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National Assembly for Wales Commissioner for Standards Measure 2009

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.

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