Decisions 21 May 2007

Monday 21 May 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. SURVEY OF MEMBERS AND THEIR STAFF

The Commission took note of the results of the survey of services and agreed to publish the report on the internet, refer it for consideration by the Administration, Finance and Services and Modernisation Committees and issue a brief guide to it on paper.

JOINTLY WITH MEMBERS ESTIMATE COMMITTEE

2. REPORT OF THE AUDIT COMMITTEE

The Commission and the Members Estimate Committee took note of the annual reports of the two Audit Committees and agreed to consider termly reports from the Committees in future.

COMMISSION ONLY

3. POST ELECTION SERVICES

The Commission noted progress on implementation of the Administration Committee's recommendations and agreed that the follow up report be sent to that Committee.

4. HOUSE OF COMMONS BUDGET

A paper on House expenditure, prepared for the Leader of the House (following correspondence from the Treasury), was noted. The Commission recalled that the financial independence of the House from the Treasury was enshrined in the House of Commons (Administration) Act 1978. Nonetheless it was useful to be reminded of the need to keep costs under control. It was agreed that the Director of Finance and Administration should meet Treasury officials to discuss differing financial figures. The Commission decided that a paper should be prepared on the possible benefits for the House of providing more services jointly with the Lords.

5. MAJOR REFURBISHMENT

The terms of reference were agreed for a feasibility study of carrying out the largest projects in the 25 year estates strategy over a shorter period of time. The Finance and Services Committee was asked to consider a proposal to spend a limited sum on such a study, within the current programme on the 25 year estates strategy.

6. VISITOR RECEPTION BUILDING

The Commission noted that there were now visible signs of the project coming closer to completion and that the building should be handed over in July.