§ Mr. Ron Davies
The Commissioners will be appointed under the provisions of the Government of Wales Bill. I hope to be able to announce the names of the Commissioners shortly.
The Commissioners' role is to prepare the draft of the first standing orders of the Assembly, which will then be made, with or without modification, by the Secretary of State.
The recruitment of the Commissioners has been by open competition, in accordance with the current principles of public appointments. The Bill provides that there will be between 5 and 9 Commissioners. We expect that members will work 4 days a month and be paid £167.32 a day. The chairman will be paid £227.54 a day.
The Bill empowers the Secretary of State to issue guidance to the Commissioners on the content and form of the standing orders. The core of the guidance I intend to give will be based on the report of the National Assembly Advisory Group, which I expect to be published during August. The Advisory Group includes members nominated by all the main political parties, as well as members representative of a wide range of interests. It has already made considerable progress, through its discussions and public consultations, in building political consensus about the way the Assembly should operate—a task which the White Paper "A Voice for Wales" envisaged would fall to the Commissioners. This will enable the Commissioners to be rather more expert and technical than was originally envisaged. I shall want a balance of talents among the Commissioners, but it will not contain members nominated by the political parties.
There will be a continuing need to seek political consensus about issues other than the standing orders which will affect the way the Assembly will operate. These could include matters such as the opening ceremony and information support for Members. For this task I intend to establish an Assembly Preparations Group. This Group will include some members nominated by the political parties, as well as some former members of the National Assembly Advisory Group. I am consulting the leaders of the main political parties in Wales about the membership of this group, and about other matters relevant to the Assembly, in order to ensure that we continue to develop the arrangements for the Assembly in an inclusive spirit, seeking consensus where we can.
§ Mr. Ruane
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what advice he proposes to submit to Her Majesty in Council on the use to be made of the order-making power in clause 12(1)(b) of the Government of Wales Bill. 
§ Mr. Ron Davies
Clause 12(1)(b) enables Her Majesty in Council to designated public offices the holding of which would disqualify individuals from membership of the National Assembly for Wales. A draft of an Order in Council made under clause 12(1)(b) requires approval by each House of Parliament before it can be made. I shall shortly be publishing a consultation document inviting views about the advice I should submit to Her Majesty on the content of an Order in Council under clause 12; the paper will make detailed proposals about disqualification of members and staff of a range of executive non-departmental and health bodies, the holders of certain offices, and those who hold politically restricted posts in 543W local government. I will place a copy of the consultation paper in the Library. Responses to the consultation paper will be requested by 2 October 1998.
§ Mr. Rhodri Morgan
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the appointments procedure for senior posts in the National Assembly; if he will list the membership of the appointing panels, indicating external assessors and grades of civil servants; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Ron Davies
The Government of Wales Bill provides that staff of the National Assembly for Wales will be members of the Home Civil Service. The appointments procedures for senior posts in the National Assembly will, therefore, generally mirror those for the rest of the unified Civil Service. The precise way in which they will apply is being considered.