Wales of actually what this should look like. We're not responsible for a Fairtrade Nation; it's all of Wales. So, we're having focus groups. We've got an online survey, which is out and available and being filled in by people. One of the focus groups we are having is with Assembly Members. Simon Thomas AM has kindly sponsored it, on Wednesday 18 July, from 6.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. We haven't sent out invitations yet, but they will be coming, so please do look out for them; we'd really love to have your input.

Thank you, Chair. Just taking a step back and looking at international development policy more generally in Wales, do you think we've got the architecture of it right, particularly when we compare it to Scotland and other devolved nations? Here, I've got a copy of the international development strategy, which is part of their international policy, which has measurable KPIs—and a £10 million budget doesn't do any harm either—so I just wonder whether you think that in Wales, yet again, in another area, we are doing some really good things, but that we could be doing so much more if only, from a Government point of view, horizons were broadened.

I think that's a good point and it's something that we've been having conversations on recently with the Wales Overseas Agencies Group, which is a group of the international development organisations in Wales, so not only organisations that are funded by Welsh Government, but organisations that have independent funding and are working in Wales. We do think that there is an opportunity to be doing some more strategic thinking around what an international strategy could look like for Wales. So, the Wales for Africa programme started in 2006, and we've passed the 10-year point at this stage, but we're not necessarily clear on what the overall strategic direction is from a Welsh point of view. We are looking at quite a different community to the community that is worked with in Scotland, so, to date, what has been supported in Wales is very much a grass-roots voluntary movement, and it's people who are donating time and donating skills and expertise outside of their regular employment. We don't necessarily have such a strong professional international development sector, which might be something that Welsh Government would like to see develop a bit more in future. The funding that comes from Welsh Government has been consistent in the amount over the last 10 years, but how it's been applied has been quite changeable, I would say. So, things are funded on a three-year cycle, so, in terms of being able to grow a movement and grow a sector in Wales, it would be helpful if there was more consistent funding.

If we look, for example, at the Scotland-Malawi partnership, which has had a sizeable chunk of money, that's been a flagship programme that has been going for more than 10 years now, with very consistent funding. There are some examples of that within Welsh Government with the Plant! project, but there's certainly a lot more movement in how the money is spent in other parts of the budget. We would like the international sector to be engaged in a broader conversation about how we go around developing an international development strategy for Wales. We do have examples, so, when we met with the cross-party group, in December I think it was now, we put forward some examples from Catalonia, from Quebec, from Scotland and from Flanders of what other countries of a similar size are doing—again, they have different budgets, but that doesn't necessarily have to be a constraint. I think there is an opportunity over the next six months and it's a good time over the next six months, given that we're 11, 12 years into the programme now, to start to look at what the threads of the strategy could be, but having that overall coherence is important.

I pulled out—when we started doing a bit of research on it, we have this document, which is a foundational document developed in 2006, which puts out broad bones. I'm not sure that we've come back to this collectively as a sector to say, 'Okay, well, we were going to do that, how much of that did we do and where are we going next?' I think today's conversation, hopefully, is the start of that, but, certainly, there is a wider professional sector out there who would like to be involved in that conversation.  

14:40

Is there a constitutional reason for Scotland doing things very differently to Wales or is it just that it's a priority? I mean, for example, Wales—which is, I think, a great shame to our country—doesn't have an external affairs Minister. Of course, Scotland has an external affairs Minister and Ministers with responsibility specifically for international development as well. I just wonder whether Welsh Government could hide behind, 'Well, we don't have the same powers as them and therefore we can't do it', or whether, actually, if we wanted to, if the will was there, we could. 

Our understanding is that Scotland has what's called the letter of comfort, which was signed in 2004 between the international development Secretary in Westminster and the then First Minister of Scotland, which allowed Scotland to have the opportunity to do international development formally. So, the legal affairs department of Welsh Government, we understand, was not given the same power and didn't have the same—

—letter of comfort. I don't know. I wouldn't know what the conversations were around then. We've been trying to get hold of a copy of the Scottish letter of comfort and haven't managed to do so. 

Yes, it's a bit of an elusive document at this point. There are people who've seen it and it was very short—literally a few words saying, 'Go ahead and do it'. But the wording of the Scotland Act and the wording of the Wales Act that is now in place are virtually identical in terms of the powers that are awarded to both nations to be able to do international development. So, I think it's a particularly good time to be going back to Westminster and saying, 'These are the things that Wales would like to be taking forward' and how we go about supporting that.  

