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Serious governance concerns surrounding payments to the former Director General of Amgueddfa Cymru

09 November 2023
  • The cost of the settlement payment and associated legal and advisory fees approached £750,000.

    Amgueddfa Cymru has not been able to demonstrate that it acted in its best interests as a charity or that the settlement represents value for public money.

    An employment dispute involving the former Director General and former President of Amgueddfa Cymru was resolved through a settlement agreement for the former Director General. The potential cost of the agreement exceeds £325,000, with associated legal and other costs amounting to a further £420,000. The dispute was lengthened unnecessarily by inadequacies in the mechanisms in place for dealing with issues of this nature, which may have resulted in significant additional cost to the public purse.

    Key findings of the Auditor General’s report include:

    • Lack of Adequate Policies: Amgueddfa Cymru lacked the necessary policies to address concerns raised by senior officers and non-executive Board members.
    • Governance and Decision Making: aspects of Amgueddfa Cymru’s governance, and the process for resolving the dispute, were flawed.
    • Questionable Use of Public Funds: Amgueddfa Cymru has not been able to demonstrate that it has acted in the best interests of the charity or that a settlement amounting to potential costs of £325,698 represents value for public money.
    • Unclear Government Involvement: It is unclear if all relevant procedures for the Welsh Government's consideration and approval of the agreement were followed.
    My report describes weaknesses in governance and relationships at the most senior level of an important public institution. Resolution of that situation has cost the public purse a significant amount of money, which could have been avoided. I hope my report serves as a reminder to all public bodies of the importance of the proper application of governance frameworks and principles to safeguard public money and public confidence. Adrian Crompton, Auditor General