Search Legislation

Government of Wales Act 2006

Presiding Officer and administration

Section 25: Presiding Officer etc.

111.This section provides for the election by the Assembly, at its first meeting after each general election, of a Presiding Officer and a Deputy Presiding Officer. Unless the Assembly by a two-thirds majority of those voting resolves otherwise, the Presiding Officer and the Deputy Presiding Officer must not both belong to the same political group nor must they both be members of political groups with an executive role (i.e. groups to which Ministers belong).

112.The Presiding Officer’s functions under this Act include:

Section 10(4)Fixing the date of an election in the event of a constituency vacancy.
Section 11(2)Receiving notification of the filling of a regional member vacancy.
Section 15Receiving notification of a member’s resignation.
Section 24(5)Deciding questions arising under the standing orders about the political group (if any) to which a member belongs.
Section 27(2)(a)Membership of the National Assembly for Wales Commission (“the Assembly Commission”).
Section 29(10)Deciding questions arising under provision made in compliance with section 29 regarding the composition of committees.
Section 38(5)(a)Receiving notification of the issue of a direction by a Welsh Minister or the Counsel General to a current or former member of staff of the Welsh Assembly Government (or person with an equivalent status) that the person need not give evidence or produce documents to the Assembly, its committees or sub-committees.
Section 40(1)Administering the oath or affirmation to anyone giving evidence in Assembly proceedings.
Section 46(5)Designating a person to act as First Minister (on the recommendation of the Welsh Ministers) if the First Minister’s office is vacant, the First Minister is unable to act or the First Minister has ceased to be an Assembly Member.
Section 47(4)Recommending to Her Majesty the Assembly’s choice as First Minister.
Section 97(3)Stating whether the provisions of a proposed Assembly measure are, in the view of the Presiding Officer, within the Assembly’s legislative competence.
Section 110(3)Stating whether the provisions of an Assembly Bill  are, in the view of the Presiding Officer, within the Assembly’s legislative competence.
Schedule 2, Paragraph 1(1)Membership of the Assembly Commission.
Schedule 2, Paragraph 7(a)Such functions as the Assembly Commission delegates to the Presiding Officer.
Schedule 2, Paragraph 11(2)Presiding at meetings of the Assembly Commission.
Schedule 8, Paragraph 8(4)(a)Certifying to the Assembly that the Auditor General is unable to certify or report on accounts (or statements) in person.

113.The Presiding Officer holds office until a new Presiding Officer is elected under subsection (1). The effect is that the Presiding Officer does not cease to hold office merely because of the dissolution of the Assembly before a Welsh general election. The Deputy Presiding Officer, on the other hand, holds office only until dissolution of the Assembly. Either may, however, resign, and each would also cease to hold office upon ceasing to be an Assembly member otherwise than by virtue of a dissolution (e.g. by resignation as an Assembly member) or by being removed from office by resolution of the Assembly.

114.The Presiding Officer’s functions may be exercised by the Deputy Presiding Officer if the Presiding Officer’s office is vacant, or if the Presiding Officer is for any reason unable to act and the Presiding Officer may, subject to standing orders, authorise the Deputy Presiding Officer to exercise functions of the Presiding Officer. However, the requirement in paragraph 11 of Schedule 2 that the Presiding Officer presides over meetings of the Assembly Commission may not be delegated. If there is no Presiding Officer in post, or if the Presiding Officer is unable to act, then it is for the Assembly Commission to appoint another of its members to preside over its meetings.

115.Under subsection (12) the Assembly may include in its standing orders provision for another person to exercise the Presiding Officer’s functions in the event that both the Presiding Officer and Deputy Presiding Officer have either vacated their offices or are unable to act, but again this provision does not extend to the function of presiding over Assembly Commission meetings, which is governed by paragraph 11 of Schedule 2 (as set out above). Standing orders are to determine how such a person is to be chosen.

116.Standing orders may regulate the participation in Assembly proceedings of the Presiding Officer and the Deputy Presiding Officer (and anyone exercising the functions of the Presiding Officer by virtue of provision made under subsection (12)).

117.No defect in the appointment of a person as Presiding Officer or Deputy Presiding Officer (or under provision made under subsection (12)), is to affect the validity of any act of that person in that capacity.

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources