Determination on Members’ Pay and Allowances
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2 Determination on Members’ Pay and Allowances 2019-20
– Paper 1 – Remuneration Board: Determination on Members’ Pay and Allowances
Andrew R T Davies AM declared an interest as he employs his wife.
Members considered the Determination on Members Pay and agreed that the Chair
would write to the Chair of the Remuneration Board regarding the employment of
Item for decision: Survey on the effectiveness of the Determination: Report
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6.1. The Board considered the report
outlining the results of its recent survey on the effectiveness of the
Determination and agreed to publish a summary of the results in its Annual
Report for 2017 – 2018.
Board also agreed to publish relevant extract of the results as and when
appropriate to evidence any recommendations it may wish to implement as part of
its wider work programme.
secretariat to prepare a summary of the results for the Board’s consideration
in time for the publication of its Annual Report in July.
Item for discussion: Consider the results of the survey to Members and Support Staff on the effectiveness of the Determination
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The Board considered the results of the survey to Members and Support Staff on
the effectiveness of the Determination and agreed to:
a summary of the results to the Board’s website and bring this summary to the attention
of the Expert Panel on Assembly Electoral Reform; and
the results of the survey as part of its review into Assembly Member Support
Staff career structure and their terms and conditions.
secretariat agreed to:
the relevant results into future scoping papers, for the example the review
into Assembly Member Support Staff career structure; and
a summary report of the results.
Item for discussion: Support for Political Parties
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The Board considered the paper on support for Political Parties and agreed to
consider the provisions regarding support for Political Parties and individuals
Members fully at a later date, but at present:
salary of Party Leaders will decrease and increase in line with how many
Assembly Members are in their group and not on being a member of the Political
Political Party Support Allowance will be allocated to independent Members;
Assembly Members can vire funds to political groups in the Assembly.
Item for decision: Next steps of the review of the underpinning principles and effectiveness of the Determination
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The Board considered the draft questionnaire to Assembly Members and AMSSs and
changes in both questionnaires;
clearly indicate why elements of the determination have been included or
omitted from the questionnaires in line with the Board’s wider forward work
the questionnaire with the Assembly Member Representative Group and AMSS
Representative Group as a minimum; and
innovative ways to encourage both groups to complete the questionnaires.
Secretariat to amend the questionnaires accordingly and re-circulate
electronically to the Board for review.
Secretariat to issue a pilot of the questionnaire.
Secretariat to issue the final questionnaire’s electronically and in hard
copies once agreed.
Item for decision: Consider the outline of the review of the underpinning principles and effectiveness of the Determination
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The Board agreed the parameters of the review of the underpinning principles
and effectiveness of the Determination would focus on the current financial
package available to Members.
The Board agreed to issue tailored questionnaires to both AMs and AMSSs to seek
their views on underpinning principles and effectiveness of the Determination.
Each questionnaire will focus on the relevant sections of the Determination for
their role including any new provisions introduced for the Fifth Assembly.
The Board also agreed this work would be informed through its regular formal
and informal communications with both representative groups.
The Board agreed the timescale for this piece of work.
Secretariat to prepare a final questionnaire for the Board to consider outside
a formal meeting.
to Board approval, the Secretariat should issue the questionnaires.
Secretariat to provide a summary of the responses at the next meeting.
Consideration of latest issues raised with Members' Business Support
The Board considered a paper outlining some of the issues that have arisen in
applying the determination since the start of the Assembly’s autumn term.
The Board also discussed some of the issues that have arisen from Members’
discussions with Members Business Support (MBS) and others were raised more
formally with the Chair of the Board during her drop in session.
The issues raised included the flexibility of the staffing structures,
residential allowances and the progress of the security review of Member’s constituency
offices. This will inform the Board’s strategic discussions for creating a
Determination fit for the Sixth Assembly and the annual review of the
Determination and the review of the effectiveness of the Determination in 2017.
