Monday 11 December 2006 at 5.00 pm in Speaker's House


The Speaker, in the Chair
Nick Harvey
Leader of the House
Mr David Maclean
Mrs Theresa May

1. Communications Allowance

The Committee agreed the proposed scope of the allowance and:

  • that (as at present) no more than 10% of the staffing allowance should be transferable into any other allowances

  • that money should be transferable from the Incidental Expenses Provision into the Communications Allowance but not the other way round

  • that the provision of stationery and franked envelopes should remain separate from the Communications Allowance and should remain for the time being as part of the Administration Estimate

  • that no reduction should be made at this stage in the Incidental Expenses Provision to reflect the creation of the Communications Allowance

  • that the administration of the Communications Allowance should be conducted in the same way as for existing allowances

and asked for a revised paper for consideration at the meeting on 29 January 2007.

2. Freedom of Information

The Committee agreed the proposed advisory service for Members (concerning their correspondence with public authorities about constituents) and that it might require additional staff.

3. European Travel Allowance

The Committee agreed to consider at its next meeting the financial implications of extending the allowance to Council of Europe countries for all Members within the existing limit of three visits a year.