Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru Mynegai i'r Pynciau Y Comisiwn Richard
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why was the Commission established?

The Commission on the Powers and Electoral Arrangements of the National Assembly for Wales (the Richard Commission) was appointed in July 2002. Our job was to examine the powers and electoral arrangements of the Assembly and to produce an independent report. The report will contribute to decisions on the future of the National Assembly and the way Wales is governed in the future.

Click here to read the full Terms of Reference


What issues did the Commission look for?

The Commissionís brief was to look at the powers and electoral arrangements of the National Assembly for Wales. The issues the Commission looked at included three distinct elements:

Bullet point Whether the size of the Assembly is adequate to its present job
Bullet point Whether the present electoral system is sufficiently representative
Bullet point Whether any changes would be needed if the Assembly were to acquire further powers.

Click here to read The Powers of the National Assembly for Wales - issues and questions for consultation

Click here to read the Electoral Arrangements of the National Assembly for Wales - issues and questions for consultation.

How did the Commission go about its work?

The Commission was keen to take a very practical approach - focusing on detailed examples of how things work at the moment and how they could be improved. It intended to base its conclusions on evidence of the practical implications of the powers currently delegated to the Assembly and sought to provide workable solutions to improve the way Wales is governed.

To achieve this, we consulted extensively - inviting written submissions and taking oral evidence from the public, the political parties, public bodies, business, the voluntary sector, local government and other institutions including Westminster, the Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Click here for the Library of Evidence.

Who are the members of the Commission?


Rt Hon Lord Richard of Ammanford QC

Eira Davies
Tom Jones
Dr Laura McAllister
Peter Price
Ted Rowlands
Vivienne Sugar
Huw Thomas
Sir Michael Wheeler-Booth KCB
Paul Valerio

Click here to read further details
How were the members selected?
In his statement announcing the establishment of the Commission under Lord Richard’s chairmanship on 18 April the First Minister explained that the appointment process would comprise the selection of:

a. political nominees nominated by the four political parties in the Assembly; and

b. public appointees chosen through the public appointment process following public advertisement.

Click here to read the First Ministers statement

Were the proceedings of the Commission held in public?
Yes. The Commission’s Terms of Reference state that it should meet in public unless those giving evidence request otherwise or unless, in exceptional circumstances, the Commission resolves to meet in private.

Click here to read the full Terms of Reference

Where did the Commission meet?
The Commission met in a variety of locations across Wales. Meetings were also held outside Wales, eg. In London and Edinburgh, where some key witnessed were based.

Click here to read the Calendar of Events

Can I see the evidence that has been presented to the Commission, and if so, how?
Yes. All evidence submitted to the Commission is published on the website, unless contributors have indicated that they would prefer their evidence to remain private.

Click here to read the Library of Evidence

When did the Commission publish its final report?

The Commission published its report on 31 March 2004. Its findings were presented formally by Lord Richard at a launch in St David's Hall, Cardiff.

Click here to read Lord Richard's Speech


What are the Commission's recommendations?

The Commission recommends:

  • there should be a legislative Assembly for Wales on the model in Chapter 13 of the report;
  • in the interim, the framework delegated powers approach should be expanded as far as possible with the agreements of the UK Government and Parliament;
  • if a legislative Assembly is constituted, tax-varying powers are desirable but not essential;
  • to exercise primary powers, the Assembly need an increase in membership to 80 Members;
  • the Assembly should be reconstituted as a separate legislature and executive;
  • the present voting system cannot sustain an increase to 80, and the best alternative is the STV system;
  • these changes should be in place by 2011, or sooner if practicable.
How can I obtain a copy of the report and summary?

Copies are available from:

The Assembly's Publication Centre
The Assembly at Pierhead
The National Assembly for Wales
Pierhead Street
Cardiff Bay
CF99 1NA

Telephone 029 2089 8688

Or on the Commission's website: www.richardcommission.gov.uk

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