Just one final point: I just wondered whether one of the difficulties if we had a dedicated ministry in Wales and a growing professionalisation of the sector would be perhaps a squeeze on the good work that is done by the third sector. Do you think that it would be possible to strike a balance between a professional, more politicised, strategic approach on a governmental level to international development in Wales as well as keeping going the good work that's done by the voluntary sector? I suppose what I'm getting at really, in a very long-winded way, is: how do we keep the grass-roots element that is proving to be successful in international development and not lose that or dilute it if we do develop a more strategic governmental approach?  

I think the two things are very complementary. So, by professional sector I mean more people who are employed in international development posts in Wales—it doesn't necessarily have to be employed by organisations that are funded by the Government, but it's allowing there to be a bigger civil society and encouraging more organisations to come in who are working on international development. So, for example, United Purpose coming into Wales I think is really good for the sector. They're now based—they have their global headquarters in Cardiff and they have a whole cadre of international development professionals who are now based in Wales and are able to operate with the Welsh sector. Having more organisations doing that, having their base in Wales, is incredibly helpful. What we've found is that, when we're bringing in international experts from other countries who are able to talk in Wales, it really galvanises the grass-roots sector, it inspires people and it reminds people why it was they got into this work in the first place. Relying purely on the voluntary sector is difficult because—. We've mentioned the time constraints, but also people can become de-motivated—the funding isn't available, it seems that you're constantly chasing your tail trying to get money. And then you meet somebody who's running a livelihoods project in Malawi, for example, and you think, 'Of course, now I remember what it is that we were doing', and you get that motivation back. So, I think the two things are very complementary and are hand in hand.

Again, to look at the Scottish example, they've got a really nice balance of an established Scottish Government-funded programme, and they have a small grant scheme that is similar to the Welsh scheme, but it's not the only thing that they do. They also have a bit more money to be able to support flagship programmes and support separately a co-ordination network, which is kind of the platform function that Hub Cymru Africa has. So, I think the pieces are around in Wales. The individual strands are there; it's a case of bringing it together.

14:45

Sorry, could I add—?

The review that we've been doing very much—the preliminary review—so far, the findings definitely say that people want the Welsh Government to be leading on this. They feel more encouraged, particularly with fair trade. Our groups are trying to get their councils and their counties involved, trying to get businesses procuring more fair-trade items, and they definitely feel more encouraged when they hear that we're a Fairtrade Nation, when they hear that the Government is supportive of this. That's certainly encouraging for them.

Apologies; I was a little bit late coming in, so if you've covered this, I am sorry. I wonder if you can help me understand some of the figures that we have relating to the Wales for Africa programme in its entirety, really. We know from research that in 2015-16 the budget was £860,000. You've just said that funding is relatively consistent. Do you know if it's a lot more in 2017-18, or what it looks like for 2018-19?

As far as I know—and again, I wouldn't know the details of this—I think it's at the same level. There hasn't been an increase at all in the 10 years that it's been awarded.

Okay. And you wouldn't know if there's any Barnett consequential that comes in from this as well. Probably not, judging by what we were talking about earlier.

But bearing in mind what was said about Scotland—they found a cunning plan to get some money through that way. Well, from what I can see, the Wales for Africa grants—. You mentioned that you were looking for more this year anyway in that pot. Is that out of the £860,000, or is that separate again?

Within the £860,000 this year, there's £230,000 allocated to small grants, which is being administered by the Wales Council for Voluntary Action.

Okay. So, where's the balance between the £230,000 and the £860,000? Where is that? 

The rest of that money is managed by the Welsh Government and handed out in different grants to different organisations.

Who does that? Is that the WCVA or the Welsh Centre for International Affairs?

No, that's the civil service.

Yes. So, the £860,000 is managed by civil servants, who then allocate different amounts.

Okay, then, where does—? I'm sure I saw it in here. The WCIA—they get £623,620. What's that money?

That's the money that was, up until March 2018, for the Hub Cymru Africa partnership. So, we were responsible for spending two thirds of the overall Welsh Government pot, but with the split in funding this year, we are now responsible for a third of it, rather than two thirds.

Oh, right. This was probably explained when I wasn't here; so, sorry about that.

