The Assembly’s achievements
The Government of Wales Act 1998 originally created the National Assembly for Wales as a “body corporate” with responsibility for exercising both parliamentary and governmental functions. Being a body corporate meant that, in law, it continued to exist even during an election campaign. The Assembly was not dissolved and Members remained as such right up to the date of the election.
The Government of Wales Act 2006 formally separated the two roles (parliamentary and governmental) and created separate legal entities to carry them out: the Welsh Assembly Government (Welsh Government) to exercise governmental functions, and the National Assembly for Wales to exercise parliamentary functions, including law making and scrutiny of the Welsh Government.
The reconstituted Assembly is not a body corporate but rather an unincorporated association of 60 Members, which is dissolved a few weeks before each Assembly election and reconvened after the newly elected Members return. The Assembly is therefore not a permanent, continuing body and, as such, is not capable (for example) of entering into long-term contracts or owning property. The 2006 Act created the Commission as a permanent legal entity that is able to enter the long-term contracts, appoint the staff and own the property necessary for the National Assembly for Wales to exercise its functions.
Detailed reports on the achievements of the Assembly to date:
Third Assembly (2007 – 2011) – Legacy Report
Second Assembly (2003 – 2007) – Key Events
First Assembly (1999 – 2003) – Key Events