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Government of Wales Act 2006

Proceedings etc.

Section 36: Integrity

160.This section requires standing orders to make various kinds of provision to safeguard standards of integrity in relation to Assembly proceedings, namely:

a)

for Assembly members to be required to register certain interests defined by standing orders in a compulsory public register of Assembly members’ interests;

b)

for an Assembly member who has a financial or other interest, as defined in standing orders, in a matter to which Assembly proceedings relate, to declare that interest before taking part in those proceedings;

c)

for preventing or restricting the participation in proceedings of an Assembly member who has an interest (as defined in standing orders) in the matter to which those proceedings relate;

d)

prohibiting Assembly members, from advocating or initiating any cause or matter, or urging another member to do so, in return for a payment or benefit in kind.

161.A failure to comply with these provisions of standing orders constitutes a criminal offence which can be punished, on summary conviction, with a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale (at present up to £5,000). Consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions is required before a prosecution can be brought.

162.The provisions of standing orders under this section are to apply to the Counsel General even if not an Assembly member.

163.The Assembly will be able to pass Assembly Measures under Part 3 of the Act on matters relating to registration of members’ interests.

164.Subsection (6) requires standing orders to make provision, either directly or by a code or protocol, about the different roles and responsibilities of Assembly constituency and regional members.

165.Assembly regional members are to be prohibited from describing themselves in a way which suggests that they are Assembly constituency members, and vice versa.

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