Sunday 7 March

Arrival Day

Monday 8 March- Commonwealth Day and International Women's Day

0915-1045  Tours of the Palace of Westminster

1100 Seminar Briefing

  • Representative of the Clerk of the Overseas Office, House of Commons
  • Mr Andrew Tuggey DL (Secretary, CPA UK Branch)

1115 Welcome and Delegate Introduction

  • Mr John Austin MP  (Labour) (Chairman, CPA UK Branch Executive Committee)
  • Mr Nigel Evans MP (Conservative) (Treasurer, CPA UK Branch Executive Committee)

1200 The Role of Women in the 21st Century
How does increasing the presence of women in parliament support greater gender equality in society?  How does greater gender equality in society promote national economic growth and development? What practical measures are needed to support more equal participation of women in politics and parliament?  What is the role of male parliamentarians in promoting greater gender equality?

  • Mr Peter Bottomley MP (Conservative)
  • Baroness Nicholson (Liberal Democrat)
  • Rt Hon. Joan Ryan MP (Labour)
  • Chair: Baroness Northover (Liberal Democrat)

1300 Lunch with Members

1430 Attend an Observance for Commonwealth Day at Westminster Abbey in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (Head of the Commonwealth) and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh

1630 Tea for 10 delegates at the Royal Commonwealth Society

1615 Arrive hotel

1800 Reception for Commonwealth Day at Marlborough House as guests of HE Mr Kamalesh Sharma (Commonwealth Secretary-General) in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

Tuesday 9 March

0930 The Westminster Parliamentary System
Analysis of the Westminster model; its historical background; key defining features; recent reforms.  How does it compare with other models around the world?  What are its strengths, what are its weaknesses?   Is there room for improvement, and if so, where?   Is it relevant to the demands of the 21st century?

  • Lord Tyler CBE (Liberal Democrat) (Spokesperson for Constitutional Affairs)
  • Mr Robert Rogers (Director General Chamber Services and Clerk Assistant, House of Commons)
  • Dr Rhodri Walters (Reading Clerk and Clerk of the Overseas Office, House of Lords)
  • Chairman: Mr Paul Keetch MP (Liberal Democrat)

1030 Political Update
Overview of the main UK political debates during 2009/2010.   What are the current topics, and what are the big discussions in the run up to the general election likely to be?    Do they impact internationally?

  • Miss Kate Hoey MP (Labour)
  • Mr Andrew Stunell OBE MP (Liberal Democrat)
  • Chairman: Mr Nigel Evans MP (Conservative)

1145 Bicameralism and the work of a second chamber
What is the role of the Second Chamber?   Is it necessary?   Does a bicameral parliament enhance democracy?   How is it selected/elected?   What is the role of a Presiding Officer in a second chamber?

  • Rt Hon Baroness Hayman (Lord Speaker)
  • Chairman: Lord Harrison (Labour)

1300 Lunch with Members

1430 Role of the Opposition
What is the role of the opposition in scrutinising the Executive?   Should they cooperate with members of government and other parties in order to make parliament work?    Should government parties prepare for life in opposition?

  • Mr John Barrett MP (Liberal Democrat)
  • Mr Mark Pritchard MP (Conservative)
  • Chairman: Mr Adam Price MP (Plaid Cymru)

1530 Debates
Why debate: purposes and uses?   What are the different types of debate?   What procedures should be followed?   What are ‘Opposition Days’?   What behaviour is acceptable in the Chamber during a debate?   Can back-benchers introduce debates?   What is the role of the Speaker?

  • Mr Peter Bottomley MP (Conservative)
  • Mr Eric Illsley MP (Labour)

1645 Arrive hotel

1830-1930 Reception as guests of Dr Malcolm Jack (Clerk of the House of Commons) at 3 Parliament Street

Wednesday 10 March

Delegates joined by youth delegates from Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council

0930 Questions: Costs and Effectiveness
What are the different types of questions?  How are they tabled?   Canada and the UK have Freedom if Information Acts, how does such legislation impact on questions?  What costs and resources are given over to answering questions?

  • Mr Andrew Kennon (Clerk of the Table Office, House of Commons)
  • Chairman: Rt Hon. Kevin Barron MP (Labour)

1030 Public Expenditure and the Role of Parliament
How does the estimate cycle work?   How does the budget cycle work?     Does Parliament have a role in the process?   Should Parliament approve the budget before it is tabled?   Can it be defined and refined?