Item for discussion: Consider scope for review of the underpinning principles and effectiveness of the Determination
The Board discussed two strands of work relating to the overall support
provided to Assembly Members: a review of the effectiveness of the
Determination and its impact in the first year of the Fifth Assembly, and the principles
underlying the provision of financial support, in particular whether the
current approach is too prescriptive.
At its strategy day, the Board nominated Mike Redhouse to take the lead on this
strand of work. The Chair invited him to introduce the scoping paper.
The Board considered the terms of references for both reviews and discussed how
they related to each other;
The Board discussed the extent to which the Board should carry out
consultations for both reviews, including the timescales and the key
stakeholders to consult;
The Board agreed that the annual AM survey, which would be released by the
Assembly Commission in February 2017, should inform the Board’s review.
This review will be conducted over the course of 2017 and will inform the
Board’s decisions for the Determination in the Sixth Assembly.
- The Secretariat to prepare a paper
outlining the parameters of the reviews into the effectiveness of the
Determination and the underpinning principles of the Determination.
Item for decision: The security of Assembly Members and their staff
1.1 The Board considered a paper outlining a
review of security provision in all Constituency/Regional Offices, which was
being carried out by the Assembly Police Unit and the Assembly Commission’s
Security team. The review was in response to advice from the Wales Counter
Terrorism Unit, and in line with similar activity in England.
1.2 The Board considered the financial support
for security provisions currently in place and highlighted a number of actions
that could be taken to enhance security for Members and their staff when away
from the Assembly estate, in light of the Assembly Commission’s decision to
review security arrangements at Members’ offices.
1.3 The Board agreed that the security of AMs
was a high priority and that any matters that fall into the remit of the Board
should be addressed as a matter of priority. The Board emphasised that,
following the tragic death of Jo Cox MP, there was greater urgency to review
existing security measures.
1.4 The Board agreed that it would need to
ensure that measures to help protect Members would be effectively resourced.
1.5 The Board agreed to remove the existing
requirement for the first £500 of office related security to be met from the
individual AM’s Office Costs from the Determination. The Board agreed to create
a ring-fenced fund which would provide necessary and reasonable security
enhancements for Assembly Members in their offices, residential accommodation
and their homes.
1.6 The Board noted that the security review
undertaken by qualified officers identifies enhancements that ‘must’ take
place, ‘should’ take place and ‘could’ take place. All enhancements that ‘must’ and ‘should’
take place will be funded by the Assembly Commission. However, the Board agreed
that those enhancements that ‘could’ take place would be subject to a business
case from Assembly Members.
Overview of resources provided to Assembly Members through the Determination and by the Assembly Commission
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Board considered a draft resource which would enable it to gain an improved
understanding of how various allowances interacted and supported AMs.
The Board noted that, where
possible, the resource would clearly set out the budget for each allowance or
service provided, both from the Members Allowance and also from Assembly
Commission central funds, to better reflect the overall package of support for
The Board agreed that it would
consider the resource further at a future meeting.
Office Costs 2016 - 17: first discussion
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Board considered the office costs allowance and whether it remains appropriate
for the financial year 2016-17.
The Board considered a number of
factors, including office rental costs across Wales and inflation.
The Board agreed to propose an
increase to the office costs allowance by 1% or by the change in the CPI in the
year to April 2016, whichever is greater.
Business Support to provide further information on lease agreements and whether
there are likely to be any increases in the beginning of the Fifth Assembly.
to consult on the Board’s proposal for an increase to the office costs
allowance by 1% or by the change in the CPI in the year to April 2016,
whichever is greater.
AM Allowances: Consider responses to consultation
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3.1 The Board considered
the summary of responses to the consultation on AM Allowances, in particular
they noted the low number of responses.
Accommodation: The Board emphasised that flexibility should be applied to
managing business cases for residential accommodation, but that the zones were
helpful in establishing a default position, and expectations. The Board agreed
that guidelines should be provided to Assembly Members clearly stating the
default position and when they would be required to make a business case for an
exception/accommodation support for the Board’s consideration.
