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Comisiwn y Cynulliad
Assembly Commission

NAFWC 2010
Minutes of 21 September 2010 meeting

Date: 21 September 2010
Time:After Plenary
Venue:Conference room 4B

Present:
Llywydd, Chair
Lorraine Barrett AM (Labour)
Peter Black AM (Liberal Democrats)
Chris Franks AM (Plaid Cymru)
William Graham AM (Conservatives)

Officials present:
Claire Clancy, Chief Executive and Clerk
Dianne Bevan, Chief Operating Officer
Keith Bush, Director of Legal Services
Adrian Crompton, Director of Assembly Business
Ian Summers, Head of Corporate Unit
Aled Eirug, Constitutional Adviser
Steven O’Donoghue, Head of Assembly Resources
Helen Finlayson, Secretariat

Independent Advisers:
Mair Barnes

Observers:
None

Others:
None

1. Introduction

Declarations of interest
There were no declarations of interest.

Minutes of meeting – 8 July 2010
The minutes were formally agreed.

Matters arising from the meeting on 8 July 2010
There were no matters arising.

2. Draft budget 2011-12

Claire Clancy introduced paper two, noting that the draft budget had been developed in line with the budget strategy agreed by the Commission in July.  A separate budget ambit, which would be determined by the Remuneration Board in the future, had been introduced for Assembly Members’ pay and allowances for 2011-12, which reflected a 5 per cent real terms reduction on equivalent budgets in 2010-11, and also included a separate amount estimated for those election costs for the May 2011 elections which fall within the Board’s remit.

The Assembly Services budget had been balanced and achieved 5 per cent real terms reduction on 2010-11.  Claire Clancy noted that the consequences of these reductions, and further reductions to be made in future years in line with the reductions to the Welsh block, would mean noticeable changes to services for Members in terms of speed of response, staff resource and flexibility of service.

Steven O’Donoghue outlined the next steps, noting that the draft budget would be laid by 24 September.  He recommended that as the UK Comprehensive Spending Review would not report until 20 October, the Commission should seek a temporary suspension of Standing Orders in order to extend the Finance Committee reporting period and the deadline by which the final budget must be laid.

The Commission discussed the draft budget for 2011-12, emphasising the need for flexibility of resource to respond to the outcome of the Voluntary Early Severance and Retirement Scheme and the budgetary reductions expected in future years.  It noted the need for robust management of savings and efficiencies to ensure that predicted savings are realised and removed from budgets.

The Commission agreed its draft budget for 2011-12 as set out at Annex A, and agreed to seek a temporary change to Standing Orders to allow the Commission’s final budget to be laid after 30 October.

3. Appointments to the National Assembly for Wales Remuneration Board

Claire Clancy introduced paper three, outlining the procedure for the recruitment of the Remuneration Board and inviting the Commission to formally appoint the candidates recommended by the recruitment panel.

The Commission discussed the candidates and expressed its gratitude to officials for managing a robust and smooth process which had produced a high calibre Remuneration Board.

The Commission appointed George Reid as Chair of the National Assembly for Wales Remuneration Board, and Sandy Blair, Mary Carter, Stuart Castledine and Monojit Chatterji as members of the Remuneration Board.

4. Revised Determination

Dianne Bevan introduced paper four, noting that the revisions served to update the Determination in line with previous Commission decisions, taken as a result of feedback from Members and work on preparations for dissolution ahead of the Fourth Assembly.

The Commission endorsed the revisions to the Consolidated Determination of Members’ pay and allowances for adoption with effect from 22 September.

5. Matters to note

The Commission noted the Voluntary Early Retirement/Severance Scheme paper, originally circulated out of committee, and a letter to the Presiding Officer from Meri Huws, Chair of the Welsh Language Board.

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