Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Huw Gapper 

No. Item


Chair's introduction (09:00 - 09:15)

·       Oral update – various meetings

·       Paper 1 - Minutes from 13 October meeting



-       The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting. No apologies had been received.

-       The Chair provided the Board with a brief update on her recent meetings with Richard Lloyd, Chair of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.

-       The Board discussed three Exceptional Expenses claims submitted by Members. Two were decided on in the meeting with further information to be sought from the Member in respect of the third claim.

-       The Board reflected on their meetings the previous day with Representative Groups on behalf of Members and Support Staff, and meetings with various individual Members. The Board noted such meetings had been very useful in informing Board discussions.

-       The Board noted that a Member had requested to meet with the Board during the drop in session held the previous day, but that the Members had been called to speak in Plenary at the last minute. The Board agreed to arrange a virtual meeting with the Member at a mutually convenient time.

-       The minutes of the 13 October meeting were agreed.


Item for discussion: Senedd Reform (09:15 - 09:45)

·       Paper 2 –  Update on Senedd Reform

·       Paper 2a – Commission paper re common assumptions



-       The Board considered an update on Senedd Reform and noted the common assumptions intended to inform the work of preparing cost estimates for a bill on Senedd reform.

-       The Board noted that the majority of interviews held with Members as part of the engagement exercise on Ways of Working have taken place. The Board agreed to receive a presentation on the findings of this exercise at its February meeting.

-       The Board agreed to write to the Llywydd as Chair of the Commission to establish a mechanism for formal dialogue between the Board and Commission on Senedd Reform.

-       The Board also agreed to commission research into the implications of multi-member constituencies for how elected Members discharge their role.

-       The Board agreed to invite IPSA to a future meeting to talk about their strategic work programme.


Item for decision: Cost of living/Energy costs (09:45 - 10:30)

·       Oral update

·       Paper 3 – Options paper

·       Related correspondence to note



-       The Board considered the implications of increased living costs, including energy costs, for Members and their staff.

-       The Board decided to provide each member of Support Staff with a one-off, flat rate payment of £600 in January 2023 (non-consolidated), pro-rated to reflect contracted hours of work, to help meet increased living costs.

-       The Board decided to increase the limit of each Members’ Office and Constituent Liaison Fund by £1,000 (non-consolidated) to help meet the increased cost of running an office and engaging with constituents during this current financial year.  

-       The Board agreed to consult the Accounting Officer on these additional financial support measures, to help identify any unintended consequences.


Item for decision: Annual Review of the Determination (10:45 - 12:00)

·       Paper 4 - Cover paper

·       Paper 4a - Ways of working

·       Paper 4b – Allowances

·       Paper 4c - Salaries


-       The Board considered potential changes to the Determination for the next financial year (2023-24) for consultation.

-       The Board agreed its approach to the consultation which will be published on 9 January and will run until 9 February.

-       The Board agreed to hold an additional, virtual meeting soon after the end of the consultation period to consider responses received and any changes needed to its proposals in light of such responses, before meeting in March to agree final changes to the Determination for 2023-24.


Item for discussion: Employers' insurance (12:30 - 13:00)

  • Paper 5 – background note on the Members’ employers’ insurance policy



-       The Board noted a paper on changes to the costs of this insurance policy and agreed to return to this matter in due course, with further advice to be provided by the Commission.


Item for decision: Support Staff Pension Scheme: Group personal Pension (13:00 - 13:15)

·       Paper 6 – Change to Group Personal Pension

·       Paper 6a – Cost Cap Valuation Report (to note)



-       The Board agreed to proceed with changing the Support Staff Pension Scheme to a Group Personal Pension Scheme as recommended by the Governance Group of the MSS pension scheme. The Board noted that the Head of Pensions would meet with Chiefs of Staff and explain why the change is happening. The Board also noted that the Pensions Team would communicate the change to all Support Staff and arrange one to one meetings for Staff who had questions.

-       The Board noted an update on the Members’ pension scheme cost cap valuation.


Item for discussion: Update and forward work programme (13:15 - 13:30)

  • Paper 7 – Update paper and forward work programme



-       The Board was updated on recruitment to new posts within the Board’s Clerking Team.

-       The Board noted that Nia Morgan, the Commission’s Director of Finance had moved on to pastures new. The Board wished to place on record their thanks and best wishes to Nia in her new role.

-       The Board considered and agreed its forward work programme for the remainder of this financial year. The Board agreed to hold its next meeting (February) in person. The Board agreed to review its future meeting dates to ensure that meetings took place sufficiently in advance of decisions being required or consultations being launched.