3.3 Provision for carers:
The Board considered evidence that AMs and Support staff were being required to
work later in to the evenings. The Board did not want to provide incentives
which might encourage more frequent later working.
3.4 Assembly Member and
AMSS travel: The Board agreed that Assembly Members should continue to follow
rules on travel costs set out by HMRC. The Board agreed that a move to extend
the current 10,000 mile annual limit would not be in line with HMRC rules and
could not be justified.
3.5 Office costs and
virement of funds between budgets: The Board noted that there was broad support
for the proposal in the consultation document. The Board noted that two
responses had suggested allowing viring in the other direction – from office
costs allowances into staffing allowance – as well. After further consideration,
the Board agreed to stick with its proposal. Any requests to vire from the
office costs allowances should be directed to Members’ Business Support in the
first instance. The Board agreed that there should be flexibility where it is
deemed appropriate by the Board and it should not happen automatically.
3.6 Members leaving
office: The Board considered the only response, which had been sent by the
Welsh Liberal Democrat Group. The Board agreed that its proposal should stand
and be included in the consultation on the draft Determination for the Fifth
3.7 Equality Impact
Assessment and other issues: The Board agreed a clear message should be given
to Assembly Members that whilst MBS ensures HMRC tax rules are adhered to, they
are not responsible for setting (or negotiating) these rules.
leaving office: Members’ Business Support to conduct research on the costs and
what service would be available via an externally provided outplacement
Determination for fifth year of Fourth Assembly: Consideration of Determination for consultation
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3.1 The Board considered
a paper on the annual review of the Determination and the requirement to set
the appropriate levels for two particular budgets needing review: accommodation
and office costs.
3.2 The Board considered
some early responses to recent consultations on allowances for the Fifth
Assembly and whether there would be value in bringing forward some proposals
(if agreed at the Board’s February meeting) to the last year of the Fourth
Assembly Member Allowances
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The Board discussed the Residential Accommodation Allowances an agreed that the
consultation should include firm proposals. However, flexibility would be
applied in many situations, particularly in case of emergencies.
The principle for claims should be at the front of the Determination and the
onus should be on the AM to make the correct decision on whether to claim or
The Board discussed areas around provision for carers in the existing
Determination and agreed proposals for inclusion in the consultation document.
Secretariat to ask Diverse Cymru for their view on carers allowances and
whether the existing system is appropriate.
Members and AMSS travel
The Board Discussed proposals for inclusion in the consultation document on
Members and AMSS travel
Office Costs and Virements
The Board agreed that the consultation prposals should include an element of
flexibilit on office costs and virements.
3.7 The Board noted that
All Members elected since 2011 are paid a resettlement grant, so long as they
are defeated at an election, as one calendar month’s salary for each completed
year of service subject to a maximum payment equal to six months’ salary; in
addition, Office Holders are entitled to three months’ salary for their
additional duties paid at the relevant rate from when they were an Additional
3.8 The Board agreed
that its proposals should include a level of support for AMs who unexpectantly
secretariat would prepare a consultation document , which would be published in
October, with responses considered at the meeting on 16 January 2014.
Issues for early decision and consultation/communication
Paper 12 – Note on exceptional allowances provided by Legal
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4.1 The Board noted
that the Chair had received a request asking the Remuneration Board to review
exceptional expenses incurred, or to be incurred, in connection with the
performance of the duties of Assembly Members.
4.2 The Board considered
a paper clarifying the existing practice and setting out a possible way forward
which seeks to balance the need for discretion for the applicant, with clear
and sound governance, which had been provided by Legal Services.
4.3 The Board agreed
that the Determination should be amended and that a consultation should not be
issued to Assembly Members. However, the Board agreed that Assembly Members
should be informed of any changes made on exceptional expenses in the
Secretariat or Members’ Business Support to amend the
Determination to reflect proposals in the paper.