The Speaker's Committee for the IPSA has announced via a written statement that it has modified the structure of IPSA’s main estimate 2013/14, but has left IPSA’s requested budget unchanged.
The written statement, from The Hon. Member for Broxbourne (Mr Charles Walker), representing the Speaker’s Committee for the IPSA, read:
The Speaker’s Committee for the IPSA is established under the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009. Under statute it must review IPSA’s estimate before it is laid before the House and decide whether it is satisfied that the estimate is consistent with the efficient and cost-effective discharge by the IPSA of its functions. If it is not satisfied the Committee must modify the estimate to achieve that efficiency and cost-effectiveness. When considering the estimate the Committee must consult the Treasury and have regard to any advice given.
The Committee, having considered IPSA’s draft estimate 2013/14 in accordance with paragraph 22(3) of Schedule 1 to the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009, has decided to modify the structure of the estimate by replacing IPSA’s single subhead (B) covering all operational costs with two subheads (B and C) covering core operational costs and project costs respectively.
It reached this decision following advice from HM Treasury that it might be desirable to provide separate entries on the face of the estimate for core operational costs, which are subject to an annual 5% savings target, and for project costs, which are outside the savings target. The Committee concluded that the formal separation of the entries would provide greater assurance that costs have been attributed correctly and sensibly to the individual budgets, and that the 5% target was being achieved. It would be in line with IPSA’s statutory duty to have regard to the principle that it should act in a way which is efficient, cost effective and transparent in carrying out its functions.
The Committee also had regard to a request from HM Treasury that it should explore IPSA’s capability to make additional savings on its operational costs, beyond its existing 5% target, in the current financial year. Having discussed this with IPSA, the Committee concluded that the Authority did not have the capacity for additional savings this year. It therefore found IPSA’s request for resources to be appropriate, and approved it without amendment.
The estimate as modified by the Committee was laid on Wednesday 19 June (HC 396). The statutory report detailing the Committee’s reasons for modifying the structure of the estimate, Statement under Schedule 1 of the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009, HC 455 will be available from 11.00 am on Thursday 20 June.
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