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Auditor says a £325,698 settlement with former Director General may have breached the requirements of charity law.

Exterior view of Cardiff's National Museum
Cardiff's National Museum is one of Amgueddfa Cymru's seven museums

Steve Chapple

An auditor responsible for overseeing public spending in Wales has raised concerns that Amgueddfa Cymru - Museum Wales’ settlement with its former Director General may not have complied with the requirements of charity law.

In January, the organisation, a family of seven museums located across Wales, announced its Director General, David Anderson, was stepping down after 12 years in post.

A report delivered to the Senedd by Auditor General for Wales, Adrian Crompton reveals the two parties had been in a “longstanding, formal employment dispute” that was resolved through a settlement agreed on 5 December 2022.


Under the terms of the agreement, Amgueddfa Cymru agreed to make Anderson payments in excess of £325,000, consisting of £225,698 in salary including pension and National Insurance, £30,000 in expenses and two tax-free payments of £20,000 for “loss of office” and £50,000 for “injury to his feelings”.

The payments cover the period of 17 November 2021 to 30 September 2024.

In his report to the Senedd, Crompton wrote: "I have been unable to satisfy myself that payments to then Director General to settle an employment dispute complied with the requirements of charity law."

Crompton said that while Amgueddfa Cymru sought advice from its external legal advisors throughout the employment dispute, there was no evidence to confirm it took advice on the likelihood of the success of a claim during tribunal.

He added there was insufficient documentation of the decision-making progress, no evidence the board of trustees placed any parameters or limitations on the settlement or that they agreed the mechanism for keeping the full board informed of progress made. Trustee minutes were not prepared on a “contemporaneous basis”.

Under a section of the report titled 'weaknesses in governance arrangements', Crompton wrote he has “concerns that this dispute was lengthened unnecessarily by inadequacies in the mechanisms in place for dealing with issues of this nature”.

He added this “may have resulted in significant additional cost to the public purse as a result of legal fees and the significant amount of time of senior executives at National Museum of Wales and the Welsh government that this consumed”.

In closing, Crompton said he is “considering issuing a separate report setting out in more detail [his] concerns about the way in which it was handled, and the costs associated”.

‘Challenging time’ for the museum

A spokesperson for Amgueddfa Cymru commented: “The matters raised in the Auditor General’s report relate to internal processes and employment matters that occurred during what was a challenging time for the museum.

“Due to confidential nature of related legal agreements in place, we are unable to comment on any matters involving any current or previous appointed representatives or members of staff employed by Amgueddfa Cymru - Museum Wales.”

When asked by Arts Professional if they could elaborate on the payment relating to injury to feelings, the spokesperson said “the term ‘injury to feelings’ as referenced in the settlement categories in the report are aligned to the standard headings used in both settlement of internal disputes and tribunal claims”.

They continued: “Amgueddfa Cymru can confirm that it has always acted under legal guidance and, working with Welsh government, considered all available options in the best interests of Amgueddfa Cymru”. 

Meanwhile, a Welsh Government spokesperson told local press it “would not be appropriate for us to comment on these matters”.

Alongside the settlement figure, the auditor’s report reveals Amgueddfa Cymru and Anderson came to an agreement that Anderson would relinquish his role as Director General from 31 March 2023, becoming National Museum of Wales’ Emeritus Fellow and Visiting Professor at Cardiff University thereafter.

In this new role, Anderson has remained legally employed by Amgueddfa Cymru - retaining his existing pay and employment conditions until 31 March 2024 - but is no longer accountable to museum.

The terms of the agreement say Anderson’s working hours will reduced to two days a week from 1 April 2024, before his employment is terminated on 30 September 2024.