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National Assembly for Wales Commissioner for Standards Measure 2009

The Schedule

39.The Schedule contains a number of detailed administrative matters relating to the Commissioner.

Paragraphs 1 and 2

40.These paragraphs require the process for identifying the person whose name is to be submitted to the Assembly for appointment to involve a fair and open competition. Arrangements for identifying the best candidate and for settling the detail of the terms of the proposed appointment (for example remuneration) may be delegated to the Assembly Commission, to a committee (e.g. the Committee on Standards of Conduct) or to staff (or a combination of these) and allow for an independent element to be included in the selection process.

Paragraphs 3 and 4

41.The Commissioner is to be a corporation sole. Changes in the identity of the person who holds the office will not, therefore, affect legal rights, duties and liabilities associated with the office. Provision is made for the authentication of formal documents.

Paragraph 5

42.This paragraph requires the Commission to pay the Commissioner the salary and other benefits, including any pension, which have been agreed upon appointment. The Commission must also discharge reasonable liabilities lawfully incurred by the Commissioner in employing staff or purchasing services or in making payments to persons required to attend to give evidence or to produce documents. Payments in respect of the Commissioner’s salary and allowances and any pension payments are charged on the Welsh Consolidated Fund and can therefore be made out of the Welsh Consolidated Fund without the need for further legal authority.

Paragraph 6

43.This paragraph enables the Commissioner to employ staff or purchase services and to make arrangements with other public bodies or office holders (e.g. an ombudsman) for that person to provide services to the Commissioner. So, the Commissioner could arrange with an ombudsman or similar official for the supply of the administrative back-up needed by the Commissioner.

44.However, when using these powers, the Commissioner must have regard to the responsibilities of the Clerk, as principal accounting officer for the Commission.

45.The Commissioner must also consult with the Clerk in relation to any financial liability the Commission will be required to discharge (e.g. in relation to the employment of staff, securing provisions of goods and services or in relation to allowances and expenses of persons called to give evidence or produce documents), and must have regard to any representations made by the Clerk in response. This consultation may take place in one of three ways. The Commissioner may agree a budget in advance in relation to particular kinds of expenditure, or may notify the Clerk in advance of a proposal to incur a particular item of expenditure or, in an urgent case may incur the liability without notifying the Clerk in advance but must then do so as soon after as is reasonably practicable.

46.These provisions are intended to preserve a balance between the independence of the Commissioner and the need for the Commissioner to have access to sufficient resources to carry out the functions of the office effectively and the duty of the Clerk to ensure that public funds, provided through the Commission, are expended lawfully.

Paragraph 7

47.In view of the limited scope of the Commissioner’s activities the Measure does not require the Commissioner to prepare annual estimates or to produce formal annual accounts. It is anticipated that, instead, the Commission, through whom all payments to or on behalf of the Commissioner will be made, will include information as to the Commissioner’s financial affairs as a separate section of the Commission’s accounts. This paragraph requires the Commissioner to provide the Commission with the information necessary to enable this to be done.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Welsh Assembly Government department responsible for the subject matter of the Measure to explain what the Measure sets out to achieve and to make the Measure accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Measures of the National Assembly for Wales.


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