Agenda and minutes

Venue: Presiding Officer’s office, 4th floor - Tŷ Hywel

Contact: Sulafa Thomas, x8669 

No. Item




Introduction and apologies


Angela Burns AM and David Melding AM had sent their apologies.


Declarations of interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of the previous meeting

Supporting documents:


The minutes of the 9 February meeting were agreed.


Security Update


Dave Tosh provided a brief update on security and gave an indication of the scope of the more substantial briefing in April.


Future ICT changes - Siambr refresh and Telephony


The Commission discussed plans to update the technology in the Chamber. They considered a paper which set out risks that have arisen in relation to delivery of the Siambr Refresh project. It provided the Commission with details of concerns about the performance of the hardware suppliers and set out a proposed way forward.


Commissioners agreed to brief party groups next week.


Commissioners discussed the risks that had been identified and the need to ensure the Commission has good relationships with the suppliers who support our critical systems. The Commission agreed to postpone implementation of the project until 2016.


Dave Tosh gave a brief update on the telephony project. He confirmed that:

  • the change to the new telephone system in Cardiff Bay will take place on the weekend of 23-25 May;
  • new handsets will be installed on that weekend for all users;
  • the new 0300 number will take over fully from 029 20 numbers;
  • 029 20 numbers and current internal extension numbers will cease to be operational, external callers will receive a message directing them to switchboard;
  • internal extension numbers will become the last four digits of the 0300 numbers;
  • Account Managers will come to speak to all AMs over the next month;
  • Printing costs generated by a need to change contact information will be met by the Commission and not by individual Members.


Commissioners welcomed the update and emphasised the importance of regular reminders about the change.



Transition to the Fifth Assembly


Commissioners received a paper which provided information on the planning for dissolution of the Fourth Assembly and transition to the Fifth Assembly.


Commissioners confirmed that their approach to the arrangements for the dissolution of the Assembly will be to ensure that Members and their staff have full and early information to enable them to plan for dissolution and that those Members who are stepping down are given support to enable them to wind up their Assembly work. Commissioners felt that it would be helpful to work through Groups to communicate with Members and suggested holding sessions with Groups in due course.


When the Assembly is dissolved Members immediately revert to being members of the general public and lose all the privileges associated with being an Assembly Member. This, by necessity, will involve restrictions upon former Members’ use of Assembly resources during the dissolution period.


Commissioners felt that the issue of the number of Members needed to constitute a Group should be considered during the Fourth Assembly.


The Commission will take specific decisions later in 2015, and the Remuneration Board’s final package of decisions in respect of remuneration and financial support of Members in the Fifth Assembly will be confirmed by May 2015.



Audit and Risk Assurance Committee update and Minutes - 9 February 2015


Claire Clancy provided a summary of the Assembly Commission Audit and Risk Assurance Committee meeting on 9 February, which was the last meeting of that Committee before the financial year end.


The Chair of the Committee had been able to confirm that all outstanding audit action points had been completed before the end of the financial year, and the Committee looked ahead to the coming year’s activity.


Commissioners welcomed the work that had been done and formally noted the minutes of the meeting.



Any other business


The Presiding Officer thanked Commissioners and Commission staff for the work that was done in the run up to the Secretary of State’s statement announcing the St David’s Day agreement on the future of Welsh Devolution. She indicated that the detailed submissions put forward to the Secretary of State, and the Commission’s report on capacity, made a real difference.


The Presiding Officer also informed Commissioners that, as Angela Burns was facing an extended absence David Melding would be taking over her Commissioner responsibilities while she is away.


Claire Clancy drew attention to the Remuneration Board’s consultation, which would be published the next day, and informed Commissioners that the Finance Committee had reported on the supplementary budget.


The Commission next meets on Thursday 23 April 2015, when Commissioners will consider the Budget Strategy for 2016-17 and receive a full security briefing.




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