The Office of the Secretary of State for Wales is one of the smallest UK Government Departments, with around fifty members of staff. We support the Secretary of State for Wales in promoting Welsh interests within a strong United Kingdom. We are the face of the UK Government in Wales and the voice of Wales across Whitehall, and as such we have offices in both London and Cardiff.
In essence, our role is to be a bridge between UK Government and Welsh stakeholders. This involves promoting UK Government policies and activities in Wales and ensuring that Welsh interests are fully and properly represented in Whitehall policy development and legislation. We also influence and collaborate with other UK Government departments, the Welsh Government and key stakeholders in Wales to deliver economic growth and prosperity with the greatest possible impact. This, in turn, fits within the Government’s UK-wide approach to growth and renewal.
The Secretary of State for Wales provides political direction to the Office and is supported by a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, a Baroness in Waiting in the House of Lords, and a small team of civil servants led by the Director of the Office.
Our Departmental Board is responsible for providing advice on the Office’s strategic aims and objectives in accordance with policies decided by Ministers, scrutinising our Outcome Delivery Plan and ensuring that the department has the capacity and capability to deliver that Plan and meet current and future needs. The Board is chaired by the Secretary of State and aims to: (i) provide visible and effective leadership to the organisation; (ii) ensure sound management of the Department’s resources and its corporate risks; and (iii) deliver a safe and healthy working environment for staff and visitors.
The Rt Hon David TC Davies MP, Secretary of State for Wales Chair
Glynne Jones – Director, Office of the Secretary of State for Wales Chief Executive
Why the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales is supporting Boardroom Apprentice
The Office of the Secretary of State for Wales has a long-standing commitment to apprenticeships and already has a number of apprentices among its cohort. The Secretary of State and Director both personally share this commitment.
We believe that by offering this opportunity to a Boardroom Apprentice we will provide a very unique insight into the workings of the UK Government’s smallest ministerial department. The Secretary of State is an active and engaged Chair, and Board meetings are a chance for Ministers to articulate their priorities and talk freely about how they feel the department is performing against those priorities. Key issues such as inter-governmental relations, our ability to lean on and influence other departments and the particular challenges faced by a department that has to cover the broadest possible range of topics with a very small staffing complement and budget are considered regularly by the Board and lead to discussions that are unlikely to be found in many other corners of Whitehall.
In addition to Ministers, the membership of the Departmental Board is varied across the different Civil Service professions, including policy, finance, human resources, legal, communications and private office. Our Non-Executive Directors also bring a wealth of experience. A Boardroom Apprentice will therefore have the chance to make active contributions to discussions across many issues and will engage directly with the Ministerial and Senior Leadership teams.
This opportunity also comes at an exciting time for our department. 2024 is set to bring a number of challenges and the Office will be playing its part in preparing for the general election and potential change in government. There could hardly be a better time to welcome a Boardroom Apprentice to share not only the core workings of corporate governance, but also to offer an insight into a government department that sits at the heart of Whitehall.
Location of Board and Committee Meetings
Board meetings take place in person, either in London or Cardiff. Committee meetings are usually hybrid
Frequency and timing of board/committee meetings
Board meetings are held quarterly, with an additional ‘extraordinary’ meeting to approve the Annual Report and Accounts for the year. Meetings are normally ninety minutes in duration.
Date of Board Meetings (January 2024 – December 2024)
In 2024, the Board will meet on 28th February, 15th May, 26th June, 18th September and 11th December
Committee of the Boards and meeting dates (January 2024 – December 2024)
The Departmental Board is also fed into by the Audit and Risk Assurance (ARAC) Board and the Outcome Delivery Plan (ODP) Board, both of which are chaired by the Lead Non-Executive Director and meet quarterly.