Who we are and what we do

1.1 Roles and Responsibilities

Information about the Role of the Commissioner

For further information on the Commissioner's role, activities and objectives, please see:

1.2 Organisational Structure

The Commissioner

The Commissioner is a Corporation Sole; there is therefore no Board as one might find in other public bodies. As a Corporation Sole and the Accounting Officer, the Commissioner holds personal responsibility for directing and controlling the organisation but may authorise the exercise of her functions by any member of staff.

A nominated deputy may exercise the Commissioner’s statutory functions if the office is vacant or should the Commissioner at any time be unable to act for any reason. 

Strategic Management Team

The Commissioner has appointed a Strategic Management Team and its role is to provide advice to the Commissioner, corporate leadership to the organisation as a whole, identify and enhance opportunities for partnership and collaborative working and ensure a holistic approach to risk management, performance monitoring and the identification of remedial action.

As a group, the Strategic Management Team will contribute to:

  • the development of the Commissioner’s strategic aims and annual business plan
  • the allocation in an efficient and effective way of its financial, human and other resources to achieve those aims and objectives
  • the assessment and management of risk and opportunities
  • the overall assessment of the performance of the organisation against the objectives set out in the Annual Operational Plan and delivery of the Strategic Plan.

The membership of the Strategic Management Team consists of:

  • The Commissioner
  • Director of Corporate Affairs (Deputy Commissioner)
  • Director of Wellbeing and Empowerment

Information relating to the remuneration of the Commissioner and members of the Strategic Management Team can be found in the Annual Accounts.

Audit and Risk Assurance Committee

The Commissioner has an Audit and Risk Assurance Committee to support her as Accounting Officer in monitoring and reviewing corporate governance, risk management and internal control systems.
The Committee consists of four independent members. Good practice requires the Commissioner to regularly review and rotate the cumulative diversity, skills, knowledge and experience of the Committee members.

Members of the Audit Committee are: 

Ian Summers (Chair)

Ian Summers has worked for 32 years in public finance, audit and accountability, mostly with the National Audit Office but also had a three- year stint in the late 1980s as Chief Accountant in a Government Department. During his time with the National Audit Office (NAO), Ian advised on the finance and accountability arrangements for devolved government in Wales and also played a significant role in creating the Wales Audit Office by the merger of the NAO and Audit Commission in Wales. Currently, he works part-time as Finance and Corporate Governance Adviser at the National Assembly for Wales.

Steve Harford

Steve Harford has over 40 years experience of working in both the public and private sectors in Wales.  He has an MBA from Cardiff University, is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and an affiliate member of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.  Steve spent the last 18 years of his working career with Careers Wales from where he has recently retired from the role of Director of Corporate Services.  During his time at Careers Wales he advised and led on the merger of the previous six local Careers Companies to form one all Wales organisation.  He then worked with the Welsh Government to transfer the ownership of Careers Wales to become a wholly owned subsidiary of the Welsh Government.  Steve is a Director/Trustee of Carers Trust South East Wales and is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors.  He previously spent eight years as a member of the Gwent Community Health Council.  Since retiring Steve has been appointed as a member of the Greater Gwent (Torfaen) Pensions Fund Local Pension Board.

Mutale Merrill

Mutale Merrill has spent many years in a wide variety of roles within the public and voluntary sectors in Wales following completion of her MBA at Cardiff University. She is the founding Chief executive of Bawso, the leading third sector provider in Wales for black minority ethnic women and children facing domestic and all other forms of abuse and violence.  She was the first Chair of the Care Council for Wales and first Vice-Chair of Cardiff and the Vale University Health Board. She is Chair of the Sub Sahara Advisory Panel, working with African diaspora groups in Wales to improve the impact of international development interventions, has received a number of awards including Welsh Woman of the year in 1997, for work in the community, and the OBE in 2008, for her work in Social care and the voluntary sector.

Steve Milsom

Steve was a career civil servant in Welsh Government/Office covering 39 years, reaching the Senior Civil Service as Deputy Director for Adult Social Services. Steve worked in various senior posts in Social Services Policy for 16 years. He led the development of many new policies and had a significant role in the development of Social Services Strategies and legislation. He led the development and implementation of the Strategy for Older People in Wales. Steve is qualified at post graduate level with a Masters in Ageing Studies and a Diploma in Management Studies – both at Merit level. He is studying part time for a PhD in Gerontology at Swansea University. Since retirement in October 2013 Steve has become an Associate Consultant with Practice Solutions Ltd. He was an Advisory Group member and Rapporteur for the Commissioner’s Review of Quality of Life and Care in Care Homes in Wales (2014) and undertook an evaluation of a Quality of Life Enrichment Programme in 6 care homes in N Wales (2015). He is a member of the Commissioner for Older People’s Expert Panel on Human Rights for Older People. Steve is also vice chair of Caerphilly 50+Forum. 

The Audit and Risk Assurance Committee meets quarterly.

Audit & Risk Assurance Committee - Terms of Reference

Click here to read minutes from Audit and Risk Assurance Committee meetings

The Committee provides the Commissioner with an annual report which summarises the work of the Committee.

Audit and Risk Assurance Committee Annual Report 2014-15

Audit and Risk Assurance Committee Annual Report 2013-14

1.3 Information Relating to the Legislation Relevant to our Functions

Information about the role of the Commissioner

1.4 Lists of, and information relating to, organisations with which we work in partnership

Useful links to other organisations

1.5 Location and Contact Details

For our office location and main contact details see Contact us.