No, it's fine. So, we are now £349,000 annually of the £860,000, and then the other parts of that are allocated to other organisations by the Welsh Government.

Okay. Was that work that you did before? Apart from deciding on small grants, which now you don't do because the WCVA does it, where that money is going now—was that previously distributed by you, then, if I can put it in such blunt terms? It's actually doing completely different work, is it?

Do you mean the £860,000?

It's been split. So, half of it—

So, you have some of it, and some of it has gone to the Welsh Government.

But what the Welsh Government is using it for now—is that very similar to the work that you were doing before?

Okay. Do you know why they split it up, then, if they're not following a completely different track? Or is that a difficult question for you to answer?

Our understanding is—. We don't actually have the full picture. We've never had a formal explanation of why the decision was taken, but our understanding is that it was to keep in line with procurement rules within the Welsh Government around small grants allocation needing to be made by contract rather than by a grant. So, Welsh Government funding to us was through a grant rather than a procurement service contract. The small grants—it's confusing, with multiple uses of the word 'grants'—

But they didn't then go out to procurement to replace the system that you would have been enjoying before. They just kept the money and are doing it themselves.

No, they have gone out to procurement, and the WCVA won the tender to do the procurement of the small grants.

But that's only part of it. That's only £230,000-odd; that isn't the whole whack.

14:50

Yes. The other part was done by grant to us. So, it's a dividing of the pot.

I think we probably need to explore this, don't we, further, in terms of how Welsh Government—?

[Inaudible.]—asking the questions; I'm just wondering how the £860,000 is spent, really.

One thing I can say is that from the conversation that we've had with the Wales overseas agencies group, it would be helpful for the whole sector to have more transparency around how the £860,000 is spent, because we don't know ourselves. We know that this year we'll get £349,000 that we will deliver the activities on.

Yes. We can account for that piece. We can't account for any of the rest of it. It wouldn't be our job to account for that, but it would be helpful to see more transparency around how that money is spent and how it's allocated.

Well, yes, particularly as the money hasn't really gone up over the 10 years either. So, it has to do more for less, effectively.

From a Fair Trade Wales perspective, over the past 10 years, we've had cuts to our funding. Before Hub Cymru Africa, we had a member of staff working solely on education work, and that was not continued to be funded. So, over the past three years, our schools work has drastically dropped, and we're continuing to try to work with organisations in the UK that do schools work on fair trade. But unfortunately, we're the only organisation really promoting bilingualism, and a lot of the bilingual resources that we used to provide to schools now aren't available, or they're out of date, and we don't have funds to even really talk to the other organisations to help them promote more bilingual activities. So, we're seeing more and more schools dropping off the Fairtrade schools scheme, or not being able to renew in the same way, because of that. And then, in this most recent year, from March to April, we've also had a cut in staffing again, so we have less capacity to do what we want to do.

That's outside the Africa work; that's more generally in Fair Trade Wales, yes?

No, we're funded through that system; we're part of Hub Cymru Africa. So, that's how we receive our funding.

Has it affected the advisory panel at all? Probably not directly.

Not so much, actually, because we started off as one member of staff, and it has been within the funding from Hub coming up or from the Welsh Government in general. But I guess what the funding has done is actually support the Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel to leverage more funding from elsewhere. So, in a similar way to how we're working in groups, we've managed to get some funding from Comic Relief and DFID to carry out other projects as well. So, it hasn't had a massive effect on us, really, because it was a one-man team anyway to begin with.

Thank you. So, not massively, but it has helped in the sense of us leveraging further funding from somewhere else.

I just love the way you're called an advisory panel and it's just you.

I didn't go into the details exactly, but the members themselves—they are the ones forming the advisory panel together.

I wish it was just me.

I think with these sorts of conversations around funding, it really does lend itself back to the conversation about what the strategy is to begin with. If there is an overall comprehensive strategy, and we're all clear on what it is that we're trying to achieve, and what is the realistic impact that we can make with £860,000, if we look at that pot of money, and there's a collective sector-wider decision of how that money is spent and allocated that we agree on, we can go off and work on that basis.

I think there's a track record from within the sector of being able to deliver a huge amount on a very, very tiny budget. We're pretty adept these days at doing enormous events on a shoestring, and I think we will continue to do that. We know that there's Government cuts across the board, so it's quite understandable that this sector would not be lavished with money at the moment, and we are able operate on that basis. But it would be good if we had a collective sense of vision for it, and then we had transparency around how decisions for funding are made, and we can input into that process.

