Bulletin 23 June 2011

House of Commons Commission bulletin, 23 June 2011

International parliamentary bodies (ie British Group of IPU, CPA UK, British American Parliamentary Group, British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly).

Levels of grant-in-aid for 2011/12 have been agreed.  For the future there will be new funding arrangements designed to improve transparency, coordination and accountability and to set clear parameters for the bodies’ access to House services.  New financial memoranda from 2012/13 will ensure that all expenditure is based on business plans setting out programmes and activities and takes account of previous outturn expenditure.  (Contact: Mark Hutton – 3314)

‘Respect Policy’

The Members’ Handbook sets out what Members are entitled to expect from House staff and vice versa (pages 10–11).  The ‘Respect Policy’ (PDF PDF 335 KB) now in place, establishes procedures for dealing effectively with complaints of inappropriate behaviour by Members or Members’ staff towards House staff, and will help to safeguard the House from damage to its reputation.  The expectation is that most cases will be resolved informally, but where that cannot be achieved there is an escalation procedure, involving nominated directors in each department, nominated whips and finally Mr Speaker as Chairman of the Commission.  (Contact: Sue Harrison – 3686)

Members’ stationery and postage.

The Commission has agreed in principle to relax the rules in several respects to bring them into line with IPSA’s.  New rules will be made available when they have been agreed.  In the meantime the rules set out in the Green Book remain in force.  (Contact: Andrew Walker – 5460)

Employment issues. 

IPSA is encouraging all Members to take out insurance to cover the cost of employment disputes, and will not cover such costs where insurance has not been obtained.  However, it has not negotiated an overall policy which Members can buy into.  Mr Speaker is pursuing the matter with IPSA.  (Contact: Andrew Walker – 5460)

Olympic Games and access. 

 The Commission has emphasised the importance of vehicle access to Parliament being maintained in the period up to and including the Olympic Games.  (Contact: Jill Pay – 3030)

Observations on matters in the bulletin or other aspects of the House’s administration should be sent to gerholddj@parliament.uk for the attention of the Commission.

Commission membership: Mr Speaker (Chair), Hilary Benn, Sir Paul Beresford, Frank Doran, John Thurso, Sir George Young (Leader of the House).