Economic Minister to Explain His 'Due Diligence' Review of the WDA Today
Byline: By SION BARRY Western Mail
Soon-to-be scrapped quango the Welsh Development Agency is operating 'business as usual', First Minister Rhodri Morgan said yesterday. The WDA is to be taken over by the Assembly Government in April as part of Mr Morgan's 'bonfire of the quangos'.
But opposition parties have expressed concerns about the way Economic Development Minister Andrew Davies has handled the merger, claiming he has attacked the work of the WDA.
They also question the timing of last week's announcement of a due diligence review into the merger - on the same day as figures showed Wales had slipped down the EU inward investment league.
The issue is due to be debated in the Assembly today.
Mr Morgan said yesterday, 'It's business as usual or better.'
He said the WDA acting chief executive [Gareth Hall] had undertaken his own review, which had revealed some problems.
'If you are grown up, you respond to that,' Mr Morgan said. 'Clearly there are some issues that need to be resolved, that's why we are carrying out the (due diligence) review.'
It is understood Mr Davies has written to all WDA staff to keep them informed of developments.
But Plaid Cymru Assembly leader Ieuan Wyn Jones said, 'Andrew Davies has undermined the morale of staff working in the WDA . …