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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Tŷ Hywel

Contact: Lleu Williams 

Items
Note No. Item

(09.00 - 10.15)

1.

Chair's introduction

Minutes:

1.1      The Chair welcomed the Board members to the meeting.

1.2      The Board agreed the minute of the meeting on 5 July 2018.

1.3      The Board agreed the terms of reference for the Governance Group of the National Assembly for Wales Assembly Members’ support staff Pension scheme. The Board welcomed the Assembly Commission’s nomination for its Director of Finance to represent the Commission on the Board alongside the Commission’s Head of Pensions and a member of the Remuneration Board.

1.4      The Board noted that there was still a vacancy on the Pension Board for the Assembly Member Pension Scheme following the resignation of Caroline Jones AM from this role. The Board agreed to write to the Assembly Commission, asking that the Commission nominates its representative to the Pension Board as soon as possible in order to ensure a continuity to the membership.

1.5      The Board noted the inquiry into pregnancy, maternity and work in Wales undertaken by the Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee. The Board agreed to consider the relevant issues raised as part of this inquiry in its forward work programme where appropriate.

Action point:

The secretariat to publish the minute of the meeting on 5 July 2018.

(10.15 - 12.30)

2.

Item for decision: Staffing Support for Assembly Members

Minutes:

2.1.     The Board considered the evidence it had received as part of the review and agreed:

-        which issues it would defer to its upcoming review of the Determination for the Sixth Assembly;

-        which issues it would consult upon as part of this review;

-        the next steps following its consultation on flexibility of the allowances surrounding the Support for Political Parties Allowance.

Issues to be considered within the Board’s other workstreams

2.2.     The Board considered the evidence it had received on a number of issues and agreed that some of these issues would be considered as a part of its review of the Determination for the Sixth Assembly.

Action point:

The Board to consider the evidence received as part of its review of the Determination for the Sixth Assembly.

Consultation on the outstanding issues

2.3.     The Board considered the evidence it had received surrounding the following provisions:

-        funding the employment of family members;

-        terms and conditions of support staff;

-        salary of support staff.

2.4.     The Board agreed it had received sufficient evidence on these issues to consult on a number of proposals to amend the provisions which are outlined below:

-        removing the funding for Assembly Members to employ family members and partners from the next dissolution;

-        removing the funding for any new family members appointed (or promoted or have changes made to their current contract) after 24 October 2018;

-        adjusting support staff salaries in April of each year by the change in the ASHE survey;

-        introducing privilege days for support staff;

-        introducing a new compassionate leave policy for support staff.

2.5.     The closing date for the consultation would be 13 December 2018.

Action points

The secretariat to:

-        issue and promote the consultation;

-        prepare a summary of the responses for the Board’s consideration.

Consultation on flexibility of the allowances surrounding the Support for Political Parties Allowance

2.6.     The Board considered the consultation responses received and agreed to implement the following changes:

-        removing the provision within the Determination for any new virement of funds from the Member’s Staffing Allowance to the Support for Political Parties Allowance from 1 October. Those Members who currently vire from their Staffing Allowance to their respective Political Parties Allowances will be permitted to continue to vire up to the same amount annually until the end of the Fifth Assembly;

-        budgeting the Support for Political Parties Allowance at actual pay points from 1 April 2019;

-        publishing the expenditure each Political Party makes on its Support for Political Parties Allowance from 1 April 2019.

Action points:

The secretariat to:

-        inform Members and support staff of the upcoming changes;

-        prepare a revised Determination for publication.

(13.15 - 15.15)

3.

Item for decision: Determination for the Sixth Assembly: Scope of the review

Minutes:

3.1.     The Board considered and agreed its forward work programme for reviewing its Determination for the Sixth Assembly which would meet its objective to publish the Determination in May 2020, one year before the next election.

3.2.     The Board noted that the Assembly’s electoral reform agenda may impact its work programme, and agreed to monitor the development of this work.

3.3.     The Board agreed to share further information with Members and support staff regarding the work programme, including details on how they can share their views with the Board, in due course.

Action points:

The secretariat to:

-        monitor the development of the Assembly’s electoral reform agenda;

-        share further information with Members and support staff when appropriate.

(15.30 - 16.15)

4.

Item for decision: Discipline and Grievance procedures

Minutes:

4.1.     The Board considered the feedback received on the Disciplinary Procedure and Grievance Procedure and agreed to consult to amend both procedures to ensure they are up to date and align with the Assembly’s Dignity and Respect policy.

4.2.     The closing date for the consultation would be 13 December 2018.

4.3.     The Board agreed to review the support staff Code of Conduct once the review of the Code of Conduct for Assembly Members has been completed to ensure a consistent approach where necessary.

Action points:

The secretariat to:

-        issue and promote the consultation;

-        prepare a summary of the response for the Board’s consideration.

5.

Papers to note

Minutes:

5.1   The Board noted the correspondence from the Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Public Services and the Electoral Commission regarding the report by the Wales Governance Centre, “Unpacking Diversity: Barriers and incentives to standing for election to the National Assembly for Wales”.

5.2    The Board noted the written statement by the Llywydd, “Creating a Parliament for Wales” and the accompanying report outlining the finding of the recent public consultation.

5.3    The Board noted the report by the Electoral Reform Society, “New Voices: How Welsh Politics can begin to reflect Wales”.

 

 

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