Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Liz Jardine 

No. Item


Introductions, apologies and declarations of interest


There were no apologies.

There were no declarations of interest.


Communication note to staff - Mark Neilson


Mark Neilson would draft a note of the Management Board discussion for the news page.



Minutes from 7 March Management Board


The minutes of the 7 March Management Board meeting were agreed as a correct record. 



Minutes of Governance Statement Session 22 February


The minutes of the Governance Statement session on 22 February were agreed as a correct record

Main items


Fifth Assembly Preparations


Sulafa Thomas presented a set of documents that had been prepared as the overarching framework principles for the governance of the organisation, rules of conduct for Commission meetings and the delegation of functions to the Chief Executive. These had been reviewed and updated from the Fourth Assembly in light of experience and best practice and would be presented to the new Commission for approval at its first meeting.

Management Board discussed the framework and recommendations. Gareth Watts said he would strongly advocate recommending to the Commission that the upper limit at which the Chief Executive and Clerk could authorise capital expenditure should be increased from the current £1million threshold.  This would reflect increases in delegated limits elsewhere in the public sector and, in particular, bring the Assembly Commission more in line with the arrangements at the Scottish Parliament.  The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body has delegated to their Clerk and Chief Executive the authority to approve capital expenditure up to £10million and contract awards in excess of £5million.

The Board agreed to reflect this in the documentation and also ensure that the wording generally was consistent with the draft strategy paper. Management Board also agreed to:

·                present a bilingual set of documents for the Commissions consideration of how they wish to receive papers going forward;

·                include mention of the Remuneration Board and also the DPO’s involvement in Commission meetings;

·                remove the qualification on FOI from disclosure of Directors;

·                bring forward the paragraph on Commissioners responsibilities (currently para 5 Annex A)to make more explicit the importance of the role.

Finally, Sulafa Thomas asked that Heads ensure the Members’ intranet pages were up to date and to identify staff that could be made available at short notice for the Member welcome events and Royal Opening.


Staff Survey 2016


The Board discussed arrangements for the next staff survey. The survey work well last year with the response rate being very high at 93%. The Board agreed the recommendations that:

·                the survey would run over a four week period from Monday 16 May to Friday 10 June; and

·                the questions, content and reporting format would remain the same to enable a direct comparison to last year's survey, with additional information added to the sub-heading themes to provide clarity and context to future surveys.

It was agreed that the analysis of results would be presented to the Commission in the autumn.

The Board also received an update on the progress of the Investors in People assessment, which was going well although no formal feedback had been received. The interviews with staff were due to finish 22 April.


Terms of Reference MB and IRB


Dave Tosh presented revised ToRs for Management Board (MB) and Investment and Resourcing Board (IRB). These were discussed with a view to ensuring they described correctly the current responsibilities and membership. The ToRs for both boards were agreed with a clarification of MBs contribution to strategic thinking.

The Board also considered the benefits of continuing the Scenarios Group, which had been established to focus on the implications of the Fifth Assembly transition. It was decided that Management Board should take on the additional responsibility in the role of Scenario planning.

It was also agreed that Management Board would endeavour to reach more definitive positions on posts during capacity planning so that decisions can later be taken by Heads without reference back to IRB, in cases that are clear.


·                Dave Tosh to update the ToRs as above and reflect the link between internal resources and investment decisions and also clarify the levels above which matters need to go to IRB (cross-referencing to the scheme of delegation). The review of Commission papers should be added to the standing items grid;

·                Dave Tosh and Anna Daniel to agree wording in relation to programme boards; and

IRB forward plan to be included in the meeting note to MB.


Assurance Framework


The Board approved the revised Assurance Framework and agreed the future approach to assurance mapping. The Framework would be presented to Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (ACARAC) at its April meeting.



Corporate Risk


The current corporate risk register and dashboard were reviewed and it was agreed that good progress had been made with the identification and active management of corporate risks.

Chris Warner would provide a ‘risk on a page’ (ROAP) on safeguarding for the Board to consider at its next review of risk.

The Board discussed risks around the EU referendum and guidance was currently being prepared for staff and Members as a matter of priority. The ROAP was agreed.

The transition to the Fifth Assembly was imminent and there were areas of concern around delivery of responsibilities. Heads were asked to address these in their areas if and where flagged.

The Financial management ROAP was agreed with a few additions.


Efficiency and Effectiveness


Dave Tosh presented a review of the approach to capturing, monitoring and tracking the efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation, following a request from the Chief Executive and ACARAC. The outcome would be presented to ACARAC at its June meeting.

It was agreed to include a section on the work on performance management.


Winding up the meeting


Any other business


Chris Warner advised the Board that a first draft of the Annual Report would be available for review and comment by 22 April and Anna Daniel would be circulating a revised draft of the Commission strategy.

Dave Tosh advised that the Siambr refresh was reaching the end of its process.

The next Management Board meeting would be on 12 May.