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Comisiwn y Cynulliad
Assembly Commission

NAFWC 2010 (Paper 4 Part 1)
Revised Determination

Date: 21 September 2010
Time:After Plenary
Venue:Conference Room 4b
Author name and contact number: Steven O’Donoghue, ext 8746

This paper has been prepared for consideration by the National Assembly for Wales Commission. It has been deemed suitable for publication after such consideration in line with the Commission’s rules for conduct of business. Premature publication or disclosure of the contents of this paper is not permitted as this might prejudice the Commission’s deliberations

1.0 Purpose and summary of issues

1.1 For the Commission to endorse revisions to the Determination.

2.0 Recommendations

2.1 That the Commission endorses the attached revised Determination, for adoption with effect from 22 September 2010.

3.0 Discussion

3.1 The proposed revised Determination is attached at Annex A.  The changes have previously been approved by the Commission, and are explained below.  This will be the last time the Commission makes such decisions, in advance of appointment of the new Remuneration Board.

3.2 The key changes to the Determination are:

Section 1.7 Prompt Submission of Claims

In response to Members’ feedback, this section has been reworded to improve clarity and provide for special time limits to be introduced for the financial year-end.  As in previous years, we will still issue separate detailed guidance on year-end arrangements nearer to the year-end.

Section 2.1 Members’ Salaries

A footnote has been added for clarity and to enable salary payments to be made during dissolution and beyond to specified Office Holders, as permitted under the 2006 Act.  Without it, the wording of the Determination would have prevented continuation of the Office Holder salaries.

The Offices affected are: the Presiding Officer, Assembly Commissioners, the First Minister, Welsh Ministers, Deputy Welsh Ministers and the Counsel General.

Section 4.3.3 – Normal Travel

Our consultation on the planned introduction of Ty Hywel parking charges flagged concerns amongst Members and others about Members’ ability to reclaim any charges by way of their allowances.  The revised Determination disallows this in order to ensure fairness for all those choosing to continue to park here, and removes uncertainty about the position.

Section 10.2.1 Office Costs

The £1,500 limit on advertising the holding of surgeries, introduced following a recommendation in Getting it Right for Wales, has been withdrawn.  It was recognised that the practical implication was to significantly restrict Members’ ability to communicate with the public, which had not been the intention of the Independent Review Panel.  This matter will now be referred to the Remuneration Board for further consideration.

Section 10.2.6 Office Costs

Members have been advised that the rule covering the claiming of business calls on their personal mobile phones is to be introduced for the start of the Fourth Assembly rather than in the current year.  This rule is therefore being removed from the 2010 Determination.

3.3 The opportunity is also being taken for some other minor tidying up of the document and to refresh it under our branding guidelines (the attached document is in pre-branded state).

3.4 On receipt of the Commission’s endorsement, we plan to lay the revised Determination on 22 September.

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