  • Mr Richard Bacon MP (Conservative)
  • Mr Austin Mitchell MP (Labour)
  • Dr John Benger (Clerk of Delegated Legislation, House of Commons)
  • Chairman: Ms Jacqui Lait MP (Conservative)

1145 Scrutiny of the Prime Minister
How is the elected Head of Government held to account in Parliament?

  • Mr Liam Laurence Smyth (Clerk of the Journal Office, House of Commons)

1200 Questions to the Prime Minister (view by link)

1300 Lunch

1400 The Legislative Process
Where do bills originate?   Who drafts them?   What stages must they pass through?   How do they become law?   What are Private Members’ Bills?

  • Mrs Christine Russell MP (Labour)
  • Mr Tom Mohan (Clerk of Public and Private Bills, House of Lords)
  • Mr Alan Sandall (Clerk of Grand Committees, House of Commons)
  • Chairman: Lord Dholakia (Liberal Democrat) (Deputy Leader Liberal Democrats, House of Lords)

1500 Open Forum 1: Effective Legislation
What challenges do you face when drafting and passing effective, well-targeted legislation?
Delegates to raise topics for discussion and to present.

  • Facilitator: Mr Peter Bottomley MP (Conservative)

1630 The Committee System
How do Committees function?   Are Members appointed or voted in?  Where are the Members drawn from?     How is a chairman appointed?    To whom do they report, and who monitors them?    Do Committees have a role in Parliament?   Does the executive have a role to play in the committee process?

  • Mr Mike Gapes MP (Labour) (Chairman, Foreign Affairs, Select Committee, House of Commons)
  • Mr Tim Yeo MP (Conservative)
  • Mr Robert Wilson (Principal Clerk of Select Committees and Deputy Head of the Committee Office, House of Commons)
  • Chairman: Mr John Grogan MP (Labour)

1830-1930 Reception at Number 10 Downing Street, hosted by Rt Hon. Harriet Harman QC MP (Leader of the House of Commons and Lord Privy Seal; Minister for Women and Equality)

Thursday 11 March

0915 Arrive Houses of Parliament

0930 Parliamentary Standards
The work of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and the Standards and Privileges Committee. How do they interact? How are they tasked? To whom do they report? What is the follow-up?

  • Mr John Lyon CB (Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, House of Commons)

1030 Hansard
History of Hansard.    How is the Official Report recorded, edited and published?   How is Hansard funded?   Does Hansard have a role in the electronic age?   What is the practice in other legislatures?

  • Ms Lorraine Sutherland (Editor, Hansard, House of Commons) 
  • Mr Richard Purnell (Sub-Editor, Hansard, House of Commons)

1145 Party Dicipline in Parliament (Parliamentaians Only)
How do the Whips operate as a channel of communication between the front and back benches?   How is party discipline maintained?    How do government and opposition interact to deliver parliamentary business?   How are Whips’ Offices organised?

  • Mr James Duddridge MP (Conservative) (Opposition Whip)
  • Lord Shutt of Greetland (Liberal Democrat) (Chief Whip)
  • Rt Hon. John Spellar MP (Labour) (Comptroller of Her Majesty’s Household)
  • Chairman: Mr Ben Chapman MP (Labour) 

1145 Procedural Reform (Clerks Only)

  • Mr David Natzler (Clerk of Legislation, House of Commons)

1300 Lunch with Members

1430 Open Forum 2: Running Parliament
What are the challenges involved in running an efficient, effective parliament? Delegates to raise topics for discussion and to present. 

  • Facilitator: Sir Nicholas Winterton DL MP (Conservative)

1545 The role of the MP in the Constituency (Parliamentarians Only)
What does a constituency MP do?   How is the constituency office organised?      How does the role of the constituency MP vary from country to country?  What is the relation between the party and the MP?   What is the link between a list MP and a constituency MP?   How are list and constituency MPs perceived by the electorate?

