Decisions 17 December 2007

Monday 17 December 2007 at 5pm in Speaker's House

Present:

The Speaker, in the Chair
Sir Stuart Bell
Nick Harvey
Leader of the House
Mr David Maclean
Mrs Theresa May 

1. INTERNATIONAL PARLIAMENTARY BODIES

The Commission agreed that funding of the British Group of the IPU, the UK Branch of the CPA, the British Irish Inter-Parliamentary Group and the British American Parliamentary Group should be transferred from the Treasury to the House of Commons and that grants-in-aid should be made to the groups with effect from the start of the 2008-09 financial year, based on the model of the History of Parliament Trust.

2. TEBBIT REVIEW

The Commission received a progress report from the Chief Executive on implementation of the Tebbit review. It noted the steps being to taken to ensure that staff directly affected by the changes on 1 January 2008 were kept fully informed. It was also noted that the Management Board would indicate clearly individuals in the relevant departments who would be in charge of handling Members' needs and requests. The Commission amended and then agreed a response to the 56 recommendations of the Tebbit review (to be published on 19 December as HC 193).

3. ADMINISTRATION ESTIMATE FOR 2008-09 AND THE THREE YEAR FINANCIAL PLAN

The Commission agreed:

(i) An Administration Estimate for 2008/09 that was in line with the 2007/08 Estimate of £233.1 million;

(ii) Baselines for 2009/10 and 2010/11 should at this stage assume financial provision that was broadly equivalent to 2008/09.

The Commission further agreed that the Finance and Services Committee should review the process for considering bids involving expenditure with a view to enabling the Commission to exercise tighter control especially on new or enhanced services.

4. VISITOR RECEPTION BUILDING

The Commission were told that the building would be handed over on 20 December and that, after trial operations, it would open for use in late February 2008. It was noted that the total estimate costs of completion of the building itself was likely to be £11.2 million against an original estimate of £8.6 million (with the Commons' share amounting to 60% of the cost).

5. FUTURE MEETINGS

The Commission agreed to meet on Mondays 21 January, 25 February, 31 March and 28 April 2008.