Agenda and minutes

Contact: Sulafa Thomas, x6227 

No. Item




Introduction and apologies


Apologies were received from Suzy Davies.


Declarations of interest


There were no formal declarations of interest.


Minutes of the previous meeting


The minutes of the meeting on 4 May were agreed.


Senedd Commission 2021-22 Budget Strategy


Commissioners held their first discussion about the 2021-22 Senedd Commission draft budget. They considered priorities and challenges likely to arise in the coming period and provided a view to inform further preparation work to be undertaken on the draft budget. They considered the relative merits and implications of different scenarios, expressed a preference to reduce the anticipated budget increase from 2.48% to 1%, to reflect the likely economic climate. They reflected that the period up to the autumn is likely to see further developments.

Commissioners agreed that a three year budget is to be included in the 2021-22 draft budget document and to move the focus away from a fixed establishment staffing cap to a longer term focus on the whole operational budget.

Commissioners also asked for further consideration of the wording in relation to updating the Commission’s Strategic Goals for the Sixth Senedd.

The draft budget will be laid by the 1 October requirement.


COVID-19 update


Commissioners were updated about arrangements in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. They also considered the aims, principles and working assumptions that are forming the basis to guide preparations for a return to the estate.

Commissioners noted the update and were supportive of preparations being made for a return to the estate. They supported the approach to plans for any return to the estate, in which initial arrangements are for a 10% occupancy level, in order to test our arrangements thoroughly and to maintain a safe environment, as far as possible.

They also discussed the longer perspective in terms of lessons learned and new ways of working for a more resilient and flexible future.


Election Transition: Dissolution - Use of Resources


Commissioners considered a paper which provided them with the necessary information to make the relevant major decisions about the extent to which Members should be able to access and make use of Senedd Resources during dissolution, where discretion may be applied.

Commissioners made decisions in seven areas in order that information and detailed guidance will be provided to Members in a timely way, enabling them to prepare appropriately for the Dissolution period.

Commissioners agreed to enable limited access to Senedd Resources for casework and routine administrative tasks only, including the ability for constituency or regional offices to be used solely for these purposes.

Members’ Offices could only be available for personal use, such as for campaigning, where Members rent the office and ICT resources, which will be charged in full at 100 percent of the cost,. The arrangement would need to be set up in advance of Dissolution.

Mobile and Smart phones may be rented for the duration of the Dissolution period, or handed back.

Access to the Senedd Estate during Dissolution for Members and their staff be limited to the public areas, with the exception of office holders who’s responsibilities continue, where access will be given for the purposes of their office holder functions. 

Commissioners agreed to provide outplacement support to Members and their staff. 

Commissioners indicated an expectation that Members standing down should aim to wind up their offices within six weeks of dissolution of the Fifth Senedd.   


Annual Report and Accounts


Commissioners approved the Senedd Commission’s annual report and accounts covering 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.  


Annual Diversity and Inclusion Report


Commissioners agreed the Diversity and Inclusion Annual report 2019-20, and the accompanying workforce and recruitment data monitoring report and equal pay and gender pay gap report, along with actions going forward.

These reports set out progress from teams across the Senedd Commission in delivering our Diversity and Inclusion objectives set out in the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. Commissioners’ discussions focused on the BAME data, and work being undertaken to support further improvements to attract candidates of underrepresented groups, and support for those with caring responsibilities.

Commissioners discussed the recent achievement of IIP platinum, and thanked staff for all the work involved.


Official Languages Scheme Annual Compliance Report


In accordance with The National Assembly for Wales (Official Languages) Act 2012, Commissioners considered a report of the work undertaken across the organisation during the past year, to enable the Commission to uphold its commitment to deliver exemplary bilingual services.

Commissioners approved the Report.   


Sustainability: Annual Report 2019-20


Commissioners agreed the Sustainability Annual Report 2019-20 for publication.

The report on the sustainability performance of the Senedd estate and operations over the past year highlighted key environmental achievements, performance against targets, use of utilities, the organisation’s carbon footprint and use of finite resources. Commissioners also considered improvements made to both the estate and methods of operation and agreed improvements planned for the forthcoming financial year.


Remuneration Board Appointments


Appointments to the Remuneration Board are made by the Commission. Commissioners confirmed two new appointments and two re-appointments to the independent Remuneration Board,  on the basis set out in the National Assembly for Wales (Remuneration) Measure 2010. In doing so they confirmed they were satisfied that none of those being proposed for appointment were disqualified from being members of the Board. The new appointments will start on 21 September 2020.

Commissioners appointed Elizabeth Haywood for Chair, and Hugh Widdis for member of the Board to fill upcoming vacancies for a five year term and re-appointed Mike Redhouse and Dame Jane Roberts as members of the Board for a second five year term.


Senedd Reform update

Oral update


Commissioners were briefly updated about the implementation of the Senedd Name Change and the opening of registration of votes for young people.


Papers to note:


Executive Board update (RAD decisions)


Commissioners noted the routine summary of recruitment decisions provided to each Commission meeting.


ACARAC Minutes April Meeting


Commissioners noted the routine update of the ARAC meeting.


Letter from the Chair of the Finance Committee


Commissioners notes the Finance Committee’s request for information, and agreed that the portfolio holder respond on their behalf due to the timing requested for the response, sharing that response with them.


Any other business


In the period since the last meeting Commissioners had taken one urgent decision relating to extending the period of cancellation of face-to-face public engagement activities.