‘Time for Welsh Labour Ministers to explain themselves for AWEMA’ – Peter Black AM

2012 Hydref 18 9:48 AM

Peter Black, Shadow Minister for Equalities, has responded to the Wales Audit Office's report into the relationship between the Welsh Government and the All Wales Ethnic Minority Association (AWEMA), which concludes that the management and coordination of grant funding to the charity was 'often weak'.

Peter Black AM commented:

"The negligence that has been exposed in this report highlights something that most of us knew already - that Labour can't be trusted to act responsibly with the public's money.

"Time and time again allegations about AWEMA were raised with the Welsh Labour Government, but still it failed to put things right.

"It is nothing short of disgraceful that an organisation as badly run as AWEMA was allowed to continue receiving millions of pounds of public money, while this Welsh Government sat back and did nothing.

"It is disappointing that the Wales Audit Office has not fully uncovered and explained why the IMANI report did not include a recommendation contained in the main body of the report that no further funding should have been provided to AWEMA for new projects until it was verified that it had taken a systematic approach to performance management.

"For months the Welsh Labour Government has hidden behind the investigation into this report, using it as a reason not to comment. In spite of intense public and media interest, the Government thought that it had the right to wriggle out of being held to account. It is now time for Ministers to explain themselves. The people of Wales deserve to know why it was considered appropriate for AWEMA to receive over £7 million of public funds.

"This report states that the Welsh Labour Government's management and coordination of grant funding was particularly weak. We need to be told what the Welsh Labour Government has done to put in place checks to ensure that such a disastrous waste of public funds can not be allowed to happen again."

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