Thank you very much. One of the things that—. Unfortunately, we couldn't have the evidence from Dr Kathrin Thomas from the health links network. It goes back to the point about professional engagement as well. I mean, that's very much driven by clinicians as well as managers so that all over Wales, all health boards, don't they, have quite strong partnerships and exchange programmes for doctors and nurses. So, I've said I'd like to have a seperate session with Kathrin Thomas and the Welsh health links network, because committee members, I'm sure, would want to hear more about that. But do you actually contribute to the funding of Welsh health links as part of the £349,000, or is that separate?

Yes. It's a slightly torturous administrative arrangement because they're a member of the partnership, but they don't have direct implementing staff. So, they deliver shared learning events and the health conference, but it's the staff of Hub Cymru Africa who physically deliver the event. So, we'll be responsible for the administration and organising of them. The health links network, because they're a very big professional network, bring in experts and speakers from their own connections across Wales, England and Scotland. So, for example, when we do the annual health conference, they will be bringing in experts from projects they've worked on in Africa, and they'll also be bringing in expertise from across the NHS. But we'll do the administration of it.

14:55

They've got a big event on 13 July, which you're presumably organising.

We are, yes. We're helping to organise that.

Yes. David Nott is coming to speak, which we're very excited about. He's a famous war surgeon from Carmarthen and he'll be doing a lecture in the afternoon in the Heath hospital on 13 July. We'll have it part lecture, part interview style, so he's being interviewed by Wyre Davies, the BBC journalist. Before that, the health links network will have a shared learning event where they come together. It's another event that we help them set up, which is them bringing together the partners from around south Wales who do individual health projects, and collective learning and sharing of understanding of how those projects are working—successes, challenges, et et cetera—before David Nott comes to speak. So, it's an open public event. People are welcome to come and attend.

Mark, do you want to pick up on some of the last couple of questions?

If I may. And again, apologies for my lateness; I've been travelling down from the north. It's a very scenic journey, but there we are. Just building on the last points, Jane and I will remember the debates in the second Assembly that preceded the creation of the programme, when I think there was unanimity in that the opposition parties found that they were pushing at an open door. But the First Minister at the time clarified, in the context of the then devolution settlement, the fact that international development wasn't technically a devolved matter, but that we could, nonetheless, illustrate a Welsh commitment. A few moments ago, you made reference to the latest Wales Act and the reference to international development there. Do we know—and you may or may not be able to answer, but I think we need to establish—whether, in consequence, there is any Barnett consequential?

No, we asked that. But since reserved powers have come in, maybe there are different ways of looking at it.

Okay. And the broader point is that the work you're doing must be cutting across other programmes, whether they're UK or Commonwealth programmes. Do you receive or are you able to receive financial support from those as well? Or, because you're a creation of Welsh Government, is that not feasible?

There's no bar on us accessing funding from other sources and we are about to receive a small amount of money from the Department for International Development, which complements the money that we get from Welsh Government. We do sit on the UK alliance, which is a network of networks—there is a sister organisation to us in Scotland, in Northern Ireland and in England—which is Bond, the big international development co-ordination forum. So, those four organisations will get together every six months and we compare notes on what's happening in Scotland, what's happening in England and what's happening in Northern Ireland and we try to support each other to get funding. So, off the back of that, we have a good working relationship with the Department for International Development in the UK and we've hosted them here for events on several occasions and will continue to do that with this new round of funding. That's quite an important support relationship for us to be able to help, also, the groups that we work with to get funding through the DFID pots, even though that's often a challenge.

And the Commonwealth? Is there any equivalent relationship there?

SSAP have worked a bit more with the Commonwealth Secretariat. Do you want to—?

Yes. As part of the Commonwealth summit this year, we worked with the WCIA to host what they call big lunches across Wales. There's one in Cardiff and I think one in Wrexham as well. The majority of work has been just a very small amount of money given to the WCIA and then the WCIA are working in partnership with the Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel and various other organisations as well, to bring different communities together for these big lunches. So, we have received some funding previously from the Commonwealth, but it has been specifically for the build-up to the summit.

