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Agenda and draft minutes

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

Contact: Chris Warner 

Items
No. Item

1.

Introductions, Apologies and Substitutions - (12:15)

2.

Brexit (12:15 - 12:25)

David Rees – Chair of External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee

Minutes:

The Forum discussed the need for work on Brexit to be joined up to avoid duplication and ensure all areas of policy were covered.  They agreed that the role of the chair of EEAL was key in this.  They noted that while it was for EAAL to lead on high level issues there was a role for most committees over the coming years and that it was important that nothing was missed as a result.

 

There have been some informal discussions between chairs, for example with CLA on constitutional matters and other chairs flagged up areas they were likely to be looking at shortly. 

 

The forum agreed that officials should prepare a paper on the full range of activity planned in this area and that it should be circulated to all Members. They also agreed that this should be a standing item on the Forum agenda.

 

[UPDATE: A paper has been tabled for discussion on 5 April 2017.]

During the discussion it was agreed that work should be done on pursuing a closer relationship with individual Cabinet Secretaries’ private offices and/or departmental officials in Welsh Government. It was noted that this works well in Westminster but had not been a feature at the Assembly since the formal separation in 2007. A note would be prepared for the next meeting on the existing protocols.

[UPDATE: A paper to note has been circulated with the papers for 5 April 2017.]

3.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD) - (12:25 - 12:40)

Abi Phillips - Assembly Commission Staff, Professional Development Project Manager

Minutes:

Abi Phillips outlined the contents of the paper and asked Chairs to comment on the effectiveness of CPD delivered to committees since May, their appetite for further sessions and feedback on the facilitators used.

 

The Llywydd expressed a wish for more support for Members in asking questions noting that simply reading out prepared, suggested, questions was not effective.  More detailed questioning techniques were needed to enhance scrutiny. 

 

It was noted that PAC had requested a follow-up session after the initial work with Kate Faragher.  They had received candid feedback on earlier scrutiny sessions. The Committee had also agreed a further session in 6 months’ time.  It was agreed that officials would prepare a note for chairs on how the PAC sessions had been run to enable them to consider their wider application.

 

[UPDATE: Completed.]

 

4.

Engagement (12:40 - 13.10)

Kevin Davies - Assembly Commission Staff, Senior Public Engagement Manager

Minutes:

Kevin Davies outlined the various methods of engagement currently happening as well as the different ways of engaging recognising the need to inform, involve and empower. He outlined the benefits of planning engagement work early and the work that some committees had done in involving the public in planning their work programme or the scope of an enquiry.

The Llywydd noted the range of good work happening at the moment.  The Forum discussed the need to take committees outside of Cardiff Bay noting that doesn’t always mean that far away.  It was noted that a recent event in Merthyr had attracted people from the Swansea area possibly giving access to different groups. 

Chairs noted the success of the @Senedd weeks that had been held previously and asked for more information on plans for this Assembly. 

[UPDATE: A paper to note has been circulated with the papers for 5 April 2017.]

 

5.

Chairs' items (13:10 - 13:15)

Minutes:

Climate Change

Mark Reckless noted the importance of a cross-cutting approach to scrutiny of climate change recognising that the levers sit with a number of Government departments. He advised Chairs that CCERA was setting up an expert reference group and intended to establish an annual process for enabling other committees to feed into this work, as well as an annual Plenary debate.

Future Generations Commissioner

The Forum discussed the approach to scrutiny of the work of the Future Generations Commissioner. They noted that implementation of the Act lies with the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government but agreed that there is a strong interest in the work of the Commissioner for a number of committees, in particular ELGC and Finance, which could potentially establish a dual system for general and financial scrutiny of the Commissioner. They asked for proposals to be worked up for consideration at the next Forum meeting.

[UPDATE: Clerks will discuss this further with the Chairs of the ELGC and Finance Committees.]

 

5.1

Climate change - cross cutting scrutiny

Mark Reckless – Chair of Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee

5.2

Future Generations Commissioner - Committee Scrutiny

John Griffiths – Chair of Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee

 

 

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