Agenda and minutes

Venue: Conference Room 4B - Tŷ Hywel. View directions

Contact: Sulafa Thomas, x6227 

No. Item




Introduction and apologies


No apologies were received.


Declarations of interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of the previous meeting


The Minutes of 3 November were agreed.


Update on strategic issues

Oral items


Assembly estate


Commissioners were provided with a brief update of initial discussions that had taken place and that are planned. Tender responses in relation to work needed on the new ground floor committee rooms were expected imminently, with work anticipated to take place predominantly between Christmas and Easter.


Name Change consultation


The Llywydd updated Commissioners on work that had been done to prepare a public consultation, in line with the Commission’s earlier decision.


The consultation was anticipated go live on later in the week, and run until 3 March. Commissioners were content with the progress made, including that the consultation and survey will be promoted online through social media and through the work of the communications, education and outreach teams.


As Commissioners had suggested, the Llywydd will also send a letter to all Members, accompanied by background briefing. The Llywydd asked Commissioners to encourage Members to ask constituents to complete the survey.


Expert panel on constitutional reform


Following discussion at the last Commission meeting, Commissioners were content that work to establish an Expert Panel on electoral reform was progressing. They supported the approach of appointing a Chair with suitable academic integrity (Prof Laura McAllister), and seeking a panel of diverse, appropriately experienced individuals.



Digital task force


The Llywydd confirmed that the Task Force had begun their work, and that she had attended their first meeting.


Update on outcome of review of security of Members' offices

Oral item


Following the Commission’s support for a review of security in relation to Members’ constituency/regional offices, Dave Tosh provided Commissioners with an update on the progress of that work, and highlighted that support is being offered to Office Managers by MBS.


Commissioners were particularly anxious that Members understand their responsibilities to take appropriate action following the review. A note is being prepared by the Commission’s legal service and will be sent to Members shortly.


New Diversity and Inclusion Strategy for the Fifth Assembly and Annual Equality Report

Paper 2 and annexes


Commissioners considered the new draft Diversity and Inclusion Strategy which had been prepared to replace the Assembly’s Equality Plan 2012-16. They particularly discussed aspects in relation to contracts held by the Commission.


Commissioners also considered progress across the Assembly against actions detailed in the Equality Plan 2012-16, as set out in the Annual Equality Report 2015-16. They requested further detail in relation to the age profile information in the report.


Commissioners agreed the draft Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2016-21 and that Joyce Watson, as portfolio holder, will lead on the oversight of the corporate action plan. The Commission also agreed the draft Annual Equality Report 2015-16 for publication.


Contracts and procurement

Paper 3


Jan Koziel, Head of Procurement, presented an overview of the purpose, role and responsibilities of the procurement service.

Commissioners explored issues around Terms and Conditions in Commission contracts, sustainability for SMEs, and working with contractors on shared values.


Earlier in the year Commissioners had asked questions relating to any impact of Brexit on our procurement - the paper provided an initial assessment of this. Commissioners indicated that they would like consideration to begin in relation to their desire to support local markets within Wales as changes linked to Brexit and the EU increase opportunities.



Corporate Key Performance Indicator Report (Apr-Sept 2016)

Paper 4


Commissioners received the first Corporate Key Performance Indicator Report of the Fifth Assembly, showing at how the Assembly Commission performed against its strategic goals for the period April to September 2016.


Commissioners asked about work that is being done to improve sickness absence. Following up on earlier discussions they congratulated staff on the prompt payment of suppliers, but asked whether steps are taken to ensure that this prompt payment approach exists within the supply chain.


They welcomed the positive performance and agreed the report should be published.


Highlight report to the Commission (May-December 2016)

Paper 5

Supporting documents:


The highlight report provided a record of the Commission’s work and achievements over the period from the start of the Fifth Assembly.


Commissioners welcomed the report, and agreed they would find it a useful tool, on a termly basis, as part of the role of oversight and holding management to account. They agreed it is a very valuable record.


Commissioners commented in detail on the potential for evaluation for engagement schemes involving sustained investment, such as the work on a Youth Parliament, in order to ascertain the longer term impact on participants. They also made observations with regard to the role of Wales on the global stage and changing opportunities in the context of Brexit.


Update on ACARAC meeting 21 November

Oral item


The Assembly Commission Audit and Risk Assurance Committee met on 21 November. Suzy Davies had attended the meeting as portfolio holder, and the Commission were updated.


Detail included: the Committee’s receipt of four formal internal audit reviews; the Wales Audit Office advising that there were no outstanding issues from the 2015-16 audit of the Assembly’s accounts, which had run smoothly thanks to the approach and co-operation of officials; reference to the development of the new finance system; and the SIRO Annual Report.


Any other business


Aberfan Memorial Book


The Llywydd reported that she had attended Cyfarthfa Castle in Merthyr to visit the exhibition which currently includes the Aberfan Memorial Book. The Book is a calligraphic representation of all the names of the victims of Aberfan. The Assembly is the current custodian of the Book but has loaned it to the exhibition, it has previously been exhibited in the Pierhead.


The Commission agreed to formally return the Book to the Aberfan Memorial Charity and that it should be exhibited at the Aberfan community library.


The next Commission meeting will consider the public engagement strategy and a new Official Languages scheme.