§ Mr. Wigley
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what preparations he is undertaking to develop within Wales appropriate financial management and payment systems for European Social Fund delivery for the period after 2000; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jon Owen Jones
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is in discussion with his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Employment over arrangements under which responsibility for payments and financial management of ESF in Wales would transfer to the National Assembly for Wales from 2000. The terms will, however, need to be acceptable to the Assembly.