Rhodri Morgan took over as First Minister five years ago tomorrow. Chief Reporter Martin Shipton used the Freedom of Information Act to find out how his Government is performing against the targets it set itself..
TODAY we can expect spin doctors from all parties to provide their partisan views of how Rhodri Morgan has performed over the past five years.
It requires no political insight to anticipate that three of the four National Assembly groups will be strongly critical of the First Minister, while his own will heap him with praise.
A possibly more fruitful way of assessing his performance is to look at the targets inherited and set by the Assembly Government and see to what extent progress towards them has been achieved.
Such an approach is by no means comprehensive. It is only quite recently, for example, that the Assembly Government has introduced overall waiting time targets for hospital patients.
Unfavourable comparisons with the performance of the NHS in England will continue to be the current administration's Achilles heel for the foreseeable future. But over a wider set of parameters it is fair to say that there is a mixed bag of results. Despite some shocking individual statistics, the picture is not as bad as Mr Morgan's critics would paint it, but not as good as he would like us to believe.
In the early days of the Assembly, a website, betterwales.com, was used to set out the targets and measure performance in four broad areas - education, economy, health and quality of life. As time has passed, there have been many changes to the way data has been collected, making it not an easy task to track progress. Nevertheless, sufficient information is available across a range of parameters to draw some meaningful conclusions.
According to school exam results, Wales is forging ahead with improved standards every year, amply living up to the designation "Learning Country" that the Assembly Government would have us use. The reality is less euphoric. The proportion of adults with functional skills in literacy appears to have actually declined from 80% in 1996 to 76%, against a target of 90% by 2004. This does not bode well for the so-called knowledge economy that it is hoped to establish in Wales.
Equally, no progress has been made towards eradicating the gender disparity in educational attainment, where girls tend to do significantly better than boys.
On the other hand, the Assembly Government has exceeded its target in the number of young people participating in the modern apprenticeship scheme - a good omen for the future. Ironically, this success can be attributed to the much-criticised quango Elwa that is due to be scrapped next year.
Mr Morgan claims greatest success in the economy, but despite the encouraging figures on overall employment and exports, Wales is not doing well in terms of the number of new businesses being created. Tourism spending is also rising at only half the desired rate.
On health, the breast cancer mortality rate for women aged between 50 and 74 remains considerably higher than the target, although the incidence of cervical cancer has undergone a very welcome reduction.
The term "quality of life" covers a remarkably wide variety of parameters, ranging from the establishment of protected areas for birds via the survey of historical buildings to statistics on homelessness. The Assembly Government is likely to be popular with birds and buildings, if rather less so with the homeless.
Another target that has been exceeded is one seeking an increase in the number of people participating in sporting activities. As a keen jogger and rugby fan, Mr Morgan will doubtless be delighted that 57% of the population are now actively involved in sport - up 10% in just five years.