|Act of Parliament|
|Long title||An Act to make provision about the government of Wales.|
|Citation||2006 c. 32|
|Royal assent||25 July 2006|
|Amended by||National Assembly for Wales (Official Languages) Act 2012, Wales Act 2014, Wales Act 2017, Senedd and Elections (Wales) Act 2020|
|History of passage through Parliament|
|Text of statute as originally enacted|
|Revised text of statute as amended|
|Constitutional documents and events relevant to the status of the United Kingdom and its countries|
|This article is part of a series within the|
Politics of the United Kingdom on the
|Politics of Wales|
The Government of Wales Act 2006 (c 32) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that reformed the then-National Assembly for Wales (now the Senedd) and allows further powers to be granted to it more easily. The Act creates a system of government with a separate executive drawn from and accountable to the legislature. It is part of a series of laws legislating Welsh devolution.
The Act has the following provisions:
The bill received Royal assent on 25 July 2006.
The part that provides for Acts was brought into force, and the relating to Measures and related Orders in Council ceased to have effect, on 5 May 2011 following the 2011 Welsh devolution referendum. The Act was further amended to rename the Assembly to Senedd Cymru, and further extend its legislative competence to the reserved matters model, by the Wales Act 2014.
Schedule 5 of the Act describes the 20 "Fields" and "Matters" in which the National Assembly for Wales had legislative competence, i.e. the ability to pass Assembly Measures. A Field is a broad subject area, such as education and training, the environment, health and health services, highways and transport, or housing. A Matter is a specific defined policy area within a Field.
The Assembly could gain further legislative competence by the amendment of Schedule 5. There were two ways in which this can happen: either as a result of clauses included in legislation passed by an Act of Parliament at Westminster, or by Legislative Competence Orders (LCOs) granted by Parliament in response to a request from the National Assembly itself (LCOs could be proposed by the Welsh Government, or by individual members, or by Assembly Committees, but had to be approved by the National Assembly before they could go forward). The result of either method was to amend any of the 20 Fields by inserting specific Matters. The Assembly then had competence to pass legislation on those Matters.
Schedule 5 was regularly updated as result of these two processes.
Schedule 5 became moot when the Assembly gained the competence to pass Acts, which were restricted to Matters listed in Schedule 7 rather than Schedule 5, and lost the competence to pass Measures.
The Government of Wales Act 2006 was criticised by Plaid Cymru for not delivering a fully-fledged parliament.