The Independent Remuneration Board of the Senedd met on Thursday 10 March. The focus of the meeting was the Annual Review of the Determination and to consider the Board’s strategic work programme.
This letter provides a summary of the Board’s discussions and decisions. It will be published on the Board’s website along with summaries of previous meetings.
1. Annual Review of the Determination
The Board considered all the responses received on its proposals for the Annual Review of the Determination, and noted the high level of engagement from Members, support staff and groups during the consultation.
The Board acknowledged that we are living in exceptional times and that several of the consultation proposals, decided in November last year, have now been overtaken by recent events and the current economic conditions being faced. The Board recognises that the
Determination needs to remain responsive to these changing circumstances. It reviewed the evidence and responses and agreed changes to the Determination.
The Determination will be laid before the Senedd by 1 April 2022 along with an accompanying report that will include the rationale for decisions made and supporting evidence on which decisions were based.
2. The Board’s strategic work programme
The Board considered its strategic forward work programme for the remainder of its term in office and agreed that it would need to undertake two parallel phased workstreams.
The first workstream will focus on changes to the Determination for the Sixth Senedd in response to Members’ needs. This will include all routine business and existing commitments, including reviewing the implications of the Co-operation Agreement in autumn 2022. The Board also identified two additional priority areas for thematic review: new ways of working and reviewing the support staff allowance, including the job role, pay and grading structure.
The second phased workstream will focus on preparing the Determination for Seventh Senedd. As decisions on Senedd Reform become clearer, the Board will take stock and decide on the scale of change required and priority areas for thematic review. In advance
of this, the Board will seek to undertake preparatory research.
The Board also wishes to explore some particular cross-cutting issues: simplification and flexibility, as well as decarbonisation.
The Board remains committed to joint work with the Senedd Commission to explore the interaction between the uses by Members of the Determination’s allowances and services provided to Members by the Commission. The Board also agreed to undertake a mid-term effectiveness review later in the year and will review how best to engage with Members and their staff to understand their needs.
Our next meeting
Our next meeting will take place on 26 May 2022. We will consider our approach to the review for new ways of working, amongst other matters.