The Clerk of the Parliaments is the most senior official in the House of Lords. The Crown appoints him as head of the permanent administration and the chief procedural adviser to the House. It is a role similar to that of a chief executive in a commercial business and with a number of administrative and management responsibilities.
The job title 'Clerk of the Parliaments' is plural to signify that the position is permanent and remains through successive Parliaments.
The main functions of the Clerk of the Parliaments are:
- Accounting Officer and Corporate Officer of the House of Lords.
- Employing staff in the Lords
- Keeping the official records of the membership and business of the House
- Offering expert advice on House procedure (the formal and informal rules of its everyday activities)
- Ensuring the text of Acts is accurate
Image: Ed Ollard, the current Clerk of the Parliaments. House of Lords 2017 / Photography by Roger Harris