Glossary

A glossary of parliamentary terms

A-Z index of glossary terms

Use the letters below to reveal a list of glossary terms.

A

Term

Accounts

A series of documents produced to show how bodies and departments have used the resources that were at their disposal.

Last Updated 06/10/2020

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Term

Accruals accounting

A method of recording income and expenditure during an accounting period. Expenditure or income is accounted for in the year in which it is incurred/earned, not when the cash changes hands.

Last Updated 06/10/2020

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Term

Act of Parliament

An Act of Parliament is a law made by the UK Parliament. Proposals for new laws (called Bills) are debated by both the House of Lords and House of Commons. If both Houses of Parliament vote for the proposals then the Bill is ready to become an Act. A Bill can only become an Act of Parliament once it has been approved by the monarch, a process called Royal Assent

Last Updated 15/07/2020

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Term

Act of the Senedd

The Senedd currently has the power to make laws in any matters that are not reserved to the UK Parliament by the Government of Wales Act 2006 (as amended by the Wales Act 2017). Proposals for new laws (called Bills) are presented to the Senedd. If the Senedd approves the proposals then the Bill is ready to become an Act. A Bill can only become an Act of the Senedd once it has been approved by the Monarch, a process called Royal Assent. Acts are often referred to as primary legislation.

Last Updated 09/12/2020

Senedd Acts

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Term

Action

The Welsh Government’s budget is broken down into several levels of detail for monitoring and control purposes. Actions are the most detailed level published in the budget documentation and indicate policy or initiative areas. However, it should be noted that actions may not necessarily provide detail of allocations at the level of specific policy or programme. Previously known as budget expenditure lines (BELs).

Last Updated 06/10/2020

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Term

Additional Member System

This is the hybrid voting system used to elect Members of the Senedd. It combines elements of first-past-the-post for the 40 constituencies, and proportional representation, where voters select from a list of candidates for each party in five regions, returning a further 20 Members. This helps to overcome the imbalance often associated with first-past-the-post elections.

Last Updated 15/07/2020

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Term

Affirmative procedure

The affirmative procedure provides that the Welsh Ministers cannot make subordinate legislation (e.g. a statutory instrument) unless the Senedd has passed a motion approving a draft of the subordinate legislation. This procedure is often reserved for more significant subordinate legislation.

Last Updated 03/12/2020

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Term

Affordability

One of the four basic principles of financial scrutiny. Relates to the consideration of whether sufficient
resources are available to meet spending plans, and whether these are appropriately balanced.

Last Updated 06/10/2020

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Term

Allowances

See Expenses.

Last Updated 09/12/2020

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Term

All-Party groups

Last Updated 09/12/2020

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Term

Ambit

Descriptions of the purposes for which the Welsh Ministers can use resources, these are set out in the budget
motion and generally correspond to Ministerial portfolios and/or main expenditure groups (MEGs).

Last Updated 06/10/2020

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Term

Amendments (to a Bill)

Suggested changes to the text of a Bill which are proposed by Members (including those who are also Welsh Ministers). Amendments can be suggested at Stage Two, Stage Three and the Report Stage of the Senedd's legislative process, and Members can vote on whether they should be agreed or not.

Last Updated 09/12/2020

Stages of Public Bills

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Term

Amendments (to Motions)

Suggested changes to the text of a motion debated in Plenary. Except when Standing Orders provide otherwise, Members can propose amendments to any motion.

Last Updated 09/12/2020

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Term

Annual Budget Motion

This represents the final stage of the budget process in Wales, and is the means by which the Senedd grants authorisation for the Welsh Ministers to spend resources, retain income and draw cash from the Welsh Consolidated Fund. The Annual Budget Motion also provides funding for the Senedd itself, the Auditor General for Wales and the Public Service Ombudsman.

Last Updated 15/07/2020

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Term

Annually managed expenditure (AME)

Expenditure which is less predictable than that in departmental expenditure limits (DEL) and covers spend which is generally demand-led and therefore provision cannot reasonably be subject to multi-year limits, (for example, the issue of student loans). This is reviewed and set twice a year by HM Treasury. AME can only be allocated to the purpose for which it is assigned; therefore the Welsh Government has no discretion over its allocation. Further AME can be drawn from HM Treasury if required, while any unspent AME must be returned.

Last Updated 09/12/2020

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Term

Assembly

The title of the Welsh Parliament or Senedd Cymru when it was first established in 1999. It changed its name on 6 May, 2020 to reflect its stature as a national parliament after receiving further powers, notably in the 2011 referendum (Wales).

Last Updated 22/07/2020

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Term

Audit Wales

Audit Wales is the collective name for the Auditor General for Wales (“the Auditor General”) and the Wales Audit Office.

The Auditor General and Wales Audit Office staff provide advice and support to assist the Public Accounts and Administration Committee to carry out its work.

The Auditor General’s role includes examining how public bodies manage and spend public money, including how they achieve value for money in the delivery of public services. The Auditor General publishes reports, the majority of which are considered by the Public Accounts and Administration Committee.

Last Updated 28/06/2021

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