Decisions 8 February 2010

Monday 8 February 2010 at 4.30 pm in Speaker’s House

Present:

The Speaker, in the Chair
Sir Stuart Bell
Leader of the House
Nick Harvey
Mr David Maclean
Sir George Young

1.  RESETTLEMENT GRANT (MEC)

The Committee agreed that Mr Speaker should instruct the Accounting Officer for the Members Estimate that Resettlement Grant should be withheld from any Member charged with an offence relating to Members’ allowances until the conclusion of any criminal proceedings.  It agreed that the letter should be reported to the House and made public.

Letter from the Speaker 08.02.2010 (PDF PDF 26 KB)

2.  FUTURE FUNDING OF PARLIAMENTARY BROADCASTING

The Commission agreed that the House should bear the cost of parliamentary broadcasting when the present arrangements end in July 2011, and that there should be free licensing of the coverage.  It agreed that the broadcasters should continue to be asked to pay for camera operators to cover committee meetings for which they want coverage, and that production should continue to be contracted out.

3.  SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATE

The Commission approved a Supplementary Estimate of £40 million resource to reflect the revaluation of the Palace and Portcullis House.

4.  DEMARCATION OF FUNCTIONS BETWEEN IPSA AND THE HOUSE

The Commission considered areas where the division of functions between the House and the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) was not yet clear, made provisional decisions on whether the House should carry out those functions, and agreed that Mr Speaker should meet representatives of IPSA to seek agreement about the division of functions in those areas.  It decided to seek more information from IPSA on the proposed exchange of information between the House and IPSA concerning services to Members.

5.  MEMBER/STAFF RELATIONS

The Commission amended and approved the draft statement on what Members could expect from the House Service and what was expected in return.

6.  WHISTLEBLOWING

The Commission noted the policy drawn up by the Management Board on disclosure by House staff of malpractice and impropriety, and agreed that the policy should be extended to cover disclosures about Members.

7.  ANY OTHER BUSINESS: AUDITING (MEC)

The Accounting Officer reported on the progress of the full-scope audit of Members’ allowances for the current financial year.

8.  NEXT MEETING

The next meeting of the Commission/MEC will take place on Monday 8 March 2010 at 4.30pm in Speaker’s House.