Wales

Awema: Darren Millar AM says letters raise questions about other charities

A Conservative AM has claimed he has letters making allegations about the management of funds by charities and organisations in Wales.

It comes as the relationship between the Welsh government and the All Wales Ethnic Minority Association (Awema) is investigated.

Darren Millar said concerns were expressed over the Welsh government's "failure to monitor" other bodies.

He declined to name these groups on the BBC Wales Dragon's Eye programme.

Funding for Awema was suspended earlier in February following a highly critical report by government auditors.

The Welsh government inquiry found a "complete lack of oversight of the financial processes and controls" at the Swansea-based race relations charity.

'Failure to monitor'

Awema chief executive Naz Malik and finance director Saquib Zia have been dismissed and administrators have been called in to wind up the organisation's affairs.

South Wales Police is also monitoring the situation at Awema.

Mr Millar, who is chair of the assembly's public accounts committee, told BBC Wales' Dragon's Eye programme: "I've had letters from people from other organisations raising concerns about the way funds have been managed, and the monitoring, or the failure to monitor by the Welsh government of other charities and organisations across Wales."

He did not confirm the names of these other organisations.

The programme also revealed that former First Minister Rhodri Morgan and former Welsh Secretary Ron Davies could be interviewed by the Wales Audit Office as part of its investigations into Awema.

In a letter to Mr Millar, the assistant auditor general, Anthony Barrett, wrote that the list of people they would want to interview "is likely to include current and former assembly members and ministers" as well as "current and former Awema trustees".

Image caption The Wales Audit Office is investigating Awema as the organisation is wound up

The Wales Audit Office said it is currently reviewing documents and that "decisions on who we will need to speak with will be guided by our file review".

Meanwhile Labour AM Vaughan Gething accused the Tory leader of the opposition Andrew RT Davies of "fairly shabby political point scoring on a partisan basis" with regards to Awema.

Opposition parties in the assembly have called on the Labour government to explain why they apparently failed to heed previous warnings about Awema's affairs.

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