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Comisiwn y Cynulliad
Assembly Commission

NAFWC 2011
Minutes of 14 March 2011 meeting

Date: 14 March 2011
Time:17:00
Venue:Conference room 4B

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

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
Craig Stephenson, Head of Commission and Member Support Service
Helen Finlayson, Secretariat
Helen Birtwhistle, External Communications – item 2
Natalie Drury-Styles, Outreach and International Relations Manager – item 2

Independent Advisers:
Mair Barnes

Observers:
None

Others:
None

1. Introduction and apologies
No apologies were received

Declarations of interest
There were no declarations of interest.

Minutes of meeting – 27 January 2011
The minutes were formally agreed.

Matters arising from the meeting on 27 January 2011
There were no matters arising.

2. Opening of the Fourth Assembly
Helen Birtwhistle introduced the paper, outlining the proposals for a multi-cultural, inclusive celebration which would be representative of Welsh society.

The Commission discussed the proposals, but was unable to reach agreement on the details of the arrangements, and was therefore unable to approve the proposals.

3. Review of achievements in the Third Assembly: legacy report of the Assembly Commission
Claire Clancy introduced the paper, noting that the draft legacy report recorded the achievements of the Assembly Commission during the Third Assembly, and made recommendations which sought to assist the new Commission in the Fourth Assembly.

The Commission agreed that it was content with the structure and focus of the report, and that the final report should be published in w/c 9 May 2011.

4. Framework for the Assembly Commission annual report and accounts 2010-11
Claire Clancy introduced the paper.  She outlined the proposed framework for the annual report and accounts, and noted that it was similar to the framework used in previous years.

The Commission agreed the proposed outline and timetable for the annual report and accounts 2010-11.

5. Report and Determination of the Remuneration Board
Adrian Crompton introduced the paper, noting that the National Assembly for Wales (Remuneration) Measure 2010, which had established the Remuneration Board, placed a duty on the Commission to lay the Determination of the Board, and any accompanying report, before the Assembly as soon as was reasonably practicable.

The Commission noted its thanks to the Remuneration Board for its first Determination and report, and to the secretariat which had supported the Board’s work.

William Graham AM, as chair of the Members’ Pension Scheme Trustees, noted that Trustees were keen to work with the Board on its review of Members’ pension arrangements, and welcomed the development of a clear Memorandum of Understanding between the Board, the Trustees and the Commission.

The Commission agreed that the Determination and accompanying report should be laid before the Assembly on 15 March, and published on its website on the same day.

6. Management Board report to the Commission
The Commission noted the paper, which provided updates on work across the Assembly.

The Commission considered the process for consultation on a proposed Bilingual Services Measure and its new Bilingual Services plan, and agreed that the public consultation should be deferred until the beginning of the Fourth Assembly.

The Commission discussed the issue of access to the non-public areas of the Assembly estate during dissolution for Members’ support staff who were themselves standing as candidates in the Assembly elections.  The Commission supported the principle of equal treatment for all candidates, and agreed that support staff standing as candidates should therefore not be permitted access to non-public areas during dissolution.

The Commission discussed a request by a Welsh artist to secure a commission for a painting of the Fourth Assembly in session, and agreed that it could not support the request.

The Commission noted that the guidance for Member-hosted events on the Assembly estate was under review by the Chief Legal Adviser.  The amended guidance would clarify Members’ responsibilities in relation to events they sponsored as well as tightening up conditions as to the conduct of events.  It would provide an opportunity for considering how best to respond to concerns raised recently about use of Assembly resources by an organisation some of whose members appeared to have been involved in damage to an Assembly Member’s constituency office.

7. Matters to note
The Commission noted its thanks to its independent advisers, Mair Barnes, Richard Calvert, Tim Knighton and Professor Robert Pickard, for their support and constructive challenge during the course of the Third Assembly.

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