And true to his word a statement was made by the Welsh Government on the matter yesterday it states ‘The Welsh Government has launched an open competitive process to establish a Public Policy Institute for Wales. The process is designed to elicit applications from a wide range of interested parties, including think tanks, research institutes and Higher Education, and enable the Government to consider a number of possible models.
Potential applicants will be invited to a pre-tender conference in September, with firm applications invited by November. The selection will be made by the First Minister on the advice of an expert panel chaired by a senior independent individual with Board level or similar experience of a major think tank or research institute.
The Institute will be established for an initial three-year period subject to a process of evaluation and review. The financial envelope for the Institute will be in the range £250-£450,000 annually.
The Public Policy Institute is a Programme for Government commitment. Its purpose will be to promote better outcomes for the people of Wales by strengthening the links between the Welsh Government and independent sources of expert policy advice, and thereby improving the effectiveness of policy and delivery in Wales.’
Despite the time laps and the risk it could end up reinforcing the status quo by being too ambitious in its thinking for civil servants and Labour Ministers, we could at long last be seeing the start of serious policy making in Wales that is aimed at tackling our long standing social and economic problems, with both the Public Policy Institute and the recent launch of David Melding’s Think Tank Gorwel to add to the Institute of Welsh Affairs and the Bevan Foundation.