The Finance Committee is established under Standing Order No. 144. It considers expenditure on services for the House of Commons and has particular responsibility for the preparation and detailed scrutiny of the House’s budgets.
On 20 March 2013 the House agreed changes to Standing Order No.144 that widened the scope of the Committee’s work to include services provided from the House of Commons: Members Estimate as well as the House of Commons: Administration Estimate. Until the start of the 2015 Parliament, the Committee was known as the Finance and Services Committee.
Remit of the Finance Committee:
- Advising the Commission on a remit for each year’s financial planning round.
- Development of financial plans for future years for both the Administration and Members Estimates, including both resource and capital elements. The Committee intends to pay greater attention to the capital budgets than its predecessor.
- Preparing draft Estimates for consideration by the Commission and the Members Estimate Committee.
- Monitoring spending against budgets during the year (quarterly).
- Proposals for significant changes in spending or revenue-raising not covered by the financial plans for future years, including proposals from other Committees or from the Government.
- Progress of major ongoing programmes—such programmes to be identified by the Committee from the financial plans for future years (eg Northern Estate Refurbishment).
- Specific areas of spending, annually or termly, ie estates/works, security, catering, grants (especially the History of Parliament Trust), works of art.
- Adequacy of financial information for determining priorities.
- Progress towards the House’s environmental targets.
- Any other matters referred by the Commission.
The Committee has eleven members including the Chairman of Ways and Means. It is chaired by a member of the House of Commons Commission. It meets approximately once a month when the House is sitting. Meetings are regularly held in private and the Committee is assisted by the Director of Finance and other House staff as appropriate.