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National Library Of Wales Board To Set Up Governance Taskforce  To Implement Review Reccomendation

Press Release Issued on Behalf of the Board of Trustees of the National Library of Wales

Issued July 10, 2015

AT its meeting on March 13, 2015 the Board of Trustees of the National Library of Wales agreed to commission an independent external review of the operation of the Library’s disciplinary policy and other matters which led to an Employment Tribunal hearing in Haverfordwest last year which decided that two members of staff had been unfairly dismissed.

The purpose of the review was to critically assess the processes and decisions made by staff and Library representatives that led to the Reserved judgment which found in favour of both claimants.

Through open competition, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) were appointed to undertake this review, and a report setting out their findings was submitted to the Board of Trustees today (July 10, 2015).

Key findings

The following were key findings of the PwC review:

Disciplinary process and the subsequent claims and Employment Tribunal could have been handled more effectively.

A lack of up-to-date and clear policies and procedures was a contributory factory in the handling of the issues identified in respect of the two employees by the Library.

Certain aspects of governance could be more effective.


To assist the Library in making the required improvement, the review has set out a number of recommendations.

1. The Library’s Disciplinary Policy and related procedures should be reviewed and improved to:

-          Clearly set out the processes that should be followed for matters relating to senior management.

-          Outline the remit, conduct and powers of the Disciplinary Panel.

-          Ensure that its processes and sanctions are in accordance with principles of the ACAS Code of Practice and guidance on discipline and grievances at work.

-          Incorporate the ability for a wider range people to undertake disciplinary investigations relating to senior management.

-          Specify the need for allegations to be clearly articulated within all correspondence to individuals.

-          The outcome of decisions should also be articulated with explanations as to which allegations are being upheld, and which are not.

2.     Develop an up-to-date Fraud Policy, which is made available to all staff.

3.     Update the Library’s whistleblowing policy to reflect changes in legislation.

The Library should also take steps to raise awareness of the existence of this policy.
4.     Update the Library’s performance standards procedure to accurately reflect its current staff     appraisal process.
The Library should also remind staff of the existence and significance of this procedure.
5.     Remind staff of the importance and benefit of using the Library’s staff appraisal process and to formerly document areas of development.

Additional training should also be provided to equip staff with the necessary skills and confidence to deal with the whole range of scenarios arising from the staff appraisal process.

6.     Record more clearly the nature of a declared interest in the minutes of Board and Audit     Committee meetings.

7.     Ensure that procedures relating to the performance appraisal of the Chief Executive are     also in line with the requirement for other members of staff.

8.     Review the capacity of the HR function to ensure that it is appropriate to meet the future     direction and challenges upon the organisation.

9.     Consider how it can strengthen the effectiveness between the Board of Trustees and     senior     management. A formal Board and senior management development programme     should be implemented to improve the governance of the organisations.

10.    Put in place arrangements and performance indicators to monitor the performance of     Internal Audit.
A self-effectiveness review also needs to be undertaken by 2018 in accordance with the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards.

11.     Develop a core programme of training and development for Library managers.

This should include specific training on procurement and governance. Important areas of training should be made mandatory.    

The Board has formally accepted all the recommendations made in the PwC report, and has set up a Special Governance Taskforce  to discuss and develop a detailed timetable for the implementation of all of the recommendations, and to report back to the next Board meeting in September.

The Special Governance Taskforce  will consist of a number of senior representatives of the Board.. External support and advice will be sought when necessary to determine what further actions may need to be taken in the light of the report.

National Library of Wales President Professor Sir Deian Hopkin said: “The Board is absolutely determined to remedy any identified concerns in our procedures, disciplinary processes, management and governance to ensure that we resolve the issues identified in the report. As the report indicates, we have already made considerable progress on a number of issues, such as organisational  restructring, but more needs to be done”.

“In a spirit of full transparency, a copy of the PwC review has been made available on the Library’s website at”


Press release issued on behalf of the National Library of Wales by Alastair Milburn, Effective Communication, 07813 857328 / 029 2083 8311;

The Report of the Independent External Review presented to the Board of Trustees of the Library on 10 July 2015 can be found here.