Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Sulafa Thomas, x6565 

No. Item




Introduction and apologies


Angela Burns AM had sent apologies.


Declarations of interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of the previous meeting


The minutes of 25 June were agreed.


Draft Budget 2016-17


Nicola Callow presented Commissioners with the first draft of the Commission budget for 2016-17.


Commissioners welcomed the approach, which they felt was a good reflection of the budget strategy they had agreed in April.


The focus of the 2016-17 budget document is:

        Supporting the increasing demands being faced by the Assembly, including the growing programme of legislative work;


        Providing an extended, refreshed programme of professional development for Members, including new and returning Assembly Members, based on an evaluation of CPD outcomes to date;


        Supporting constitutional change, the scale of which is expected to be significant following the Wales Act 2014 and the St David’s Day 2015 announcements;


        Continuing the Commission’s engagement and promotion work, with additional emphasis to reflect new constitutional developments; 


        Value for money - the Commission has a strong track record in delivering value for money in hand with its strategic goals and priorities and we will want to build on this from the outset of the Fifth Assembly; and


        Technological service development – continuing to change and improve Assembly Services and the ways we support Assembly Members in carrying out their roles.


Commissioners agreed that, in addition to updating the draft to reflect the outcome of the UK Spending Review and Budget it would be important that the next draft should be rich with diagrams and illustrations to ensure that the same level of clarity as was presented with the 2015-16 budget would be achieved again this year.


The Commission agreed to receive an updated document for consideration in September, before the draft budget is required to be laid.


Assembly Commission Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (ACARAC) Annual Report


The Audit and Risk Assurance Committee presents its annual report to the Commission each year. Eric Gregory, as Chair of the Committee, presented the Annual Report for 2014-15 to Commissioners and highlighted key areas that the Committee had focussed on during the year. He also gave an outline of the areas the Committee intend to focus on in the year ahead.


Commissioners asked about a recent issue that had been raised by the WAO in relation to the recording of AMSS leave in the Commission accounts. They supported the position that had been taken by officials.


Commissioners commented as to how valuable it is to have input from the Commission’s independent advisors, and that they find the external perspective most useful.


The Commission noted the annual report.


CCTV replacement


Commissioners considered a paper which set out the requirement for replacement of the CCTV system.


The Commission were supportive of the need for work to be undertaken and agreed that a detailed business case should be presented to them in September.


Appointment of Members of the Remuneration Board


The appointments of the existing Remuneration Board members will come to an end on 20 September 2015. Commissioners were presented with a paper setting out the process and outcomes of the recent recruitment and selection exercise to identify a replacement Chair and members of the Board.


Appointments to the Remuneration Board are made by the Commission in accordance with The National Assembly for Wales (Remuneration) Measure 2010. Commissioners commented on the impressive range of experience and expertise of the five individuals who had been selected.


Having satisfied themselves that none of those being appointed should be disqualified from being Members of the Board, the Commission appointed:

  • The Rt. Hon. Dame Dawn Primarolo (Chair)
  • Dame Jane Roberts
  • Trevor Reaney
  • Michael Redhouse and
  • Roger Williams.


The new appointments will start from 21 September 2015.


The Commission agreed to publish the paper and send it to party leaders and all Assembly Members.


Any other business


The following issues were considered, and agreed, by correspondence in the period prior to this meeting:

·         The Annual Report and Accounts 2014-15

·         The Annual Equality Report 2014-15

·         Official Languages Scheme Annual Compliance Report 2014-15.


This was the Commission’s last meeting before the summer recess. The next meeting will be on 17 September when Commissioners will consider an updated budget document.