Standards of Conduct Committee


Meeting Venue:

Committee Room 1 - Senedd




Meeting date:

Tuesday, 12 March 2013




Meeting time:

09:19 - 10:45






Concise Minutes:




Assembly Members:


Mick Antoniw (Chair)

Llyr Huws Gruffydd

Mark Isherwood

Kirsty Williams








Gerard Elias QC, Commissioner for Standards






Committee Staff:


Lara Date (Clerk)

Sarah Bartlett (Deputy Clerk)

Joanest Jackson (Legal Advisor)

Owain Roberts (Researcher)





1.  Introduction and apologies

1.1        There were no apologies.


1.2     The Chair informed the Committee of his recent meeting with Members of Public Affairs Cymru.




2.  Consider draft report on Lobbying and Cross Party Groups

2.1 The Committee considered the draft report.


2.2 The Commissioner noted that there were no major flaws with the current system but that there needed to be some means of recording lobbying activity.


2.3 The Committee discussed the possible options in relation to registration of information about lobbying activity. The Committee agreed upon a proposed option and on amendments to the draft guidance on lobbying and access to Members.


2.4 Members considered draft rules for the operation of Cross-Party Groups.


2.5 The draft report would be amended to include Members comments before being referred to the Presiding Officer by the Chair.




3.  Consider report from the Commissioner on the Code of Conduct

3.1 The Commissioner introduced his briefing note.


3.2 The Committee considered the format for Codes of Conduct in other legislatures and agreed a preferred format for the Assembly’s revised Code of Conduct in four sections, to incorporate the Nolan principles, and to clearly set out:- 1) the range of possible breaches; 2) the applicable legislation/Standing Orders; 3) any guidance issued; and 4) the range of sanctions available for breaches.


3.3 The Committee gave further consideration to a model for an amended sanctions regime. It was agreed that sanctions would be amended as a matter of priority, and included in the new Code when it was finalised. The Committee agreed the Commissioner’s suggestion that he consult with all Assembly Members on the Committee’s preferred approach on sanctions.


3.4 A report on amending the sanctions regime, subject to the results of the Commissioners consultation, would be drafted for consideration at the next meeting on 23 April.