National Assembly for Wales Commission publishes accounts alongside annual report for 2017-18
The National Assembly for Wales Commission has published its annual report detailing its progress and achievements, as well as addressing some challenging events in 2017-18.
The Auditor General for Wales has signed off the Assembly Commission’s accounts for the year ended 31 March 2018, and in doing so praised the relevant and reliable information provided by the Commission along with the financial statement disclosures which the Wales Audit Office audit team had found to be unbiased, fair and clear.
The launch of the Welsh Youth Parliament during the Urdd Eisteddfod in June followed a consultation involving the views of more than 5,000 children and young people across the country.
The inaugural election for the new parliament will take place in autumn and members will sit for the first time early next year.
The Commission also launched a public consultation in response to the findings of the Independent Panel on Electoral Reform, gathering more than 3,200 responses which will help shape a parliament fit for Wales.
Brexit has been a constant theme of this Assembly with the Commission committing considerable resources to ensuring Wales’ voice is heard in the ongoing negotiations, particularly through the work of the External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee. A number of committee inquiries have also examined the impact of Brexit on Wales.
During the summer the Senedd was at the centre of public attention when it hosted the poignant Weeping Window poppy sculpture and accompanying Remembrance exhibition which drew around 85,000 visitors to Cardiff Bay.
There have also been challenging times for the Assembly during the past year, including the death of former First Minister Rhodri Morgan, whose funeral was held at the Senedd, and the death of sitting Assembly Member Carl Sargeant.
A new dignity and respect policy was introduced after allegations of inappropriate behaviour and harassment came to light. The new policy makes it easier for people working for or with Assembly Members and the institution to report incidents in confidence.
“This last year has brought with it a number of challenges for the Assembly,” said Elin Jones AM, Llywydd of the National Assembly for Wales.
“Politically, the changing constitutional landscape, as a result of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, has required our Parliament to respond in an effective and agile manner in the interest of Welsh citizens.
“There have also been a number of personal challenges for Members, not least with the death of our colleague, Carl Sargeant.
“Throughout it all, the National Assembly has shown great resilience and courage and has remained steadfast in its determination, not only to meet its priorities but also to continue to improve the way we work.
Chief Executive and Clerk of the National Assembly for Wales, Manon Antoniazzi, said:
“As Commission staff, we are supporting our national parliament at a time when significant decisions are being made about future constitutional arrangements.
“Imaginative and effective engagement with the people of Wales is vital. A programme of reform, alongside the consequences of the decision to leave the European Union means that we have an increasing workload at a time when, in common with many other organisations, we must restrain budgets and get the most from each penny entrusted to us.
“At such a time, it is good to know that all our staff surveys point to a workforce that is engaged, committed and values-driven. I look forward to working with the team through another busy year.”
Read the full report:
Annual Report and Accounts 2017-18 (PDF, 8 MB)