Bulletin 26 January 2012

House of Commons Commission bulletin, 26 January 2012

Market testing.  Four services have been identified as priorities for preliminary work under the market testing strand of the savings programme (catering, cleaning, reception services and logistics and Print Services).  That preliminary work consists of in-house teams preparing their own improvement and efficiency plans and market research; only later would a decision be made on whether to test the market formally.  The staff concerned and the trade unions are being kept informed.  (Contact: John Borley – 6551)

Modernisation of the Palace of Westminster.  Mechanical and electrical plant at risk of failure during the next ten years is already being dealt with under a medium-term programme.  Longer-term options for modernisation of the Palace will be the subject of an initial study over the next year.  Decisions will not be made until the 2015 Parliament, and the work is unlikely to begin before 2020.  The Commission’s press release (PDF PDF 89 KB) points out that the Palace, including the Clock Tower, remains structurally sound.  (Contact: John Borley – 6551)

Supplementary Estimate.  The planned Supplementary Estimate will reduce the House Administration budget by £19.6 million, making a technical accounting adjustment corresponding to the £19.6 million increase in the valuation of the Parliamentary Estate.   The Commission is seeking to reduce the impact on the budget of such changes in ‘non-cash costs’ (valuations of the Estate and staff pension liabilities), which do not involve actual spending and cannot be managed.  (Contact: Myfanwy Barrett – 0833)

Diversity and Inclusion Scheme. 
This new Scheme updates the current House Equality Scheme.  It shifts the emphasis from compliance to promoting change.  Important aspects include disability and making the House’s workforce at senior levels more representative.  It will be placed on the intranet shortly.  (Contact: Anne Foster – 1412)

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), Sir Paul Beresford, Frank Doran, Angela Eagle, John Thurso, Sir George Young (Leader of the House).