Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Sulafa Thomas, x6227 

No. Item




Introduction and apologies


There were no apologies.



Declarations of interest


There were no declarations of interest.



Minutes of the previous meeting


The minutes of 16 June were agreed.



Commission strategy 2016-2021


In thinking about the Commission strategy, Commissioners considered the nature of the Commission as a permanent body, the legacy from the previous Commission and themes to prioritise over the next five years given current and anticipated challenges and opportunities.


The Assembly will experience significant change and challenge over the next five years and the Commission’s strategy will direct the services which the Commission provides to Members and the people of Wales over that period. The services will need to continue to evolve and be agile in responding to those challenges.


The strategic goals will inform financial planning for the term of the Assembly and provide direction for the Commission’s Management Board, service planning, and individual performance objectives to ensure that staff deliver the outstanding support the Commission, and Assembly Members, will expect.


Commissioners considered key areas on which the Commission should focus its priorities. In particular Commissioners discussed: implications of the referendum outcome; constitutional change; the continuing pressures of a 60-Member Assembly; the rapidly changing digital social world and the way people’s increasingly sophisticated digital experiences are shaping their expectations of engagement and the Assembly’s services ;security issues; and how to build on momentum that has been achieved.


Commissioners agreed the Commission strategy 2016-21, subject to a number of additions, most particularly the implications of the outcome of the EU Referendum and heightened security issues. 


The Commission also concluded that the strategy and priorities will need to be reviewed periodically by the Commission to ensure that its priorities adapt to the changing context and Assembly needs.



Draft Commission Budget Strategy for the Fifth Assembly


Commissioners considered the approach they wished to take to the long term finances of the Commission through a new budget strategy, in light if their discussion on the Commission strategy.


The Commission budget is used to meet the running costs of the National Assembly for Wales and consists of: pay and allowances for Assembly Members and Office Holders (the Remuneration Board’s Determination); the salaries of the staff of the Assembly – committee clerking teams, researchers, staff supporting the legislative processes, parliamentary translation and reporting staff, legal advisers, visitor services and outreach staff and those in operational support services such as security, accommodation, HR, finance and ICT; and the cost of goods, services and facilities used in the day to day operation of the Assembly.


Commissioners agreed that the budget strategy for the next five years needs to be sufficient to enable the Commission to deliver its strategic goals and ambitions. At the same time, it must meet the challenge of increased responsibilities within the capacity constraints that are a feature of being the UK’s smallest legislature.


The budget for the first year of the Fifth Assembly (2016-17) was set to provide financial stability for the new Commission at the start of the Fifth Assembly. The budget for 2017-18 will be the first budget to reflect the priorities of the new Commissioners, and Commissioners agreed the draft should now be worked up in line with the agreed strategy, and in readiness for further consideration early in the Autumn.


Commissioners were conscious of the Commission’s budget being set within the broader public sector funding context and clear that budget issues would need to be revisited if there is any exceptional change in circumstances.



Any other business


No other business was raised.