  • Mr Andy Love MP (Labour)
  • Mr Andrew Rosindell MP (Conservative) 

1545 Parliament on the Web (Clerks only)

  • Ms Tracy Green (Head of Webcentre, House of Commons)

1645 Constituency visit briefings
1715 Leave by coach
1730 Arrive hotel 

Friday 12 March

Constituency Visits (all delegates)

Saturday 13 March

1030 Tour of London by coach (optional)

  • Mr Kerry Woodrow (Guest lecturer) 

Sunday 14 March

Free day 

Monday 15 March- Serjeants at Arms join the seminar

0930 Introduction to the Serjeants at Arms

  • Mrs Jill Pay (Serjeant at Arms)
  • Mr Andrew Tuggey DL (Secretary, CPA UK Branch)

1000 The Speaker's Role in Parliament 
How is The Speaker elected?    Should a speaker be a serving parliamentarian?  What is The Speaker for?   What is his/her role in Parliament?   Does The Speaker have a role beyond Parliament?   If so, how can it be expanded?   Should a speaker renounce party affiliation?

  • Rt Hon. John Bercow MP (Speaker of the House of Commons)
  • Hon. Dr Fehmida Mirza MNA (Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan)
  • Chairman: Sir Michael Lord MP (Conservative) (Second Deputy Chairman, Ways and Means and Deputy Speaker, House of Commons)

1100 The Serjeant at Arms
Historical throw back, or does the post have a role in the 21st century Parliament?   What are the Chamber duties of the post?   Where is its influence felt elsewhere in the House?

  • Mrs Jill Pay (Serjeant at Arms)
  • Chairman: Sir Nicholas Winterton DL MP (Conservative)

1230 Reception as guests of Rt Hon. John Bercow MP (Speaker of the House of Commons)

1330 Lunch with Members in the House of Commons

1500 The Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT)
What are the benefits of increased dialogue between parliamentarians and the business sector?   How does the IPT operate?   To whom does it report?   What are the benefits for parliamentarians?

  • Mrs Sally Muggeridge (Chief Executive, IPT)
  • Mr Bill Olner MP (Labour) (Chairman of the Board of Trustees, IPT)
  • Chairman: Baroness Harris of Richmond (Liberal Democrat) (Vice-Chairman of the Boards of Trustees, IPT)

1615 The Electoral Commission
What is the purpose of an Electoral Commission?   Is it objective?   Who selects the commissioners?   Should Parliament interfere in its activities?    Is an electoral commission the real guardian of democracy?

  • Mr Peter Wardle (Chief Executive)
  • Chairman: Ms Vera Baird MP (Labour) (Solicitor General)

1715 The Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme

  • Colonel Sir Neil Thorne

Tuesday 16 March

0930 Broadcasting Parliament
Should Parliament be broadcast?   What protocols should be observed in the Chamber?   How can viewing figures be increased?   How does Westminster compare with other legislatures?   What is the balance between public and private media?

  • Mr Peter Knowles (BBC Parliament)
  • Chairman: Rt Hon. Lord McNally (Liberal Democrat) (Liberal Democrat Leader of the House of Lords and Spokesperson for Constitutional Affairs)

1030 Engaging with the Media (Parliamentarians Only)
How do MPs and media interact?    How can one build successful relationships with national and local media?   How does the Member work with lobby journalists?   How does a Member work with investigative and parliamentary journalists?   How can an MP own e-media?

  • Mr Derek Wyatt MP (Labour)
  • Chairman: Rt Hon. Lord Steel (Liberal Democrat) 

1045 Running a Parliament (Clerks Only)

  • Ms Philippa Helme (Office of the Chief Executive, House of Commons) 

1045 Security in Parliament (Serjeants at Arms Only)

  • Mrs Jill Pay (Serjeant at Arms)

1145 The Transparency of Public Accounts

What is the role of a Public Accounts Committee?   How does it interact with the National Audit authority?   Do they support each other?

  • Mr Edward Leigh MP (Conservative) (Chairman, Public Accounts Committee, House of Commons)
  • Mr David Goldsworthy (National Audit Office)

1300 Lunch with Members 

1430 Young People in Parliament- Engaging the Next Generation
Every country has an ever growing young population, how can the next generation be involved more in Parliament?   How much of an issue is it?   Do other legislatures have similar issues?

  • Mr Peter Stidwell (Education Unit, House of Commons)
  • Mr Alex Sergent (Trustee, Catch 21) 

1430 Visit to Mail Screening Facility (Serjeants at Arms Only)

  • Accompanied by Mr Lawrence Ward (Assistant Serjeant at Arms)

1530 Open Forum 3: Scrutiny and Accountability
What measures are in place to ensure the Executive is held to account? What scrutiny processes are there in place?   How influential is the media in the scrutiny process?
Delegates to raise topics for discussion and to present.

