The Welsh Language Act 1993 (WLA 1993) established the principle that the Welsh and English languages should be treated equally in the conduct of public business in Wales. To further this, WLA 1993 requires bodies which provide services to the public in Wales (if a notice is served on them) to prepare a Welsh language scheme setting out the steps the body will take in relation to the use of Welsh while providing those services. WLA 1993 also established the former Welsh Language Board in order to approve the schemes, to provide guidance and to monitor compliance.
Only bodies which are defined as public bodies in WLA 1993 or specified in a separate Order made under WLA 1993 may be required to prepare schemes. WLA 1993 also gives the Welsh Ministers the power to give a Welsh name to any body, office or place to which legislation gives a name. In addition, it provides that where an Act confers power to specify a form of document or a form of words, the Welsh Ministers may prescribe Welsh versions of these documents or forms. Much of WLA 1993 remains in force but it is being replaced as more provisions of WLWM 2011 take effect.