Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Sulafa Thomas, x6227 

No. Item




Introduction and apologies


The Llywydd welcomed the Commission’s new Independent Advisers, who attended for part of the meeting, and Siwan Davies, the newly appointed Director of Assembly Business.

The Llywydd thanked the two newest Commissioners for taking on their predecessors’ portfolios, and welcomed them to their first formal Commission meeting.


No apologies were received.


Declarations of interest


There were no Declarations of Interest.


Minutes of the previous meeting


The Minutes of 5 November were agreed.


Budget Strategy and Commission Budget 2020-21


Commissioners began initial discussions about their approach to the budget strategy for financial year 2020-21.


Commissioners discussed proposals for the budget strategy and the overall budget requirement for 2020-21 and the following 2 years. Specifically, this discussion centred around the Commission’s priorities for the final year of this Assembly and Commissioner’s noted that a further discussion would be needed on the increase to the Employer Pension Contributions to the Civil Service Pension Scheme, when more information is made available.


They also agreed a response to the Finance Committee’s request for views on budgetary guidance.


The Commission’s ‘20-21 budget will be laid in accordance with the requirements of Standing Orders, in September.


Protective Security Improvements


Commissioners discussed proposals to make enhancements to the protective security at public entry points.


The proposal is to enhance the security of the estate by providing an appropriate and proportionate level of protection and delay at the main public entrances. The proposals would alter both entrances.


Commissioners agreed to seek views from their groups about potential changes.


Commissioners agreed the detail of the paper should not be published.


Assembly Commission Brexit Preparations


Commissioners considered a paper reporting on progress in dealing with the impact of Brexit on the Assembly. It outlined work being undertaken to assess the implications and resources needed for the Assembly’s Brexit related activity and gave an assessment of the implications for our corporate services and preparedness in this area.


Commissioners asked about how particular aspects of the Commission’s functioning, for example Health and Safety requirements, are being monitored for implications. They noted the paper.


Electoral Reform - update


Commissioners were provided with an update on work on the Assembly reform programme with a particular focus on policy issues relating to the Senedd and Elections (Wales) Bill.


Commissioners agreed the approach to legislating on the Electoral Commission financing and accountability, noting that that it is subject to the views of Committee(s) and the Assembly at Stage 1.


They discussed further developments in the proposed content of the Bill and Commissioners discussed and noted the Llywydd’s way forward, to finalise the Bill ahead of its introduction.


Commissioners also noted the timetable for introduction and scrutiny of the Bill and the issue on competence; the updated financial assessment of the Bill and their agreed roles and responsibilities in respect of the Assembly reform programme and in particular the scrutiny period for the Senedd and Elections (Wales) Bill.


Citizens' Assembly


Commissioners were supportive of proposals to establish a demographically representative Citizens’ Assembly as part of a programme to mark the Assembly’s twentieth anniversary.


Commissioners agreed to seek views this week from their groups on proposals to hold a Citizens’ Assembly over two days during June/July 2019.


The focus would be on two main issues:

          the main challenges facing Wales during the next twenty years; and

          how Welsh democracy and specifically the Assembly can respond better to those challenges i.e. improving Welsh democracy.


Commissioners agreed that officials pursue the establishment of a Citizens’ Assembly in summer 2019, subject to the feedback from groups.


Policy for the provision of monuments, memorials and plaques


Commissioners had asked for a policy to be drafted regarding the installation of memorials on the Assembly’s estate. They discussed a process by which the Commission would consider proposals and make decisions, and also considered associated guidance for proposers.


Commissioners asked for adjustments to the draft policy, and for it to be circulated for them to agree.   


Papers to note:


International engagement - progress report


Commissioners noted an update to deliver work set out in the Framework for the Assembly’s International Engagement during the Fifth Assembly. They raised the potential to work more closely with Honorary Counsels.


Assembly Commission Remuneration, Engagement and Workforce Advisory Committee (REWAC) - Terms of Reference


Commissioners were provided with, and noted, updated terms of reference for the Remuneration Committee, extending its focus from that previously in place. This reflected a desire to make good use of the range of expertise brought by the new Independent Advisors. They noted the appointment of Chairs to REWAC and ACARAC:

·         ACARAC Chair – Bob Evans

·         REWAC Chair - Sarah Pinch.


Executive Board update (RAD decisions)


The routine update was noted.


ACARAC Minutes November meeting


The minutes of the November ACARAC meeting were noted.


Any other business


Commissioners were made aware that recommendations had been made for their consideration by the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee and the Standards Committee – and that draft responses would be circulated shortly for their consideration.


In the period since the previous meeting Commissioners had supported a proposal to nominate Bob Evans as one of the Commission’s representatives to the AM Pensions Board, and the appointment of the New Director of Assembly Business.