Office of the Secretary of State for Wales
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Paul Murphy welcomes new guidance for devolution

New guidelines aimed at assisting the procedures for the transfer of powers to the National Assembly for Wales were welcomed yesterday by Secretary of State for Wales Paul Murphy.

The Ministry of Justice has published new guidance for UK Government officials who deal with Orders in Council to help make the process more effective.

The new guidance, Devolution Guidance Note 16 (DGN16), outlines seven guiding principles which should be considered when requests for legislation come from the National Assembly for Wales. It also sets out the procedure for dealing with Orders in Council, emphasising the need for a rigorous project management approach.

Welcoming the new guidance, Secretary of State for Wales, Paul Murphy said: “Over the past year the Order in Council process has been fully tested. We are now in a position to review how Government officials in both Wales and London have found the process and issue updated guidance to them based on their experiences.

“It is vital that we get the process for Orders in Council correct. By holding early discussions between the Welsh Assembly Government and the relevant UK Government department we can save time later in the process. The seven guiding principles in the guidance will help make this process more focused and therefore more effective.”

To complement the guidance being published by the Ministry of Justice today, the Welsh Assembly Government is publishing its own guidance for officials in Wales.

Mr Murphy added: “The guidance being published today by both the Ministry of Justice and the Welsh Assembly Government includes advice on establishing a project team for each Order, chaired by the Wales Office and made up of key officials from the relevant UK department and the Welsh Assembly Government. This team will agree a timetable for each Order which will ensure everyone involved is aware of when key milestones will be met and progress towards achieving these milestones.

“Officials in Whitehall and Cardiff have all been on a steep learning curve over the past 12 months. Good progress has been made with two Orders in Council being made and scrutiny of others already underway. I hope DGN16 will make it clear to everyone who deals with Orders in Council what their role will be in the process and how they can work together to make the process more effective.”


Interim guidance was issued to government officials last year. DGN16 will replace that interim guidance.

Devolution Guidance Note 16 (DGN16) can be found on the Wales Office website at:

Or the Ministry of Justice website at:

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