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Welsh Government to consult on changes to how alleged misconduct by senior officers in local government is tackled

The Welsh Government has launched a consultation on changes to how alleged misconduct of senior officers working in local authorities in Wales is dealt with.

The consultation follows publication in June this year of a review undertaken by Peter Oldham QC of 11KBW and Owain Rhys James of Civitas Law, which concluded that arrangements were fit for purpose but recommended some changes.

The consultation, which can be viewed here, covers proposed changes to:

  • the meaning of misconduct in the arrangements
  • the sanctions used when the Designated Independent Person has made a recommendation
  • choosing the Designated Independent Person and the cost of the appointment
  • the role of the Investigating Committee
  • the relationship between the Designated independent person and the Investigating Committee
  • the Designated Independent Person’s power of direction and sanction
  • interaction with external investigations
  • interaction with contractual terms and policies

The consultation also reveals that Welsh Ministers agreed with the Oldham Review and the Oldham Review Implementation Advisory Group’s conclusion that legal representation is vital in the process as removing this right would lead to a breach of the senior officer’s right to a fair hearing. The Welsh Ministers therefore do not intend to make any changes to this aspect of the current arrangements.