COMMONS

Decisions 1 December 2010

Wednesday 1 December 2010 at 2pm in Committee Room 13

Members present:

John Thurso (in the Chair)
Sir Paul Beresford
Clive Betts
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown
Sir Alan Haselhurst
Lindsay Hoyle

1. CPA 2011 Centenary Conference

The Committee recommended to the Commission the revised budget of £1,627,237 proposed by the CPA UK Branch, and in addition recommended that, if it proved possible to reclaim some of the VAT, the House should be made the contracting authority for the conference and the revised budget should be reduced by a corresponding amount.

2.  Possible initial savings and estimates total


The Committee agreed to make the following recommendations to the Commission about the savings needing specific approval:

No.

Proposal

Saving in 2011/12 (£k)

Recommendation

Dccs7

End the daily printing of the question book, a compendium of all the questions to be answered on future days

865

Recommended

Dccs9

Discontinue hard copy printing of documents such as the SI list and whole House proceedings on bills

120

Recommended

Dccs12

10% cut in budget of delegations to parliamentary assemblies of Council of Europe, NATO, OSCE and WEU, largely reflecting use of cheaper tickets

125*

Recommended

Dccs24

Discontinue hard copy printing of select committee written evidence

225

Recommended

Dccs26

Discontinue hard copy printing of some public bill documents

146

Recommended

Dccs28

End production of standing committee bound volume index

13

Recommended

Sub-total

 

1494

 

Df1

Close post office counters all day Saturday and on Mon-Thurs at 6pm instead of 7pm) (No saving in 2011/12, but 2012/13 saving of £14,000 could be brought forward)

0*

Approved in principle, but further work should be done on what the savings would be, what the usage is, and the possibility of remaining open to 7pm on weekdays should be reconsidered

Df2

External mail deliveries to be reduced from four per day to two

140

Approved as regards rationalisation as a direction of travel, but concern about possible delay in delivery of post to Members and therefore a need for flexibility if in practice Members experience difficulties

Df3

Revised staffing arrangements for attendants, including Royal Mail staff taking on some responsibility for deliveries (Saving of £353,000 in years from 2012/13)

30*

Approved as regards rationalisation as a direction of travel, but measures should be taken to avoid compulsory redundancies

Df4

10% reduction in cost of cleaning contract, through securing a more rigorous contract while maintaining existing standards of cleaning

236

Recommended, on the basis that existing standards are at least maintained

Sub-total

 

406

 

Dis10

Cancel New Voters’ Guide

600

Recommended

Dis11b

Halve budget for acquisition of works of art (Counts as capital spending, so not included in totals)

(50)

Recommended

Dis 12

Reduce cost of House’s contract with Hansard Society from £70,000 to £50,000

10*

Recommended

Members’ Library unstaffed after 7pm on Thursdays, when usage is light, to achieve more efficient use of staff rather than savings

Under 5

Should be proposed by means of a paper to the Administration Committee on Members’ requirements from Library services, rather than as part of the savings programme

Members Centre unstaffed after 6pm Mon-Wed, in order to make better use of existing staff

0

Should be proposed by means of a paper to the Administration Committee on Members’ requirements rather than as part of the savings programme

Sub-total

 

610

 

Pict11

Reduce switchboard service at times when few calls are received (8pm to 8am) (Saving of £80,000 a year from 2012/13)

0*

Agreed in principle, to deliver savings in future years, subject to maintaining availability to Members of information on internal phone numbers while the House is sitting

Pict 8

Decommissioning of Citrix dial-up system for remote access (Saving of £77,000 a year from 2012/13)

0*

Recommended

Pict 9

Decommissioning of pager service

14*

Recommended

Sub-total

 

14

 

Grants

Reduction of 10% in grants to the four international parliamentary bodies and the History of Parliament Trust

366

Recommended

Total

 

2890

 

* Indicates larger saving in subsequent years.


The Committee agreed to recommend the proposed income generation measures in the paper in principle, including the possibility of charging for Members’ tours of the line of route, so that further work could be done on them.

The Committee agreed to recommend for 2011/12 a resource Estimate of £228 million and a capital Estimate of £20 million.

 

[Adjourned till Wednesday 26 January at 2pm.