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£2M FOR DELIVERING BETTER GOVERNMENT FOR WALES ANNOUNCED

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First secretary Rhodri Morgan has announced that the national assembly for Wales has won over£2m from central gove...
First secretary Rhodri Morgan has announced that the national assembly for Wales has won over£2m from central government towards modernising its systems and procedures. 'Delivering Better Government' is the assembly's version of the UK's 'Modernising Government' programme, which has been designed radically to overhaul and improve traditional civil service methods and the way public services are delivered.

Mr Morgan, who was speaking to staff of the assembly in Cardiff, said that it was vital for the civil service to make the changes necessary for efficient working in the 21st century. 'We have a lot to learn from other organisations who have changed their systems and structures as circumstances changed and the civil service must do the same'. Mr Morgan, who was a civil servant himself in the old Welsh Office from 1966 to 1971, was speaking to a staff seminar on 'Better Ways of Developing Policy', one of seven themes in the assembly's reform process.

'There is a new openness about government in Wales today and a new spirit of co-operation and partnership with outside organisations. It is a very different atmosphere for civil servants working here today, compared to the Welsh Office I knew and worked in, in the 1960s and 1970s.

'The civil servants, who serve the assembly, are having to change to deal with this new environment and become more attuned to the needs of the people they serve, the people of Wales.

'As with most of the UK civil service, this is a very hierarchical organisation, which in itself can hinder efficient working. I want the assembly to look outwards and steal the best management methods from the most successful private and public bodies.'

The assembly has been awarded the£2m from the Invest to Modernise Fund after submitting an Action Plan, which was put together from the ideas and suggestions of assembly staff, who took part in two staff conferences earlier this year.

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