Welsh Assembly to advertise for special advisers

The Welsh Assembly is to exceed the demands of the Neill committee into standards in public life by advertising publicly for special advisers to the Welsh Cabinet.

The Welsh Assembly is to exceed the demands of the Neill committee

into standards in public life by advertising publicly for special

advisers to the Welsh Cabinet.



First Secretary Rhodri Morgan, appointed last week following the

resignation of former First Secretary Alun Michael, is negotiating with

his personnel department to advertise four posts in the next month.

Equal opportunities policies will be followed, with an emphasis on

ability and experience alone.



This marks a change to the process by which special advisers are usually

recruited - as personal appointees of the political figure. Neill’s

report last month ruled out a requirement of transparency, arguing that

ministers had a right to impartial advice from people they trust.



One of the four posts is communications-based, while the other three

concern policy advice. The appointees will work across the nine-strong

Cabinet. The four to be appointed replace those who left office last

week along with Michael.



In addition to special advisers, the Welsh Assembly has a 12-strong

press office and Morgan has seven staff in his private office.



Morgan said: ’This is the first time special advisers have been

appointed in this equitable way. It is important that advice to Cabinet

members is given on the basis of added-value expertise.’



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