Page last updated at 12:01 GMT, Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Finance Committee

There are "significant cost benefits to be achieved through collaboration," according to Children, Education and Lifelong Learning Minister Leighton Andrews AM.

Mr Andrews made the statement whilst taking questions from the finance committee on the Proposed Education Measure on 12 January 2011.

Janet Ryder Plaid Cymru AM for North Wales questioned Mr Andrews on the delivery of savings which he stressed would be "driven locally" and "achieved through people" on the ground.

The minister explained that under the new measure, local authorities will be required to share services and enter into collaboration of joint purchasing to "drive down costs".

Labour AM Brian Gibbons had reservations with regards to the regularly impact analysis prepared by Price Waterhouse Cooper as it seemed "very up beat" and questioned whether a risk analysis had also been prepared.

Although the minister would not apologise for the tone of the report, he admitted that no process of collaboration is 100% smooth and the responsibility will lie with the local authorities to "look at the disbenefits".

Public Services Ombudsman for Wales Peter Tyndall also took questions from the committee on his organisation's draft budget for 2011-12.

Mr Tyndall faced criticism by chair Angela Burns AM as he had not brought the organisation's financial expert to the meeting.

Ms Burns, the conservative AM for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, stressed that although it was not expected for him to know all the answers but that he should have with him "a right hand man or woman who has their finger on the pulse".

When asked by Mr Tyndall for further guidance on what information to bring before the committee the chair explained that they had to "draw a line between giving you the guidance and writing the budget for you.

It was agreed that the committee would write to Mr Tyndall with the unanswered questions.

Read this in Welsh.

Finance Committee membership


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