Agenda and minutes

Venue: Conference Room 4B - Tŷ Hywel

Contact: Sulafa Thomas, x6227 

No. Item




Introduction and apologies


There were no apologies received.


Declarations of interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of the previous meeting


The minutes of 4 March were agreed.


Dignity and Respect update


Commissioners were updated on the progress implementing the recommendations of the Standards of Conduct Committee’s report ‘Creating the Right Culture’.

Commissioners also noted that the next annual Dignity and Respect Survey will be issued to AMs, their staff and Commission staff after the Easter recess.   

Commissioners deliberated how they wished to reply to the Standards Committee on its recommendation for anonymous reporting. They agreed that they wished to return to the matter following the upcoming Dignity and Respect survey.

They also considered the outcome of the mystery shopper exercise conducted at the end of 2018 and noted the information.

Commissioners agreed to respond to the Committee to identify the decision to return to the issue of anonymous reporting, and share the update table and mystery shopper report, with an expectation that this response will be published.



Assembly Reform update


Commissioners were updated on the progress of the Senedd and Elections (Wales) Bill. The Llywydd highlighted the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee evidence session she had attended, and discussed with Commissioners the continuing dialogue in relation to joint working with Welsh Government on citizenship education awareness raising. Commissioners considered the update and noted that discussions were on-going regarding the approach to financing and accountability of the Electoral Commission at Stage 2.


Assembly Commission Supplementary Budget


Commissioners were presented with a paper explaining the impact of the increases to employer pension contributions to the Civil Service Pension Scheme which took effect on 1 April 2019.

The paper confirmed information had been received from Cabinet Office that employer pension contributions to the Civil Service Pension Scheme will increase on average from 21% to 28%.

Commissioners noted the written statement by the Minister for Finance and Trefnydd. They considered the need for a supplementary budget to meet this need and agreed to submit an Explanatory Memorandum which will increase the staffing budget (pension contributions) by £0.965million.

Commissioners noted/agreed the letter to the Chair of the Finance Committee

The Explanatory Memorandum (Supplementary budget) will be laid in accordance with Standing Orders, during May/June 2019.


Corporate Performance Indicators


Commissioners had agreed to consider a new set of corporate performance indicators.

The new Performance Indicators continue to align with Commission’s goals and priorities, but take a revised approach containing two shorter and more focussed sets of indicators. Commissioners agreed:

a.    A set of strategic measures of overall corporate performance; and

b.    A set of measures that provide ‘stretch’ to develop performance where there is a need for improvement.

Commissioners discussed the nature of stretch targets, welcoming their development. They requested descriptive narrative around aspects of the indicators relating to procurement, language and engagement.

The new indicators will be introduced for the new financial year 2019-20.

Commissioners agreed that both sets of indicators will be reported in the Annual Report, rather than in a separate performance report.



Commission Resource Capacity update


At the last meeting Commissioners considered proposals to relax the existing established post cap of 491 posts, to provide additional resources, principally to meet the challenges of Brexit. They had requested further detail about the anticipated additional posts.

Commissioners agreed to allow a modest and controlled increase to the establishment, up to 10 beyond 491, with the immediate agreement being for 6 additional posts for which the case had been presented.

Commissioners agreed that Finance Committee be informed.


VES update

Oral item


Commissioners were provided with an update about the conclusion of the Voluntary Exit Scheme, in which they received confirmation that 25 members of staff would be leaving as a result of the scheme.


Public Accounts Committee: Scrutiny of Accounts 2017-18


Commissioners were notified of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Scrutiny of Accounts 2017-18. The Committee has reported on its annual scrutiny of the accounts and annual reports of various publicly funded organisations.

The final report contains 40 recommendations, nine of which relate to the Commission. Commissioners noted the report and agreed for the Commissioner with responsibility for Budget and Governance to draft a response to the Public Accounts Committee, which will be circulated to Commissioners before being sent to the Committee.


Papers to note:


20th Anniversary plans update


Commissioners noted an update about the arrangements to mark the Assembly’s 20th anniversary. They agreed to receive a further update before the summer recess regarding the autumn events, and offered their support as Commissioners to the delivery of arrangements.


ACARAC Minutes - Feb meeting


Commissioners noted the regular presentation of ACARAC meeting minutes. As the portfolio holder who attends ACARAC meetings, Suzy Davies wished to remind members that they are Data Managers in the context of GDPR, and that training is available to support this responsibility.


Executive Board update (RAD decisions)


Commissioners noted the routine update provided to each Commission meeting.     


Any other business


·         Intention to recruit to Director post

To fulfil the requirement of the Commission Delegation Manon consulted the Commission about her intention to make an appointment to the post of Director of Communications and Engagement post, to fill the vacancy that will arise. She also flagged that interim arrangements will be made to provide the support currently provided by the outgoing Chief Legal Advisor, and that this will involve a difference in remuneration, terms and conditions to that of the current post holder.

·         Telephone scam

Commissioners were informed of a telephone scam that is currently being experienced, and which is making use of some of the Assembly’s telephone numbers. Members are asked to contact their ICT Account manager if they are experiencing calls from recipients of the scam.

·         Letter from the Finance Committee

The Finance Committee had written asking the Commission to provide written evidence to its post-legislative scrutiny of the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2013.

Commissioners agreed for the Commissioner with responsibility for Budget and Governance to respond on their behalf.