Decisions 17 November 2003

Monday 17 November 2003 at 5pm in Speaker's House

Present:

The Speaker
Mr Stuart Bell
Sir Patrick Cormack
Mr Peter Hain (from item 8 onwards)
Mr Oliver Heald
Sir Archy Kirkwood

The Speaker welcomed Mr Heald to the Commission and paid tribute to Mr Forth's work as a Commissioner.

1.  Works of Art collection: governance and resources

The Commission  considered proposals from the Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Works of Art and

  • noted the present levels of expenditure
  • agreed that there should be an assessment of curatorial workload and resources in conjunction with the authorities of the House of Lords
  • agreed that the Advisory Committee should publish an annual report on the collection.

2.  Meeting dates September-December 2004

The Commission agreed to meet on 13 September (only if business required), 18 October, 15 November and 13 December.

3.  Appointment of a member of the Audit Committee

The Commission agreed to appoint Mr Heald to the Committee in succession to Mr Forth, and that he should chair the Committee.

4.  Commission oral Questions on 2 December

The Commission agreed that, in Sir Archy Kirkwood's absence, Sir Patrick Cormack should answer oral Questions on its behalf on 2 December.

5.  Administration Estimate: 2003/04 mid-year forecast outturn

The Director of Finance and Administration was present.

The Commission noted the forecast expenditure for the Administration Estimate for Financial Year 2003/04.

6.  Staff pay

The Director of Finance and Administration was present.

The Commission noted the current situation on staff pay negotiations.

In the absence of the Speaker, Sir Archy Kirkwood took the Chair.

7.  Childcare

The Director of Finance and Administration was present.

The Commission considered advice from the Administration and Finance and Services Committees on childcare provision for the staff of the House.  The Commission agreed:

  • that additional provision for childcare for House staff should be made in the 2004/05 Administration Estimate
  • that the childcare voucher scheme for House staff should be uprated and extended to all children under 12.

The Commission recommended that a similar extension for Members' staff be considered by the Speaker's Advisory Panel.

The Speaker resumed the Chair.

8.  Visitor Centre

The Director of Finance and Administration was present.

The Commission discussed how proposals for visitor facilities should be taken forward, and agreed that the subject should now be remitted to domestic committees in both Houses, which could later share their findings with the Commission and the Lords House Committee.