Thursday 18 October 2007

Members present:

Sir Stuart Bell, in the Chair
Mr Clive Betts
Mr Crispin Blunt
Mr Paul Burstow
Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown
Mr Frank Doran


The Committee considered four specific Tebbit recommendations and decided:

3. The Finance and Services Committee should operate more as an arm of the Commission, acting under a clear mandate giving the Committee substantial authority on the Commission's behalf to cover the more routine supervisory issues. (Paragraph 77)

Agreed reflects existing position.

4. The Finance and Services Committee should be mandated to scrutinise proposals made by Member Committees or House officials, where these need to be reconciled, before they are considered by the Commission. (Paragraph 78)

Agreed reflects existing position with the addition that the Department of Finance and Administration should draw to the Committee's attention cases where there was a need for such reconciliation or where significant new spending was planned (such as on the covered walkway in Star Chamber Court).

5. The Chairman of Ways and Means should be appointed to the Finance and Services Committee. (Paragraph 79)

The Committee rejected the suggestion earlier in paragraph 79 that the Chairman of Ways and Means should eventually become the Chairman of the Finance and Services Committee but accepted the recommendation itself that he or she should be a member of the Committee.

6. A member of the Finance and Services Committee, selected on the basis of interest and experience, should be appointed to the Audit Committee, 'balanced' by an additional external member. (Paragraph 80)

The Committee agreed that a member of the Finance and Services Committee should be appointed to the Audit Committee but did not agree that that appointment should be matched by the appointment of a third external member of the Audit Committee.

Furthermore, the Committee endorsed other Tebbit recommendations (already approved by the Commission) to re-merge the estates and works functions, to recruit a new Director General of Facilities, to reorganise the Board of Management on functional lines and to strengthen the Office of the Chief Executive.


The Committee agreed to defer till January 2008 the presentation (requested at their meeting on 12 July) on the options for major strategic projects such as repair of the cast iron roofs and replacement of the mechanical and electrical systems, including the benefits and risks of phased partial closure of the building.

The Committee noted concerns about the Visitor Reception Building and were informed that the Commission would be taking decisions on its completion at their forthcoming meeting on 22 October.

[Adjourned till Thursday 6 December at 9.45 am.