Agenda and minutes

Venue: Conference Room 4B - Tŷ Hywel

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 the meeting on 1 April were agreed.


Assembly Commission Budget Strategy 2020-21


Commissioners continued consideration of their proposals for the budget strategy for financial year 2020-21.


The two main areas discussed were the overall budget requirement for 2020-21; including the impact of the 2019-20 first supplementary budget for pension costs; and the emerging Commission investment priorities for 2020-21. They discussed a number of themes including archiving, the website and engagement activities.


Budget proposals will be laid in line with Standing Orders in September.


Assembly Reform - update

Paper 3a Assembly Reform: Senedd and Elections Bill, Annex 1-4

Paper 3b Assembly reform programme: phase 2


The Commission considered arrangements for responding to forthcoming committee reports related to the Senedd and Elections (Wales) Bill. Commissioners agreed that the Llywydd determine the approach and timescale for responding to committee reports and that further discussion would take place with them ahead of the Stage 1 plenary debate.

With regard to the financing and accountability of the Electoral Commission, Commissioners discussed a proposed approach and noted advice. They agreed that the Llywydd, in consultation with Suzy Davies and taking into account views expressed by Finance or CLA Committees at Stage 1, should take forward discussion with the Counsel General to approve the approach.

In relation to further work on Assembly reform, relating to the size of the Assembly and reforming the electoral system, Commissioners decided it was not possible to legislate in this Assembly. However, work to explore issues relating to the size of the Assembly and how Members should be elected would continue in order to assist the public debate and political parties as they consider their views on these matters.


Physical security

Paper 4 - Physical Security Improvements (access)


Commissioners were provided with an update about proposed development to security protocols, and recent security matters. Information would be provided for Commissioners to consider and subsequently share with their groups.


Commissioners considered and agreed, proposals to make enhancements to improve security at the public entry points in the Senedd and Tŷ Hywel, which will be built into budget planning.


Official Languages Scheme annual compliance report


The Commission is required to “lay before the Assembly a report setting out how the Commission has, during the year in question, given effect to the Scheme” - The National Assembly for Wales (Official Languages) Act 2012.


Commissioners reviewed a report covering the work undertaken across the organisation during the past year. They sought assurances about the way that the scheme operates in relation to recruitment and discussed opportunities to be involved in Mozilla's Common Voice scheme to collate recordings of people speaking to help to teach machines how people speak in Welsh.


Commissioners approved the draft report, subject to minor edits, ahead of the plenary debate.


Draft Assembly Commission Annual Report and Accounts 2018-19

Draft as at 3 June (English only)


A draft of the National Assembly Commission’s annual report and accounts, 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019, was considered by Commissioners, who were content with the work presented.


The final version will be for approval in July and then be laid by the end of the summer term. It will be available online.


2019 AM & AMSS survey results


Commissioners were provided with a summary of the 2019 Assembly Member and Support Staff Survey. In line with the Commission’s decision in 2018, this year’s survey was shorter and collected mostly quantitative data to allow for year on year comparison and performance monitoring.


Commissioners noted the results of the survey, and agreed to share the findings with Members and their staff later this month.


Papers to note:


Remuneration committee annual report


The Remuneration Committee’s Annual Report was noted.


Letter from Finance Committee


Commissioners noted a letter that had been sent to Suzy Davies from the Finance Committee regarding the Voluntary Exit Scheme.


20th Anniversary update


Commissioners noted an update about arrangements to mark the Assembly’s 20th anniversary. There would be a further update before the summer recess regarding the autumn events.


ACARAC draft minutes - March meeting


The draft minutes of the March ACARAC meeting were noted.


Any other business


·         Commissioners were briefly updated about an ongoing Employment Tribunal.

·         Commissioners noted a letter from the Chair of the Finance Committee in relation to the Committee’s consideration of proposals to amend the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2013.


In the period since the previous meeting Commissioners had agreed responses to the Finance Committee in relation to Post legislative scrutiny and Funding of directly funded bodies, to the Public Accounts Committee in relation to Budget scrutiny recommendations and to the Remuneration Board’s Consultation on the Determination (along with associated principles for Commission travel).