National Assembly Commission cannot be immune to austerity measures, says committee
The National Assembly Commission, the corporate body which provides support for Assembly Members, must be more transparent with its budget according to an Assembly committee.
The Finance Committee has been examining the Commission’s use of left over funds from money set aside to pay for AMs expenses, in what’s called the Remuneration Board Determination.
The Commission has previously used left over money to fund major projects. But the Committee has criticised this approach for not being transparent and believes funding for priority projects should be included within its capital budget approved by the Assembly and not reliant on a variable funding pot.
The Committee recommends the Commission fully explores the benefits and risks of changing processes around the Remuneration Board’s Determination, with a focus on maximising transparency and looks at models used by other parliaments.
“We are of the view that core projects should be identified and funded separately,” said Simon Thomas AM, Chair of the Finance Committee.
“By using the underspend for such projects, the Commission is reliant on an unpredictable resource in order to fulfil its obligations and ambitions.
“The flexibility afforded to the Commission is not available to the other directly funded bodies in Wales.
“Those bodies are required to identify project work during budget planning, which is then scrutinised by the Finance Committee, providing transparency for the public. The Commission should not be exempt from operating in this way.”
Read the full report:
The Assembly Commission’s use of the Remuneration Board’s Determination underspend (PDF, 729 KB)