Conduct in the Siambr
Members must at all times in their conduct in the Siambr promote respect for the Assembly and extend respect and courtesy to other Members. Members must comply with any directions given by the chair about conduct in the Siambr or order in Plenary meetings.
The Presiding Officer and Deputy Presiding Officer chair Plenary meetings. Their role is to ensure that proceedings progress efficiently and fairly. They do this by allocating specific time limits to Members who wish to contribute to debates and by calling different items on the Agenda at relevant points during the course of a Plenary meeting. The Presiding Officer and Deputy are elected by the whole Assembly to act as impartial officers and to ensure that all political groups are treated equally in all aspects of the Assembly’s work.
When chairing Plenary, the chair interprets and applies a set of rules, known as Standing Orders. Standing Orders are the rules of proceedings the Assembly must follow and they can only be changed if two-thirds of Members agree. The Standing Orders also outline the detail of how business should be organised.
The Presiding Officers are called to interpret Standing Orders in Plenary meetings when, for example, a Member wishes to seek advice on the conduct of business. This is known as raising a 'Point of Order’. They may also have to ask any Member who is not complying with the rules of debate to behave in accordance with the Assembly’s rules. This is known as “calling a Member to order”.
Speaking in the Siambr
All Members are permitted to speak in Plenary meetings and are called at the discretion of the chair. Members can either make a request to speak in advance of the Plenary meeting or they can use the Siambr instant messaging system during proceedings to indicate that they wish to contribute.
- Members may speak in Welsh or English and are expected to address the chair.
- Members have access to a simultaneous interpretation service, available via their earpieces.