Update from the Commons Commission

28 July 2010

The House of Commons Commission and the Members Estimate Committee met on 26 July.

The most important decisions made were:

Review of accommodation strategy

The Commission agreed that:

  • the House’s accommodation strategy should be reviewed in the light of the need to make savings;
  • that the planned series of moves should be halted while that review takes place; and
  • that the Finance and Services and Administration Committees should be consulted as part of the review.

This creates the possibility of significant capital and revenue savings on buildings, but may result in the Commission having to find alternative ways of accommodating Members who currently have windowless offices and of creating an Education Centre.

Proposed departments of human resources and change and of finance

  • The Commission agreed to the creation of separate Departments of Human Resources and Change and of Finance in place of the Department of Resources, together with a new Board-level post of Finance Director.

This implements a recommendation of the Tebbit review of the House’s management and services, and also reflects the need for new kinds of financial expertise as the House seeks to make savings.  The Finance Director post will be advertised; Andrew Walker will head the Department of Human Resources and Change.

Redacted scans and December allowances publication (MEC)

  • The Committee confirmed that IEP claims and receipts for 2008/09 lost through disk failure should be scanned and redacted again in order to meet the commitment to publish them;
  • agreed that the redacting of PAAE scans should be done in-house while the redacting of the less sensitive IEP and Communications scans could be contracted out; and
  • agreed to publish transactional data for Winding-up Expenditure.