Bulletin 25 March 2013

House of Commons Commission bulletin, 25 March 2013

Intelligence and Security Committee: The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) is a statutory committee of parliamentarians, currently staffed and funded by the Cabinet Office.  The Justice and Security Bill [Lords] contains provisions to extend the remit of the ISC and to rename it the “Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament”.  The change of name reflects a desire to make the ISC less governmental and more parliamentary.  In this context the Government has proposed that responsibility for resourcing the ISC should pass to Parliament.  The Commission agreed that it was willing in principle to take on responsibility for grant aiding the ISC and asked the House Service to undertake detailed work in partnership with the House of Lords to determine appropriate governance, financial and staffing arrangements that were consistent with the principles that apply to other bodies grant funded by the House. (Contact: Philippa Helme – x3286)

Diversity and Inclusion: The Commission considered an update on implementation of the House’s Diversity and Inclusion Scheme and activities to increase the representation of women and minority ethnic staff in the Senior Commons Service.  Recent achievements included the establishment of a further workplace equality network (ParliREACH), the development of tactile tours for visually impaired visitors, an improvement in the House’s rating in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index, and the inclusion in the Corporate Business Plan (see below) of targets to support an increase in the number of women and minority ethnic staff in senior posts. (Contact: Anne Foster – x1412)

Corporate Business Plan: The Commission amended and approved the House Service’s Corporate Business Plan for 2013/14 to 2015/16.  This will be published on the Parliament Website after the Easter recess.  (Contact: Matthew Hamlyn – x1706)

2013/14 Main Estimate: The Commission agreed to reduce the resource element of the 2013/14 Administration Estimate from £220 million to £218 million in light of the transfer of the cost of Members’ stationery and pre-paid envelopes to the Members Estimate agreed by the House on 20 March. (Contact: Myfanwy Barrett – x0833)

Pay offer: The Commission was briefed on progress with the negotiations relating to pay and reward for House staff.  The recognised unions are currently balloting their members with the outcomes due on 28 March. (Contact: Andrew Walker – x5460)

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

Commission membership: Mr Speaker (Chair), Sir Paul Beresford, Frank Doran, Angela Eagle, Andrew Lansley (Leader of the House) and John Thurso.