Decisions 19 October 2009

Monday 19 October 2009 at 4.30 pm in Speaker's House

Present:

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

1. REVIEW OF PAST ACA PAYMENTS (MEC)

The Committee discussed the review with Sir Thomas Legg. It agreed, in response to a request, that the terms of reference should not be extended to cover additional matters. It approved expenditure on a media adviser as part of the cost of the ACA review.

2. FOI PUBLICATION ON ALLOWANCES (MEC)

The Committee agreed that the redacted scans for ACA in 2008/09 and the first part of 2009/10 should be published if possible in December and the remaining material on allowances in January, but otherwise all the information would be published together in January. The redaction guidelines were approved, and it was agreed that they should be published on the website when the scans were published.

3. MORTGAGE INFORMATION AND CGT DECLARATIONS (MEC)

The Committee agreed that PAAE should cease for Members who did not provide by the end of November the mortgage information and CGT declaration requested by the MEC on 20 May.

4. REPORT ON EMPLOYMENT BY THE HOUSE OF MEMBERS' STAFF

The Commission amended the draft report and agreed to it as amended. A copy was to be sent at the time of publication to Sir Christopher Kelly.

5. UNION RECOGNITION

The Commission noted that it was not legally possible for it formally to recognise a trade union as representing Members' staff, but agreed that officials should discuss possible memoranda of understanding with bodies representing Members' staff and report back to the Commission.

6. HOTEL COSTS (MEC)

The Committee agreed that, with effect from 19 May 2009, the cap on hotel costs should be an annual rather than monthly one.

7. CHILDCARE

The Commission agreed that further information should be obtained on the possibility of the proposed scheme for short-term childcare being set up for a six-month trial period, and on age limits, and that options for a scheme would be considered again at the next meeting.

8. CO2 EMISSIONS

The Commission agreed that it could not sign up to the 10:10 campaign, but would explain that it planned to set meaningful and deliverable targets for 2010/11. It agreed that the House should participate in campaigns only in exceptional circumstances.

9. CHAIRMAN OF AUDIT COMMITTEES (Commission and MEC)

Sir George Young was appointed Chairman of the Audit Committees.

10. DEBATE ON COMMISSION'S ANNUAL REPORT

The Commission noted that the annual debate in Westminster Hall would be on Thursday 3 December.

11. NEXT MEETING

The next meeting of the Commission/MEC will take place at 4.30 pm on Monday 9 November 2009 in Speaker's House.