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Cabinet Changes

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Rhodri Morgan, First Minister
On 10 July last year I made a statement to the Assembly announcing that Mike German had temporarily stepped down from the Cabinet until police investigations into aspects of his previous role as an employee of the WJEC were completed.  Following the completion of those investigations, the Crown Prosecution Service issued a statement on 13 June 2002 stating that there was insufficient evidence to justify any criminal charges.

Accordingly, in the light of this unequivocal statement from the CPS, I took immediate steps to implement the published Protocol for Partnership Government in the Assembly and confirmed Mike German’s return to the Cabinet as Deputy First Minister.

I have now appointed Mike German as Minister of Rural Development and Wales Abroad.  He will take over the rural affairs portfolio and responsibility for co-ordinating the development and regeneration of rural Wales including working with the UK Government on agricultural subsidies.  He will also chair a new Cabinet Committee on the regeneration of rural Wales which will include relevant ministers.  Mike German will also assume responsibility for co-ordinating the promotion of Wales abroad.  Subject to Assembly approval, it is proposed that he will chair the National Assembly’s European and External Affairs Committee.  He will chair the Cabinet Committee on Wales in the World.

Carwyn Jones has been appointed Minister for Open Government.  Alongside his responsibilities as Minister for Assembly Business or Trefnydd, Carwyn Jones will also be responsible for equal opportunities, freedom of information and human rights.  Subject to Assembly approval, it is proposed that he will become Chair of the National Assembly’s Equal Opportunities Committee.  He will also be responsible for matters relating to the structure of commissioners of administration, conventionally known as the Ombudsman system, in Wales.  He will have oversight of the procedures for public appointments.

This is a new and important portfolio that recognises that the process of government needs to concern all people in Wales and not only those of us in the National Assembly.

The Assembly Government gives high priority to its responsibilities in crime reduction and creating safer communities.  I have asked Edwina Hart to co-ordinate the relevant activities.  She will combine her existing responsibilities for local government and communities with the additional responsibility for action on drug and alcohol abuse, previously undertaken by the Minister for Health and Social Servies.  I have also taken over from Edwina in respect of her oversight responsibilities for staffing matters.  Functional responsibility for staffing matters continues to reside with the Permanent Secretary.

Other portfolios remain unchanged as do the responsibilities of Deputy Ministers.