Decisions 30 March 2009

Monday 30 March 2009 at 5pm in Speaker's House

Present:

The Speaker, in the Chair
Sir Stuart Bell
Mr Alan Duncan
Nick Harvey
Leader of the House

1. CONSTITUENCY OFFICES (MEC)

The Committee agreed that the constituency office scheme as originally agreed should not go ahead, and that instead top-up assistance should be made available in a similar way to the exceptional needs allowance within the General Services Budget as recommended by the Committee on Members' Allowances.

2. FOI PUBLICATION (MEC)

The Committee revised and approved the letter to Members about the scanned receipts and claims, and agreed that it should be signed by an official. It agreed that the timetable for the July publication should be communicated to the Information Commissioner; and that the information requested on sponsorship of events at the House should be released. It decided that plans for 2009/10 allowances information and whether publication of it would be annual or quarterly should be discussed at a future meeting.

3. OPERATIONAL ASSURANCE UNIT (MEC)

The Committee indicated its preference for the option of a small assurance/compliance unit and an integrated advisory and validation service organised in regional teams. It requested the Finance and Services Committee and MEAC provide an agreed model as soon as possible after the Easter recess.

4. SELECT COMMITTEE AND DELEGATION EXPENSES

The Commission agreed that claims in respect of select committee and delegation activities should be required to adhere to the nine principles in the Green Book from 1 April 2009, and that the guidance on those activities should be reviewed to bring it into compliance with the nine principles.

5. FEASIBILITY STUDY FOR DECANT€”INTERVIEWS

The Committee noted the proposed list of Members to be interviewed as part of the study.

6. NEXT MEETING

The next meeting of the Commission/MEC will take place at 5pm on Monday 11 May 2009 in Speaker's House.