I think, in terms of Hub Cymru Africa, we have also managed to get some funding from the Waterloo Foundation in the past to support some of the work we do. We also did a potential bid with the Big Lottery, working on disability inclusive development, which included working with some of the organisations in Wales who are delivering disability specific projects in Uganda. Unfortunately, it didn't go to fruition, but it was one of the examples where Hub Cymru Africa is working with members of the community to leverage further funding. 

15:00

Thank you. Just a couple of final questions from me. What about Brexit? Have you had to reassess your priorities? Perhaps Fair Trade Wales particularly on—.

The potential for trade policy to return to the UK is a very big issue, especially when we're talking about fair trade and making sure that trade is done fairly. We are part of the Trade Justice Movement, which is UK-wide organisations working on trade justice and basically are just trying to campaign around making sure that if trade policy does come back to the UK, it is done fairly and that developing countries aren't forgotten about. There's obviously a high number of priorities for all the Governments to consider, but we need to make sure that—. Some analysis has been done and there's potential, I think, for—it was either £1 million or £1 billion—those are very different numbers, aren't they—tariffs, essentially, to be put on poor producers, where businesses will go out of action as a result of that.

So, the three main asks that we've been raising as part of this process are: to secure and improve market access for developing countries, in line with the sustainable development goals; to ensure trade deals are negotiated with a proper democratic process, and that involves making sure that the devolved Government and administration have a role in deciding what happens with trade deals and being able to negotiate them; and also to carry out impact assessments of trade deals, of the potentials for them on small economies, because, very often, with trade deals, impact assessments are done between the countries of the trade deals and not smaller nations or countries that could be affected by those trade deals. We also want that impact assessment to be holistic and not just economic. We want it to consider social and environmental—and gender, workers' rights and all those other aspects that are important to be considered with that. So, we think that they're—. We have previously worked with the Fair Trade Advocacy Office in Brussels and other organisations on wider EU trade policies, but with what's happening with trade, or what may or may not happen with trade, according to the Bills going through Westminster at the moment—there is large potential for us to want to work on that if we had capacity to be able to do so.

I think, on the issue of Brexit, one thing that we might see is, if economies across all of Wales are being squeezed, people are going to have less time for voluntary activities and less time to be fundraising and getting involved in this kind of work. If we are going to see an overall economic decline, then one of the first things that would go would be extracurricular voluntary activities, if you like, so I think it's all the more important that we're able to work with groups at the moment to make sure that they're sustainable in their activities and that they're able to support the relationships that they have with partners in Africa. I think there is a huge benefit to doing this work, both for Wales and for Africa, and I think we need to maintain that focus on the benefit. It's something that has always had cross-party support within Welsh Government, which I think the sector is incredibly grateful for. I think we need to make sure that we're demonstrating the positive side of doing this work as we go forward.

Very short one—I think you made reference to import tariffs, and in the past there have also been views expressed on export subsidies and the impact of those on developing markets. Have you included that within your consideration?

I'm not sure, to be honest. I'm mainly working with experts in London who have full-time capacity for these issues. They have looked at an awful lot of issues to do with tariffs and subsidies, and how they impact people. I think that the work that we're doing around the Trade Bill and the customs Bill is much more about import tariffs, rather than subsidies, and that's a separate piece of work that they might be working on, but, in the past few months, I haven't been able to update on all of those issues. I think that it is an issue worth considering and I think the lack of some developing countries being able to equal export subsidies within their own countries as well means that they're not able to support their own producers, due to regulations on them to do with aid requirements and different things like that. So, that's not something that we've done yet, no.

Thank you very much. I think the evidence you've given this afternoon's been extremely valuable, and actually much of it also links to other work that this External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee is doing, post Brexit, in terms of future relationships. So, thank you for attending, Fadhili, Cat and Aileen. We would like to have a chance to hear from Kathrin Thomas as well, so we'll rearrange that. 

15:05

We'll send you a transcript so you can check it out. Also, obviously there's a lot there for us to consider in terms of a way forward. Diolch yn fawr. 

Thank you very much. Diolch yn fawr. 

4. Papurau i’w nodi
4. Papers to note

Right, I think we're on time for the papers to note. We're still in public session, so can we just go to the papers to note? The first one—correspondence from Greg Hands, Minister of State for Trade Policy, regarding the implications—

I don't know whether we've had a successor announced yet? Steffan.

