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House of Lords corporate priorities for 2020/21

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a considerable impact on the Administration’s plans for 2020/21. At the time of writing we anticipate that we may need to retain capability to support hybrid proceedings for the rest of the financial year. Delivering our core services during these extraordinary times, while supporting people’s health and wellbeing, will remain our central priority.

The short statement of priorities for 2020/21  captures key initiatives that will be delivered in order to sustain momentum with our strategic priorities, such as vital work to drive cultural change, and to plan and prepare for restoration and renewal.

The Board has already committed to these activities and there is resource in place to deliver them alongside the vital work across the Administration to adapt and deliver our core services in support of the House. By bringing together these initiatives, the statement of priorities will support the Board to continue to monitor strategic progress. The Board will keep this document under regular review to ensure that it accounts for any further changes in context which may unfold.

We would usually publish a full detailed business plan at the start of each financial year, however we did not publish such a plan this year because of the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. This shorter statement of priorities - allowing for greater flexibility and a greater focus on delivering core services while supporting people’s health and wellbeing - takes the place of the normal, more detailed plan. More than ever, this year there is a huge amount of invaluable work being done across the entire Administration. This short statement cannot, and does not try to, reflect all of it.

You can find further information about the House of Lords Administration and how we are organised to deliver our strategy below.

Who we are

The Administration employs around 660 staff, and a number of bicameral staff support the work of both Houses of Parliament. We also work closely with colleagues in the House of Commons to deliver our shared objectives. A diagram of how we are organised to deliver our objectives may be viewed here, and a diagram of our governance diagram is available here .

What we do

The strategy for the House of Lords Administration for 2019-25  provides a framework that enables us to maintain and improve the core services we provide day-to-day, while ensuring we are also making longer-term improvements to support the House, and to the culture of the organisation. It is woven through our planning at all levels, acting as the ‘golden thread’ between individuals’ objectives, office plans, and our corporate business plans.

The strategy comprises:

  • Our aim, which articulates the purpose of the House of Lords Administration
  • Our strategic objectives, setting out the core services we provide in support of our overall aim;
  • Our priorities, which are shaped by the strategic challenges and opportunities we will need to respond to between now and 2025 in order to continue to achieve our aim and objectives.

Risk management

The House of Lords Management Board monitors a number of corporate risks which have the potential to affect the achievement of the Administration’s strategic objectives.

As at October 2020, these are:

  • Cyber security: cyber-attack against parliamentary systems causes serious disruption to the strategic plan objectives and to the work of members and their staff
  • Security: Breach of security causing, or likely to cause, harm to people or the parliamentary estate, or serious disruption to parliamentary business
  • Staffing: Failure to have enough of the right people, in the right place, at the right time, with the right skills and behaviours, to lead and support cultural change and the work of the House
  • Information: failure to manage, secure and exploit House information effectively
  • Stakeholder management: ineffective relationship with stakeholders affects the Administration’s ability to achieve its strategic goals
  • Infrastructure: failure to prevent infrastructure failure or fire incident in the Palace of Westminster or other Lords building on the Estate
  • Finance: failure to manage financial resources effectively
  • R&R: failure to ensure that Lords’ requirements are reflected in the planning, design and delivery of R&R, including the acquisition and fit-out of the Lords temporary decant accommodation
  • Health and safety: failure to comply with health and safety requirements and successfully embed a safety culture across the Estate, results in a serious incident and/or possible loss of life on the estate.

In addition, each office maintains a risk register to support the effective management of operational risks to the delivery of local business plans. Heads of Office are responsible for developing mitigating actions and, when they consider that a particular risk can no longer be managed at an office (operational) level, they may escalate the risk to the corporate risk owner.



Below is a summary of the financial plan for the House of Lords Administration, as agreed by the House of Lords Commission in February.





House of Lords


Resource budget



Capital budget