The Welsh Government has again been criticised for problems around Senedd members' scrutiny of its policies.

This time, Plaid Cymru said delayed responses from ministers typified a "better late than never" approach from the government.

The party's deputy leader, Rhun ap Iorwerth, said he had waited nine months for a response to a letter he sent the health minister regarding a Public Health Wales data breach. He said he had only just received a reply, from the minister's successor.

Similarly, ap Iorwerth wrote a letter, again to the health minister, in December regarding vaccinations of health workers. 

"The response I have only now received is of little value," he said. “This ‘better late than never’ approach to answering correspondence is an affront to scrutiny. Holding the government and ministers to account during the pandemic is more important than ever, but twice as difficult.

“We’ve had two national lockdowns, a Welsh general election and a new health minister in the time it’s taken to respond to this letter and that simply isn’t good enough."

The Plaid MS' comments follow other recent criticism of the government and accusations that ministers were avoiding scrutiny of their pandemic-related policies by announcing them to the media before Senedd members had been informed.

READ MORE: Does the Government have a problem with scrutiny?

As The National reported on Saturday, Welsh Conservatives leader Andrew RT Davies said ministers had "chosen when to make these announcements for political gain".

"It was a tactic they used to their benefit during the recent election, and it’s continued since our return to the Senedd," he said. “In my opinion, it’s not a big ask to make the announcements in the Senedd first before going onto the lights and glory of the press conference arena that ministers are so desperate to be involved in."

The government rejects these accusations. Speaking previously to The National, a spokesman said Senedd members are informed of changes to any coronavirus restrictions ahead of the media.

"In addition, opposition leaders and party spokespeople are invited to detailed briefings with ministers and senior medical and scientific advisors ahead of any public statements about changes to the regulations," he added.

READ MORE: New mask guidance shows Wales is not afraid to go it alone on end of lockdown

But yesterday's announcement that mask-wearing would continue in some places in Wales was also criticised for being announced without prior warning for Senedd members.

Conservative MS Laura Anne Jones said this was "becoming a very bad habit" and "just plain wrong". Labour members Hefin David and Alun Davies also criticised the government's approach to the announcement.

If you value The National's journalism, help grow our team of reporters by becoming a subscriber.