As outlined in its recent consultation document the Board considers now is an appropriate time to evaluate how the Senior Advisor (SA) post has operated since its introduction. As you will be aware the post was introduced at the start of the Fifth Assembly following consultation by the previous Remuneration Board. The objective of the post was to enhance the strategic capacity of Members’ offices on policy, media and/or high-level constituency matters.

During its data collection for the review of staffing support for Members, the Board received mixed feedback on the post from both Members and support staff alike. As you will be aware the Board has recently increased the flexibility between the allowances within the Determination to address some of the concerns raised with regards to funding the post.

As it is now over two and a half years since the post was first introduced, the Board considers it timely to review how the role has progressed against the original objectives behind its creation. The evaluation will consider the following key issues:

  • the skill set of individuals employed as an SA;
  • the benefits and drawbacks of the role to an Assembly Member;
  • the issues that have been encountered since the role was introduced;
  • the reasons as to why half of all Members have not employed a SA.

Following an open tendering process, the Board has commissioned Capital People, a HR consultancy firm based in the Cardiff, to undertake the review and make recommendations to the Board. Capital People will be undertaking interviews with a sample of Members and support staff over the coming weeks and months with a view to completing this work in early 2019.

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