1700 How is Parliament Run?
Budgets, Commissions, Directorates and Management Boards, how do parliamentarians and officials respond to the challenges?  How can individual Members have a voice in deciding how Parliament is run?

  • Mr Shailesh Vara MP (Conservative) (Shadow Deputy Leader of the House)
  • Dr Malcolm Jack (Clerk of the House of Commons)
  • Mr Michael Pownall (Clerk of the Parliaments)

1800-1900 Reception as guests of Dr Malcolm Jack (Clerk of the House of Commons) (Clerks Only)
1900 Reception followed by dinner in the Adjournment Restaurant, Portcullis House as guests of Mrs Jill Pay (Serjeant at Arms) (Serjeants at Arms Only)

Wednesday 17 March

0930 Paying for Parliament
Should governments fund parliaments?   What are the challenges for democracy?   How is Parliament funded?    Who proposes expenditure in each House?  Members’ salaries and allowances.

1030 Facilities of the House
How does one provide facilities for a modern Parliament?   What are the constraints?

  • Mr John Borley (Director General Facilities, House of Commons)

1030 Tour of Security Control (Serjeants at Arms only)

  • Mr Mike Naworynsky (Deputy Serjeant at Arms)

1145 Research and Information Services for Members>
How are the Research and Information Services in a modern parliament structured?  What other information services are available to Members?    How can a Member benefit from them?   The challenges of the internet.

  • Mr John Pullinger (Director General Information Services, House of Commons)
  • Ms Elizabeth Hallam Smith (Director of Information Services and Librarian, House of Lords)
  • Chairman: Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods MP (Labour)

1300 Lunch

1400 Open Forum 4: Representing Equality and Diversity (Parliamentarians only)
How are diverse and minority communities engaged with and represented?
Delegates to raise topics for discussion and to present.

1400 Running a Committee (Clerks only)

  • Ms Jacqui Sharpe (Clerk of Committees, House of Commons)

1400 Chamber Security (Serjeants at Arms only)

  • Mr Graham Dear (Principal Doorkeeper)

1530 MPs and the Internet: Modern Outreach and eDemocracy
Practicalities and benefits of e-democracy. What can be achieved electronically in the delegates’ countries and parliaments, and how modern e-communications can help parliamentarians carry out their jobs more effectively? Engage with constituents? How can Members optimise the internet and social media?

  • Dr Andy Williamson (Director eDemocracy Programme, Hansard Society) 

Thursday 18 March

0930 Parliamentary Democracy: Strengthening and Supporting Capacity-Building
What are the current programmes for strengthening parliamentary democracy and building capacity?   How effective are they?   Do they meet the needs of parliamentarians?     How do emerging democracies interface with developed parliaments?

  • Mr Mark Hutton (Clerk of the Overseas Office, House of Commons)
  • Mr Andrew Tuggey DL (Secretary, CPA UK Branch)
  • Mr Ken Courtenay (General Secretary, British Group, Inter-Parliamentary Union)

1030 Climate Change: The Role of Parliamentarians in Influencing the Debate
What is the role of parliamentarians and parliaments in addressing climate change?   How effective was Copenhagen?   The challenges of adaptation and mitigation.  Whither now?    How effective is climate change legislation?

  • Mr Colin Challen MP (Labour)
  • Chairman: Ms Joan Walley MP

1030 Parliamentary Privilege (Clerks Only)

  • Mr Liam Laurence Smyth (Clerk of the Journal Office, House of Commons)

1145 The Global Financial Crisis
Where is the world now?   What role do parliamentarians have in the oversight of financial regulation and holding the executive to account?

  • Mr Andrew Tyrie MP (Conservative)


1145 Open Forum (Clerks Only)

1315 Lunch in the Cholmondeley Room, House of Lords as guests of Professor Lord McColl of Dulwich CBE (Conservative)

1500 Summing up the Seminar, Feedback and Presntation of Certificates

  • Mr Mark Hutton (Clerk of the Overseas Office, House of Commons)
  • Dr Malcolm Jack (Clerk of the House of Commons)
  • Mrs Jill Pay (Serjeant at Arms)
  • Mr Andrew Tuggey DL (Secretary, CPA UK Branch)
  • Chairman: Baroness Hooper (Conservative) 

Friday 19 March

Departure Day