Minutes - Business Committee

Meeting Venue:

Presiding Officer’s office, 4th floor - Tŷ Hywel

Meeting date: 5 February 2019

Meeting time: 08.30 - 08.52







Committee Members:

Elin Jones AM, Llywydd (Chair)

Rebecca Evans AM

Darren Millar AM

Rhun ap Iorwerth AM

Neil Hamilton AM

Committee Staff:

Aled Elwyn Jones (Clerk)

Others in attendance

Ann Jones AM, Deputy Presiding Officer

Manon Antoniazzi, Chief Executive & Clerk of the Assembly

Siwan Davies, Director of Assembly Business

Siân Wilkins, Head of Chamber and Committee Service

Helen Carey, Welsh Government

Gwion Evans, Head of the Llywydd's Private Office

Elin Roberts, Policy Adviser to the Llywydd

Lowri Hughes, Chamber Secretariat



1       Introductions, apologies and substitutions



2       Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes for the meeting were agreed by the Committee for publication.



3       Organisation of Business



3.1   This Week's Business



·         The Government has added two statements to today’s Plenary agenda:

-     Statement by the Minister for Housing and Local Government: Homelessness and Rough Sleeping

-     Statement by the Minister for Finance and Trefnydd: Update on the Welsh Mutual Investment Model


·         Voting Time will take place after the last item of business. 



·         The Llywydd informed Business Managers that there would be a BSL interpreter in the public gallery during the ‘Debate on the Petitions Committee report: P-04-628 To improve Access to Education and Services in British Sign Language’. The Llywydd informed Business Managers that it would be helpful for those AMs speaking in the debate, as well as the Minister responding, to provide any speaking notes in advance via the Petitions Committee or the Plenary Requests mailbox, that can be shared with the interpreter.


·         Voting Time will take place before the short debate.



3.2   Three Week Timetable of Government Business

Business Committee noted the 3 Week Timetable of Government Business.



3.3   Three Week Timetable of Assembly Business

The Llywydd, as the Member in Charge, informed Members that she wished to schedule a statement on the ‘Introduction of a Commission-proposed Bill —Senedd and Elections (Wales) Bill’ for Wednesday 13 February and for it to be included on today’s Business Statement and Announcement. The Llywydd noted however that they were still awaiting Minister of the Crown Consent, which could cause the statement to be delayed by a week.


Business Committee determined the organisation of Assembly business and agreed to schedule the following items of business:


Wednesday 13 February 2019 –

·         Statement by the Llywydd: Introduction of a Commission-proposed Bill —Senedd and Elections (Wales) Bill (30 mins)

·         Debate on the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee report: Inter-Institutional relations agreement between the National Assembly for Wales and the Welsh Government (60 mins) – postponed to 6 March

·         Time allocated to the United Kingdom Independence Party (60 mins) – brought forward from 20 February


Wednesday 20 February 2019 –

·         Time allocated to the United Kingdom Independence Party (60 mins)

·         Time allocated to the Welsh Conservatives (60 mins)


Wednesday 6 March 2019 –

·         Debate on Petition P-05-849 All men in Wales should have access through the NHS to the best possible diagnostic tests for prostate cancer (60 mins)

·         Debate on the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee report: Inter-Institutional relations agreement between the National Assembly for Wales and the Welsh Government (60 mins)

·         Time allocated to Plaid Cymru (60 mins)



4       Legislation



4.1   Timetable of consideration of stage 3 and 4 of the Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Bill

Business Managers agreed to schedule the Stage 3 debate on Wednesday 13 March 2019 and the Stage 4 debate on Wednesday 20 March 2019, both during Assembly time.



5       Committees



5.1   Standards of Conduct Committee

Business Managers agreed to allow additional meetings outside of the committee’s slot to consider the report from the Acting Commissioner.



6       The Assembly Timetable



6.1   Papers to note - Schedule of Oral Assembly Questions and Revised Ministerial Responsibilities Document

The Llywydd informed Business Managers that eight questions will be drawn from the ballot for questions to the Deputy Minister and Chief Whip and that there will not be time allocated for spokespeople’s questions at the moment, given that the item will be allocated 15 minutes, but if Members felt strongly about this it could form part of the review of the procedure in a few months’ time.


Rhun ap Iorwerth raised the fact that the Deputy Minister and Chief Whip’s responsibilities had been distinguished from those of the First Minister in the revised Ministerial responsibilities document, but that this was not the case for other Deputy Ministers. Given that, he queried whether spokespeople should continue to assume that their questions should be directed to the Minister. The Llywydd stated that it was for the Government to decide who answered spokespeople’s questions,  and noted that unless it was immediately obvious that a spokespersons question was for a Deputy Minister, they should be answered by the Minister. If spokespeople felt strongly that they would like their questions answered by the Deputy, they could indicate that to the government privately in advance.



7       Business Committee



7.1   Collation of Guidance issued by the Llywydd under Standing Order 6.17

In response to a query by the Trefnydd over the inclusion of timings for ‘Debates seeking the Assembly’s leave to introduce a Member-proposed Bill’, Business Managers agreed to add the timings for Stages 1, 3 and 4.


The Trefnydd raised the possibility of reviewing the number of questions tabled for OAQs sessions, with a view to reducing it from the current fifteen. Other Business Managers indicated that they could be supportive of such a move, subject to consultation with their groups.


The Llywydd stated that Members should consult with their groups and return to it after half term.





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