Monday, 6 July 2009

Assembly Reform

We should have a Standing Committee on Assembly Reform. There has been a step change in Assembly business in the third Assembly compared with the first two. The Assembly Commission has a long list of other tasks to accomplish. The Committee should be made up of the PO/DPO, backbenchers and some committee chairs and should be able to call witnesses and experts.

It may want to look at :-

1. How we can ensure Assembly questions are crisper - answers too very often;

2. Ways of requiring the attendance of ministers at committees when called;

3. Sanctions to be applied where a minister makes an Assembly announcement outside of the Chamber during Assembly terms;

4. More flexible and extended sitting times in the chamber when this is needed;

5. Improving institutional links with Westminster and Holyrood and Stormont too;

6. And no doubt many other matters as well.

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