One thing of interest—well, the only thing of interest in the letter was the information about:

'lt is precisely for this reason that my Department has established a
programme of work with the Devolved Administrations to facilitate how your Government and the other Devolved Administrations can inform the development of an independent UK trade policy over the course of 2018'.

That's the first time I've seen that mentioned. I just wonder whether we can get further information about the forward work programme on UK trade policy.

We were going to—we had invited him to come, actually, in October.

Could we get some information from the Welsh side, do you think, maybe, in the meantime?

Well, we're also—the Cabinet Secretary's coming next week as well. So, we could pick it up then. 

We don't know about it. That's why we asked, I think, if he could come to committee. But we can follow it up with the Cabinet Secretary and also the next—whoever is replacing him.

So, secondly, the correspondence from the Llywydd to the First Minister regarding the EU withdrawal Bill. Happy to note?

The third paper—correspondence from Mick Antoniw, Chair of the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee, to the Cabinet Secretary for Finance on the inter-governmental agreement. Okay.

Fourth paper—[Interruption.] Okay.

The letter from Mark Drakeford to Mick Antoniw, and then there's a further letter from Mark Drakeford, allegedly clarifying the inter-governmental agreement. 

The I wonder if—. On page 50 of the pack, the Cabinet Secretary says that

'the draft Bill which the Secretary of State will be required to produce will apply only in England, or to reserved matters.'

But then, further on, in the other letter, page 54:

'it gives an unequivocal guarantee that UK Ministers will not bring before Parliament any legislation relating to England to make changes to retained EU law in areas subject to regulations.'

The first letter's to do with environmental legislation, which is regulation-heavy, I would imagine. I just wonder if we could get a legal clarification on that point. There just seems to be a contradiction to me in relation to the inter-governmental agreement. 

Just a legal perspective I'd like, before we ask the Cabinet Secretary himself. 

Fine. Okay, thank you.

We've just got to go back to 4.5, paper to note 5—that's the correspondence with the Llywydd and Karl Heinz Lambertz regarding the Committee of the Regions.

So, we've done 4, 5, 6. Paper 7—Cabinet Secretary for Finance regarding the Brexit transition inquiry. That's to note as well, the Brexit transition. When are we seeing finance Secretary on that? 

Next week, on transition. Okay, everyone happy? Papers 7 and 8—a summary of all evidence received as part of this transition inquiry is being discussed at the next meeting, is it? Forthcoming.

15:10

Forthcoming, before the end of term. 

Before the end of term, and that's—. So, we've got the correspondence from Robin Walker regarding the Brexit transition inquiry. Okay.

And then paper 9 is the letter from the Cabinet Secretary for Economy to Angus MacNeil, Chair of the House of Commons—

There's a lot in this letter that is worthy of further scrutiny. Being in the room next door when the big boys are talking about international trade I think is appalling, and that deserves an explanation. 

Of course, Ken Skates is responding on behalf of the Welsh Government, so this may be something that the Assembly committee would want to pick up because it's a select committee. Shall we pick that up and discuss it with the Chair? 

We need to be certain as well who would answer questions from the Government on this—would it be Mark Drakeford or would it be Ken Skates, considering he's responded to this? 

The council for Ministers. It would be the FM, the First Minister, wouldn't it? 

Ken Skates answered the letter. If it went to him and it wasn't deemed within his remit, then presumably somebody else would have replied. 

It's on international trade, so I presume that's why. But, clearly, the point for us to consider as a committee is whether we want to respond to Angus MacNeil as well. But we'll clarify that point.   

Can I just ask who sent that as a paper to note? Was it the Government or Angus MacNeil? 

The Government. Yes, it's copied to the Chair of the committee—the Chairs of the External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee and the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee of the National Assembly. You sit on that committee, don't you, Suzy? Do you?

Who sits on the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee? 

You do, Mark. So, whether you've received that formally yet or not, I'm not sure. 

Right, so there are a lot of papers to note. 

5. Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42 (vi) i benderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod
5. Motion under Standing Order 17.42(vi) to resolve to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting

Cynnig:

bod y pwyllgor yn penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.42(vi).

Motion:

that the committee resolves to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(vi).

Cynigiwyd y cynnig.

Motion moved.

Derbyniwyd y cynnig.

Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 15:12.

Motion agreed.

The public part of the meeting ended at 15:12.

Archwilio Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru