Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Sulafa Thomas 

No. Item




Introduction and apologies


Commissioners thanked Dave Tosh, the outgoing Director of Resources for his work and contributions.

They welcomed Ed Williams, the new Director of Resources, to his first Commission meeting.


Declarations of interest


There were no declarations of interest.



Minutes of the previous meeting


The minutes of 13 December were approved.



Official Languages Scheme for the Sixth Senedd


Commissioners received information in line with the requirement to review its published Official Languages Scheme after each election. They considered the changes made in drafting the new Scheme and the next steps.

Commissioners agreed that the consultation should formally include MS and their staff and the people of Wales.

Commissioners also agreed that the Commissioner with responsibility for Official Languages would approve any minor changes that may arise from the consultation and present the final Scheme to all Members for agreement in Plenary.


Estate Strategy development update


Following the request of Commissioners at the last meeting, information was provided relating to the future approach to office accommodation in the vicinity of the Senedd. Commissioners agreed that strategic options should continue to be developed.


Commissioners also continued their consideration of a strategic approach to accommodation elsewhere in Wales, and agreed that the function and focus of regional working should be clarified as the basis for future decision making.


Commissioners asked that discussions continue with them ahead of the next Commission meeting.


Delivering the Commission Strategy


Commissioners noted a paper informing them of the governance framework within which the Chief Executive, supported by the Executive Board, would detail plans with clear outcomes and performance measures to provide evidence of progress and enable mapping of performance against the Commission strategic goals.


Independent Advisers


Commissioners considered a request for approval to commence the recruitment and selection of the next cohort of Independent Advisers to be appointed by the Commission.

Commissioners commented on the value of the Advisers and agreed agree to extend the contract of Aled Eirug, a member of ARAC, for a further three years.

Commissioners reflected that the Commission should seek a good balance of expertise and lived experience from its advisers, and consider factors such as remuneration which might discourage some potential applicants. They agreed that a recruitment exercise should begin and the approach to that exercise, which would include continuing to stagger appointments.

Commissioners also supported the proposal to continue recruiting subject specific expertise as needs evolve, at this time to include Diversity and Inclusion expertise.

Commissioners agreed that they, or Joyce Watson as the Commissioner with responsibility for equalities, should be involved towards the end of the selection process.


PAPAC Correspondence


Commissioners considered two letters from the Public Accounts and Public Administration Committee


Regarding the recommendations concerning the Commission in the Committee’s Report on the Scrutiny of Accounts 2020-21, Commissioners agreed their response.


Regarding the request that the Senedd Commission stops using the acronym B.A.M.E. Commissioners considered a paper which set out some of the wider debate surrounding the use of the acronym and recognised the difficulty of capturing the complex histories and cultures of people from ethnic minority backgrounds in a single phrase or acronym.


Commissioners agreed that the Commission would:

a.    observe context as a key driver for use of terminology and opt for specificity when using terminology wherever possible;

b.    Where specificity is not possible, to replace use of the acronym and collective term B.A.M.E. with the collective term(s) ‘ethnic minority’ and ‘ethnic minority community’; and

c.     regularly review use of terminology and monitor internal and external debate.

In addition they agreed that Commission officials should seek meetings with those Members of the Senedd who are from an ethnic minority background to discuss the matter further, and that the information Commissioners had considered should form the basis of a briefing for Members, initially committee chairs.

Commissioners agreed that the guidance contained in the paper would be published internally to support Commission officials in drafting documents.


Covid update


Commissioners were updated about the implications of the most recent Regulation changes in relation to the delivery of Commission services. Commissioners discussed future business need and raised points relating to safely opening up use of the estate. They concurred that the Commission will continue to enable services to be provided to support the business decisions taken for plenary and committees.

Commissioners considered future planning for events on the estate and agreed that a gradual increase in numbers could take place, in line with risk assessments.

Commissioners also discussed the long term impact of the pandemic on people’s working needs and accommodating lessons learned.


Senedd Archive update


Commissioners received a paper updating them as to the Commission’s work on archiving the Senedd’s records.

Commissioners noted the information provided and were supportive of the approach to recognise the significance of archiving, and work with the National Library of Wales to sustain the archive for future generations.


Papers to note:


Letter to address Finance Committee recommendations


Commissioners noted the update that would be sent to the Committee further to their letter dated 8 November 2021 which had responded to the committee’s Report on the Scrutiny of the Senedd Commission Draft Budget 2022-2023.


ARAC Minutes 22 November


Commissioners noted the routine update of ARAC meetings.


Executive Board update (RAD decisions)


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


Any other business


·         Update on Chief Legal Adviser recruitment

In accordance with the delegation to the Chief Executive and Clerk, Commissioners were updated that the vacancy of Chief Legal Adviser had been interviewed for and a successful candidate, Huw Williams, appointed, subject to the usual governance.


·         Members’ Survey

Commissioners were reminded that the Commission’s Member Survey is live and invited to raise with Members of their groups the value to the Commission of having responses to this in order to inform future service delivery and prioritisation.



In the period since the last meeting Commissioners had taken one decision relating to the UK Government’s proposals to use the Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill as a vehicle to amend the Public Service Pensions Act 2013, which related to the Members’ pension scheme, amongst others.