WAQ78375 (e) Tabled on 12/06/2019

What analysis has the Commission undertaken of the Assembly's petitions process, including the number of individuals signing petitions from outside Wales?

Answered by Assembly Commission | Answered on 21/06/2019

The Assembly Commission has not undertaken analysis of the Assembly’s petitions process. We are aware, however, that the Petitions Committee has considered questions relating to the eligibility for signing petitions on a number of occasions.

The Fourth Assembly Petitions Committee considered a range of issues in carrying out a review of the petitioning process, including who should be able to submit and sign petitions. The Committee ran an online survey and took evidence from petitioners and stakeholders.  Their report in February 2016 recommended that only people or organisations in Wales should be able to submit petitions, but that there should continue to be no restrictions on who is able to sign petitions.

The current Petitions Committee has taken forward a number of changes to the petitions process during the Fifth Assembly, including a requirement that individuals or organisations submitting a petition must provide an address in Wales and that all online petitions must collect signatures using the Assembly’s e-petitions system.

The Committee considered issues relating to the eligibility for signing petitions again on 21 May 2019 and decided not to propose any restrictions.  However, the Committee has decided to consider the number of signatures gathered from within Wales when deciding whether or not to request time for a Plenary debate on petitions with more than 5000 signatures in the future.