Senedd Commission                                    



Remote - External



Monday, 28 September 2020



12.30 - 14.25




Minutes:  SC(5)2020(6)




Commission Members:


Elin Jones MS (Chair)

Suzy Davies MS

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS

David J Rowlands MS

Joyce Watson MS






Officials present:


Manon Antoniazzi, Chief Executive & Clerk of the Senedd

Siwan Davies, Director of Senedd Business

Arwyn Jones, Director of Communications and Engagement

Dave Tosh, Director of Resources

Nia Morgan, Director of Finance

Lowri Williams, Head of Human Resources and Inclusion

Sulafa Thomas, Head of Commission and Member Support

Gwion Evans, Head of the Llywydd's Private Office

Elin Roberts, Policy Adviser to the Llywydd







Others in attendance:







1      Introduction




1.a  Introduction and apologies


There were no apologies for the meeting.




1.b  Declarations of interest


There were no declarations of interest.




1.c   Minutes of the previous meeting


The minutes of 13 July were agreed.




2      Draft Commission Budget 2021/22


Commissioners considered further revisions to the draft budget, with minor changes since the 13 July Commission meeting.

They approved the 2021-22 Draft Budget, ahead of it being laid in line with the requirements of Standing Orders.

In addition Commissioners agreed the amendments to the disclosures for the new International Financial Accounting Standard 16 – Leases (IFRS 16) and amended Project Fund priorities.

The Commission also noted  the letter sent from the Finance Minister to the Chair of the Finance Committee.




3      COVID-19 Update


A.  Covid-19 update

Commissioners noted the update provided, on arrangements that will be in place for the autumn term, and discussed the recent changes to Welsh Government regulations and guidance. They agreed to extend the

current closure to the public until 8 November in order for the arrangements in terms of occupancy of the building to be considered at their next meeting, following the experience of the first half of term and taking account of the position at that time.


B.  Options for increasing in-person plenary attendance

Commissioners considered options to increase the capacity of the Siambr for attendance of Members during plenary meetings beyond the current ability, whilst the 2m social distancing remains in place.

They concluded that, whilst it was important to have considered the options, in the circumstance they should not be pursued at this time.




4      Members' Political Affiliations


Commissioners discussed the recording of political affiliations of Members who did not belong to party groups represented where Commission resources are used eg the website, Record of Proceedings, provision of printed materials etc.

Commissioners agreed that Members be permitted to identify with any party registered with the Electoral Commission. The Commission would return to the matter in its legacy report to the Sixth Senedd.




5      Dignity and Respect - survey report


Commissioners considered the content of the third Senedd Dignity and Respect performance review report, following an online survey undertaken in June 2020. In doing so Commissioners agreed that it would be timely to review the policy as a whole, particularly in readiness for the Sixth Senedd, and alongside the Standards Committee’s work reviewing the Code of Conduct. Commissioners also confirmed their support for the future areas of work contained within the report.

The finalised report will be published.




6      Public Engagement update


Commissioners welcomed an update about preparations for engagement activities for November, which they viewed as being comprehensive and varied. They discussed the significance of reaching out to difficult to reach communities, and were supportive of the approach, which is demonstrating greater participation from a more diverse range of people already.




7      Papers to note:




7.a  Committee on Senedd Electoral Reform - Report


Commissioners noted the report, which includes 32 recommendations for the Welsh Ministers, the Senedd, Senedd Commission, political parties, the Remuneration Board and Electoral Commission.




7.b  Executive Board update (RAD decisions)


Commissioners noted the routine summary of recruitment decisions provided to each Commission meeting.




7.c   ARAC draft minutes


Commissioners noted the routine update of an ARAC meeting.




7.d  MS Pension Scheme Rules change


Commissioners noted that the Remuneration Board had written about a proposal to change the Scheme Rules to give the Actuary flexibility as to when the actuarial valuation must be completed and signed. All Members were consulted.




8      Any other business


·         Facilitation of cross-party declaration– Commissioners agreed to consult with the Cross Party Group on Racial Equality with regard to facilitating the development of a cross-party Welsh declaration, embodying the principles of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, as requested by the Senedd.

·         Letter from PAC – Commissioners noted a letter received by the Chief Executive from the PAC following the committee evidence session on 21 September.