Decisions 24 January 2011

Monday 24 January 2011 at 4.30pm in Speaker’s House.
 

Present:

The Speaker, in the Chair
Rt Hon Hilary Benn
Frank Doran
John Thurso
Sir George Young (Leader of the House)

Apologies: Sir Paul Beresford

1.  INTERNS/SPEAKER’S PARLIAMENTARY PLACEMENTS

The Commission welcomed and endorsed the cross-party proposal to provide internships with Members and the House Service to people from groups currently lacking access to such opportunities.  It agreed that the House would make a contribution of £25,000 to assist with the establishment of the scheme, with the possibility of a further contribution of up to £15,000 if the contingency funding budgeted for the first year was needed, subject to the three promoters reporting to the Commission on the use of the money and accounting for it, and to a protocol being agreed between the promoters and House officials concerning the political impartiality required when the interns are working with the House Service.

2.  SAVINGS PROGRAMME: STRATEGY FOR REDESIGNING SERVICES

The Commission asked the Finance and Services Committee to make recommendations to it by 21 March on how the redesigning of services and organisation should be approached and on the possibilities for income generation.

3.  IMPLEMENTATION OF POLICY ON PROACTIVE PUBLICATION

Following the consultation with Members, the Commission agreed to implement its policy on proactive publication, subject to confining the information published on use of rooms to functions sponsored by Members involving external organisations.

4.  DATE FOR PUBLICATION OF FURTHER ALLOWANCES INFORMATION (MEC)

The Committee agreed to publish further information on Members’ allowances on Wednesday 2 March.  It also agreed to publish information requested on payments of Resettlement Grant.

5.  HOUSE’S EQUALITY SCHEME

The Committee took note of a paper on progress under the Equality Scheme and priorities for further action.

6.  ANY OTHER BUSINESS: FUNDING OF BRITISH-AMERICAN PARLIAMENTARY GROUP

The Commission considered a letter from the British-American Parliamentary Group. 

7.  ANY OTHER BUSINESS: MEMORIALS IN THE CHAMBER

The Commission agreed that memorials to Anthony Berry and Robert Bradford should be placed in the Chamber.

8. DATE OF NEXT MEETING

The next meeting of the Commission/MEC will take place on Monday 14 February 2011 at 4.30pm in Speaker’s House.