Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Liz Jardine 

No. Item


Introductions, apologies and declarations of interest


Apologies were received from Adrian Crompton (Director of Assembly Business), Anna Daniel (Head of Strategic Transformation) and Elisabeth Jones (Chief Legal Adviser).

There were no declarations of interest.

Manon Antoniazzi thanked all who had been involved with the approval of the Mandate Motion - Consultation on Assembly Reform in Plenary on 7 February. The consultation on Assembly Reform would be launched on 12 February and run for 8 weeks.

It was also noted that, at the meeting of the Welsh Grand Committee held at Westminster, members from the Assembly’s Interpretation team enabled MPs to hold a bilingual meeting for the first time.



Communication note to staff - Mair Parry-Jones


Mair Parry-Jones would draft a note of the Management Board discussion for the staff news page.



Minutes of the Previous Meeting


The minutes of the 11 January Management Board meeting were agreed as a correct record. 

Progress on actions arising from the previous meeting were given:

·                the next steps in the Staff Survey were outlined;

·                progress on the Assembly Commission’s policy on dignity and respect, the help line and distribution of posters. It was noted that Westminster had just launched its strategy on the Dignity and Respect issue;

·                a new approach to setting the 2018-19 Service budgets had been implemented within Services and had been well received. This had provided increased budget flexibility that had meant planned ICT and EFM work could be undertaken before year-end, clearing the way for other priorities next financial year. The service budgets would be reviewed at the Investment and Resources Board (IRB) and return to a Management Board meeting during March; and

·                the implications of holding a Plenary meeting off the Assembly Estate was being explored.



Terms of Reference - Executive Board and Leadership Group


Manon Antoniazzi outlined a new model for the leadership of the Assembly Commission and presented the Terms of Reference for a new Executive Board (EB) and Leadership Group (LG). The membership of EB would consist of the current IRB with the addition of the Head of Communications and the Chair of the new Leadership Group (the Chair role rotating between members on a termly basis). It would continue to execute its duties in governance and oversight. Membership of the LG would include the Chief Executive, the Directors and Chief Legal Adviser, all Heads of Service and the Llywydd’s Policy Advisor. The LG would meet on a monthly basis, to facilitate ‘blue sky’ thinking and provide challenge to strategic decisions made by the EB, but it would not be a decision making body itself. Minutes of the EB meetings would be shared with the LG.

Management Board members had already met with Manon individually to discuss their views. A more formal consultation over the following two weeks would invite Heads and other stakeholders, including the secretariats, to make any representations to her before implementing the new structure.

The Board discussed in more detail how the agendas for the Leadership Group might be set and a mode of communication between the two groups and with staff. Manon invited a volunteer for the first Chair.



Capacity Review - communication and Phase II Terms of reference


Dave Tosh outlined progress on the Capacity review. Following the formal Survey undertaken in December - including discussions with Assembly Members, AMSS and Commission staff - ideas and suggestions for improvement were identified, together with a number of actions, to change the Commission’s organisational capacity and capability to improve the effective use of resources.

Dave presented the terms of reference for Phase II, and the plan for a steering group of senior representatives from service areas to facilitate delivery of an action plan, considering in detail the themes identified and feedback, and based on the priorities and what can be reasonably achieved.

Both the Assembly Commission and Chairs’ forum had been appraised of the Capacity Plan and were engaged with its aims and objectives. The Capacity Review report would also be provided to the Finance and Public Accounts Committees as part of the Commission’s response to their scrutiny of the accounts. Gareth Watts and Phil Turner were preparing a digest of individual’s feedback from the survey and some further qualitative information to add to the final report.

The Board discussed communication to staff and the importance of instilling confidence that their views and concerns were being listened to and how they could feed into the next stage of the review. All-staff meetings would be arranged for early March with more detailed discussions within services thereafter.


·                Non Gwilym and Lowri Williams to finalise a communication plan to be shared with Commissioners on 26 February and feed into an extended senior management meeting on 16 April on engagement strategy.

·                Two or three meetings for staff to be arranged for early March and Heads to ensure staff are enabled to attend.

·                Management Board to feedback to Dave Tosh on Phase II Terms of Reference.

·                An update on Phase II progress to be provided at the next meeting on 5 March.



Engagement Strategy

Oral item


Lowri Williams then briefly outlined the basis for discussion at the Management Board meeting in April, when engagement and values would considered in detail.

The latest staff survey indicated a high engagement score but it was also recognised that internal communications was an issue identified in consecutive surveys and a snap survey was underway to gain better understanding of the nature of the concerns. A lot of progress had been made, however, to increase visibility and transparency, such as publishing internally the recruitment authorisations documents. The capacity review was a useful vehicle to help increase engagement through active participation and instil it as a corporate priority.

The Board discussed how to use the forthcoming staff meetings and the format that would meet this objective.

ACTION: Heads to flag the snap survey to staff; the deadline to be extended to Friday 12 January 3pm.



Financial Management Report January 2018


Nia Morgan gave a brief summary of the FMR for January. The Investment Fund surplus released from reductions and savings by services, meant that IRB had been able to approve the completion of essential repairs on the estates and ICT work in this financial year, that had previously been delayed to the following year. This meant that the next financial year’s investment fund was sufficient to enable expenditure on projects to begin. The forecast underspend for 2017-18 was back on target and within the KPI.

February was the last opportunity to adjust forecasts and Nia asked the Board to inform her of any changes or emergency spend, emphasising the need for accurate forecasting.



IRB Update

Oral item


As well as confirming the Estates and ICT work could begin, the IRB approved several RADs presented and reviewed the outcomes of the tender for the maintenance contract, which was a significant size of contract when all combined. It currently does not encompass the cleaning contract. 

ICT were investigating the feasibility and appetite for Members’ constituency offices to be on the same system of non-geographical numbers as Tŷ Hywel.



Media Grid



Non Gwilym gave an overview of current grid that captured corporate and business related communications activity to facilitate planning. Brexit had dominated the week, with a press release from the Assembly of the EAAL report launch receiving many hits. A lot of work had gone into releases put out, including on suffrage, the Alun and Deeside by-election, the Mandate Motion on electoral reform and ELGC report on maternity discrimination.

Monday 12 February would see the launch of the consultation on electoral reform, with a series of meetings and a microsite with videos and social media prepared. Non noted the achievement of the Communications teams in responding to the Digital report in how this work had been undertaken.


·                add the Capacity Review communication timeline and LGBT Month to the media grid;

·                investigate whether the grid can be linked to the timeline



HR Dashboard Oct-Dec 18

Paper to note


The Board reviewed the dashboard for the period October to December 2017, which showed absence rates up over the winter period and, although an increase was expected, the basis for the increase was being interrogated.



Any other business


Any other business

The next meeting would be held on 5 March.