Decisions 11 July 2011

Monday 11 July 2011 at 5.30pm in Speaker’s House

Present:

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

1.  CONSULTATION PLAN FOR SAVINGS PROGRAMME

The Commission agreed that the consultation paper on the savings programme should be put forward by the Finance and Services Committee, and that the consultation process should include informal meetings or seminars with Members, a letter from the Chair of the Finance and Services Committee to all Members and measures to engage Members’ staff (including constituency staff) in the consultation.  It took note of the paper on emerging directions in the savings programme.

2.  PROPOSED STANDING ORDER AND AUTHORISATION OF EXPENDITURE

The Commission approved a draft standing order to be brought before the House, providing that a paper setting out the financial impact should be available to the House in advance of discussion of any motion or amendment (other than on legislation) which would increase expenditure under the Administration Estimate by £50,000 or more.  It agreed that decisions to fund Speaker’s conferences or international parliamentary conferences through the Administration Estimate should require approval by the Commission.

3.  CATERING AND RETAIL SERVICES

The Commission agreed that its reservations on a small number of areas where it was not currently proposed to agree with the recommendations in the Administration Committee’s report on Catering and retail services in the House of Commons should be discussed with the Committee by officials of the House Service, and that the Commission should then consider further its response to the Committee’s report.

4.  MEMBERS’ STATIONERY (Commission/MEC)

The Commission agreed new rules on Members’ stationery and pre-paid envelopes, to come into effect on 1 August, and the Committee confirmed that these should then replace the rules set out in the Green Book.  The Commission agreed that IPSA should be asked to consider aligning its rules on stationery with the House’s new rules, and that authority for the rules on use of the crowned portcullis should remain with Mr Speaker.

5.  COMMISSION’S ANNUAL REPORT

The Commission amended and agreed the annual report.

6.  ACA REVIEW: REMAINING REPAYMENTS FROM FORMER MEMBERS (MEC)

The Committee agreed to allow one further late appeal.

7.  DATE OF NEXT MEETING

The next meeting of the Commission/MEC will take place on Monday 12 September at 4.30pm in Speaker’s House.