National Assembly for Wales Commissioner for Standards Measure 2009

Document Number:2009 nawm 4
Coming into force:Coming into force on the 10/12/2009
 
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A MEASURE of the National Assembly for Wales to establish a Commissioner to investigate complaints about the conduct of Assembly Members and to report to the Assembly on the outcome of such investigation; and for connected purposes.

This Measure, passed by the National Assembly for Wales on 14 October 2009 and approved by Her Majesty in Council on 9 December 2009 , enacts the following provisions:—

The National Assembly for Wales Commissioner for Standards

1 The Commissioner

(1) There is to be a National Assembly for Wales Commissioner for Standards (in this Measure referred to as “the Commissioner”).

(2) The Commissioner is to be appointed by the Assembly.

(3) A person is not eligible to be appointed as the Commissioner if that person—

(a) is an Assembly Member,

(b) has been an Assembly Member at any time during the period of 2 years prior to the date when the appointment is to take effect,

(c) is a member of staff of the Assembly,

(d) has been a member of the staff of the Assembly at any time during the period of 2 years prior to the date when the appointment is to take effect,

(e) is a member of the staff of the Welsh Assembly Government, or

(f) has been a member of the staff of the Welsh Assembly Government at any time during the period of 2 years prior to the date when the appointment is to take effect.

(4) The Commissioner is to be appointed for a term of 6 years.

(5) A person who has held office as the Commissioner may not be appointed for a further term (whether consecutive or not).

(6) A person who has been appointed as the Commissioner may at any time—

(a) resign by notice given to the Assembly, or

(b) be removed from office by the Assembly.

(7) A person may not be removed from office as the Commissioner under subsection (6)(b) unless—

(a) the Assembly so resolves, and

(b) if the resolution is passed on a vote, the number of votes cast in favour of the resolution is not less than two thirds of the total number of votes cast.

(8) The appointment of a person as Commissioner ceases if that person—

(a) becomes a candidate to be an Assembly Member for an Assembly constituency or an Assembly electoral region,

(b) is appointed as, or designated to exercise the functions of, the Counsel General under section 49 of the Act, or

(c) is appointed to be a member of the staff of the Assembly or of the Welsh Assembly Government.

2 Principal aim of the Commissioner

The principal aim of the Commissioner in exercising functions under this Measure is to promote, encourage and safeguard high standards of conduct in the public office of Assembly Member.

3 Further provision about the Commissioner

The Schedule makes further provision about the Commissioner.

4 Appointment of an Acting Commissioner

(1) When the office of the Commissioner is vacant or the Commissioner is, for any reason, unable to act, the Assembly may appoint a person to discharge the functions of that office either generally or in relation to such case or class of cases, and until such time, as may be specified by the terms and conditions of such appointment; and a person so appointed is referred to in this section as the “acting Commissioner”.

(2) The Commissioner and the acting Commissioner may each discharge the functions of the office of the Commissioner at the same time but in relation to different cases.

(3) A person who is not eligible to be appointed as the Commissioner is not eligible to be appointed as the acting Commissioner.

(4) A person appointed as the acting Commissioner—

(a) may at any time resign by notice given to the Assembly,

(b) may at any time be removed from office by the Assembly,

(c) ceases to hold office in the circumstances specified in section 1(8)(a) , (b) and (c) ,

(d) in other respects, holds office on such terms and conditions as the Assembly may determine, and

(e) while holding that appointment is to be treated for all purposes (except those of section 1) as the Commissioner.

5 Independence of the Commissioner

Subject to section 19 , the Commissioner is not, in the exercise of any functions, to be subject to the direction or control of the Assembly.

Functions of the Commissioner

6 Functions of the Commissioner

(1) The functions of the Commissioner are—

(a) to receive any complaint that the conduct of an Assembly Member has, at a relevant time, failed to comply with a requirement of a relevant provision,

(b) to investigate any such complaint in accordance with the provisions of this Measure,

(c) to report to the Assembly the outcome of any such investigation,

(d) to advise Assembly Members and members of the public about the procedures for making and investigating complaints to which paragraph (a) applies, and

(e) the further functions conferred by section 7.

(2) A “relevant time” means a time when the requirement in question was in force but it is irrelevant whether the conduct in question is alleged to have taken place before or after this section comes into force.

(3) A “relevant provision” means—

(a) any provision of the Standing Orders relating to—

(i) the registration or declaration of financial or other interests,

(ii) the notification by Assembly Members of their membership of societies,

(iii) the registration or notification of any other information relating to Assembly Members or to persons connected to Assembly Members.

(b) any resolution of the Assembly relating to the financial or other interests of Assembly Members,

(c) any Code of Conduct approved by the Assembly relating to standards of conduct of Assembly Members,

(d) any resolution of the Assembly relating to standards of conduct of Assembly Members, and

(e) any provision included in the Standing Orders (or in any code or protocol made under them) in accordance with section 36(6) of the Act.

(4) It is irrelevant whether a relevant provision came into force before or after this section comes into force.

7 Further functions of the Commissioner

The Commissioner may (and if requested by the Assembly to do so must) give advice to the Assembly—

(a) on any matter...

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