Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Liz Jardine 

No. Item


Introductions, apologies and declarations of interest


Anna Daniel (Head of Strategic Transformation) and Bedwyr Jones (Acting Head of ICT) gave apologies.


There were no declarations of interest.


Communication note to staff - Anna Daniel


Craig Stephenson would draft a note of the Management Board discussion for the news page.


Minutes from last meeting (14 July 2014)

Supporting documents:


The minutes of 14 July meeting were agreed as a correct record.


Budget 2015-16 - Paper 2


Nicola Callow presented the Board with the latest draft of the Assembly Commission budget, highlighting new developments since its last review before the summer recess. These developments included a new position on the pension scheme and on indicative funding beyond 2015-16 plus an update on the investment fund for 2015-16 and future years.

Commissioners would be asked to agree the budget at their meeting on 17 September and it would be laid before the Assembly on 25 September.  It was scheduled to be scrutinised by the Finance Committee on 2 October.

Management Board agreed that the format and design were improved and provided a few comments on minor amendments and presentation.  The Board commended Nicola and finance staff across the organisation for their work on the budget.



·      Nicola Callow to check the accessibility of the document type-face with the Equality team.

·      Service Heads to provide Nicola with any further comments before the end of the day.



2014 AM/AMSS survey results - Paper 3


Dave Tosh provided the Board with a summary of conclusions from the 2014-15 Assembly Member and support staff survey. It was noted that this survey was significantly shorter than previous years – 12 questions compared to 50 last year- and the simpler survey had worked well.  Although completion rates were slightly down from the previous year, this was likely due to timing with other surveys being undertaken at the same time.  Scores were generally good, with sustained or improved results to the previous survey and significant progress had been made in areas such as ICT and working in the language of choice.  The engagement score was lower than the previous survey and it was agreed that future surveys should be clearer about what was meant by engagement to make sure the results were meaningful.

Management Board congratulated and thanked staff who had contributed to the improved scores.




·                Service Heads to build actions from the survey into service plans, with specific reference to the survey results;

·                Heads to report back on progress to Members through the Chief Executive’s update;

·                the improvement in Welsh language services should be shared with other organisations and positive feedback provided to staff;

·                the Communications team to consider how Members can be supported further in engagement within their constituencies; and

·               consideration to be given to the handling of the next survey, in order to increase response rate.


Social Media strategy - Paper 4 + Paper 5


Non Gwilym presented two items for discussion. The first was the Assembly’s Social Media Strategy that expanded on the principles set out in the Assembly’s 2010 e-democracy strategy, which gave the Commission’s direction for digital engagement with the people of Wales. The second paper looked at the review of live tweeting, which provided an evaluation of a live tweeting trial carried out with the Public Accounts Committee in June.

Management Board made recommendations on the draft documents and highlighted that this work helped to plug the 'democratic deficit'[1] gap. The Assembly was innovating and leading the way in this area and comparators with other organisations should be included in the document. However, it was important to reassure the Commission on live tweeting and ensure clarity around the sensitivities, explaining what was actually being said and done, including tweets by Assembly Members.

The social media strategy would be presented to Commissioners at their meeting on 29 October.



·      Non Gwilym to summarise strategy into a covering paper with annexes to the policy and evaluation on live tweeting;

·      Elisabeth Jones to check that the policy was compatible with the FOI policy and consistent with DPA and copyright.



[1] 'Democratic deficit' is the term that the Presiding Officer, Dame Rosemary Butler AM, applied to the problem of many UK and Welsh media organisations failing to properly cover the work of the Assembly and the public policy differences in Wales as a result of devolution.


Potential designation of estate as protected site - Paper 6


Management Board discussed a draft paper for Commissioners to consider at their meeting of 29 September, relating to the security of the estate.


ICT oral update and future ICT options in the Siambr - Paper 7


Following a survey and consultation with Members and party groups and a detailed analysis of how options could be delivered over the summer recess, Dave Tosh presented the proposed solution for the reconfiguring of ICT on Members’ desks in the Siambr. The most popular option with Members was a combination of fixed and mobile ICT so that Members could choose how they used their Siambr workstations. The proposed solution guarantees that Members would be able to access all Plenary systems and business.


The proposal was agreed by Management Board.  Commissioners would be invited to reach a decision at their meeting on 29 September.


Action: explore options for branding on the outside of the workstation back plate.


KPI report April to June 2014 - Paper 8 (For information) (To follow)


The Board considered the draft report that would be presented to the Commission at their meeting on 29 September.

It was agreed that Management Board would consider the narrative, in particular to explain progress to ensure the Commission was provided with meaningful information on the indicators.

Action: Management Board to feedback comments and suggested wording to Kathryn Hughes as soon as possible.


Staff Survey - Oral + Paper 9 (For information)


Lowri Williams (Head of HR) was welcomed to the meeting and provided recommendations for the next all staff survey, which was then discussed by the Board.

The last survey had been in July 2013, with the results being published in October 2013 and had focussed on “Moral, Motivation and Respect”.  It was important that future surveys could be benchmarked with appropriate comparators and that the timing should fit with business need. It was proposed that the next survey be shorter with a smaller selection of questions and focussed around staff engagement, with opportunities for staff to add comments.

The Board considered this an opportune time to rationalise and improve internal communications with the survey presented as part of a package of two-way communications with staff.

The Board agreed the recommendations and that the next survey would take place in Spring 2015.

Action: Lowri Williams to explore the possibility of introducing a staff forum, linked with internal communications, and prepare a brief for Management Board ahead of sharing at the next Trade Union meeting.


Monthly finance report (August 2014) - Paper 10


Investment and Resources Board update (20 August) - Oral


Claire Clancy provided an update on the Investment and Resourcing Board (IRB) meeting held on 20 August. Nicola Callow had reported success in achieving Value for Money targets and, with other under spend available, the Board looked at accelerating the programme of spend on enhancements to the estate.

Claire paid tribute to the Management Board and their teams for the accuracy of forecasts that had allowed the Investment and Resourcing Board to manage the budget so closely.

The IRB had also approved the new structure for the HR team at their meeting. They agreed a business case for the Presiding Officer's Women in Public Life contract and one for both the Media Relations Officer in Communications and Social Media Officer in Front of House.



Capacity Planning


The matter of staff resourcing for future requirements was discussed briefly by Management Board and the legislation programme in particular was raised. An annual Resource and Planning Board was scheduled for 24 November but it was felt that earlier discussion was needed and it was agreed to look at bringing that discussion forward. The paper on Capacity Management, prepared by Lowri Williams for IRB, would be circulated in the meantime.


Any other business


Mike Snook provided an update on the improvements on the estate over the summer and that the Assembly had achieved the Green Dragon award for environmental management again this year. The Sabbatical policy was now finalised and ready for launch.

Siân Wilkins and Chris Warner informed the Board that the Clerks' conference had gone well and that attendees had been complimentary about the event.

A meeting was being arranged for Management Board to discuss the outcome and impact for the National Assembly and Wales of the Scottish Referendum.

The next Management Board meeting would be held on 9 October.