Time for Welsh Labour Government to make 2003 Awema report public

February 7, 2012 12:07 PM

Peter Black, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Equalities Minister, is today calling on the Welsh Labour Government to make public the report commissioned back in 2003 regarding financial irregularities in the equalities body All Wales Ethnic Minority Association (Awema).

The report commissioned by the then Labour Social Justice Minister, Edwina Hart, has never been made public but it does raise questions whether it recommended it was time to stop funding Awema. It has been suggested that the report did recommended stopping funds to Awema but that this was never actioned by Labour Ministers.

Nearly a decade later, the Welsh Labour Government is expected to publish another report on the financial irregularities of Awema and suggest whether it should continue to receive public funding.

Just last week, Permanent Secretary Dame Gillian Morgan said that Awema should have been graded "high risk" after numerous allegations of financial corruption.

Peter Black has used the Freedom of Information Act to request a copy of the 2003 report.

Peter Black said:

"I welcome the Welsh Government's intention to publish the 2012 Awema report however it is imperative that they publish the 2003 report so that we can be assured that the Welsh Labour Government weren't covering up for 'one of their own', as has been suggested.

"The people of Wales have a right to know if their taxes are being spent appropriately. The expected report on Thursday will hopefully shed light on the Awema debacle but the 2003 report will give a fuller picture of what has been going on in a charity in receipt of substantial amounts of public funds.

"Carwyn Jones and the Welsh Government have always said how they want an open and transparent government. This is the perfect opportunity for the government to show their commitment by publishing this report. I have used the Freedom of Information Act to see whether the Welsh Government will publish this report that could possibly be the 'smoking gun' in the Awema affair."

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