To ensure the Determination is fit for purpose the Board will undertake pieces of work which relate to specific provisions within the Determination.
Review of staffing support for Members
The Board will review existing and new evidence relating to the staffing allowances provided for Members, to ensure that the financial support available supports the strategic purpose of the Assembly and facilitates the work of its Members as well as ensuring that the system of financial support for Member is robust, clear, transparent, sustainable and represent value for the taxpayer.
The review will consider:
- the adequacy of the level of support provided to Members;
- the flexibility and prescriptiveness of the current support system for Members; and
- the suitability of the current terms and conditions of support staff.
To inform the Board’s work it has undertaken a number of engagement opportunities with Assembly Members and support staff to hear first hand the issues they face. Following these discussions the Board agreed to issue consultations on the flexibility of the allowances in the Determination for Members and Political Parties. The Board has agreed the implementation of the proposals surrounding the provisions for Members and Political Parties.
The third consultation arising from the review focused on the terms and conditions for support staff. Following careful consideration of the responses received the Board agreed to revise its original proposals. Full details of the Board’s decisions are noted in the note of the meeting.
Barriers to and incentives for standing for election to the National Assembly for Wales
In 2017 the Board issued an open tender to individuals and organisations to undertake a piece of research on behalf of the Board on the barriers to and incentives for standing for election to the National Assembly for Wales which is within the Board’s remit. The tender was awarded to the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University. The Centre attended Board meeting on 12 July 2017, 25 January 2018 and 24 May 2018 to discuss the review and its findings. The report ‘Unpacking Diversity: Barriers and incentives to standing for election to the National Assembly for Wales’, and the accompanying summary report, were published on 5 July 2018. The Board has agreed to consider the issues raised in the report during the remainder of its term in office.
Effectiveness of the Determination
In 2017 the Board issued a survey to all Assembly Members and Assembly Member support staff seeking their views on the effectiveness of the Determination. The results will be used by the Board to inform its future work on the Determination. A summary of the results has been published in the Board’s annual report 2017-18.