Bulletin 16 December 2010

House of Commons Commission bulletin, 16 December 2010

This is the first Commission bulletin, and is intended to make it easier for Members to follow the work of the Commission and to contribute to it.

Savings programme and 2011/12 spending

The proposed savings affecting services to Members have been approved individually by the Commission, in some cases with provisos. Other savings of a more administrative character will be made by the Management Board under delegated powers; see the full list (PDF PDF 298 KB). These savings were necessary to keep spending on House administration below the baseline of £231 million; spending in 2011/12 is now planned to be £228 million. Work on proposals for radical redesign of services and organisation and for income generation will begin early in 2011.

Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in London in 2011

In line with the aims of the savings programme, it has been possible to reduce the budget for the conference by 16%.

International Relations Directorate

The new Directorate will from 1 April bring together the two Houses’ international activities, including the work of the British Group of the IPU, the CPA UK Branch and the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly. The aim is to ensure greater clarity and coherence in those activities and deliver a service to Members greater than the sum of the individual parts. A new International Relations Consultative Committee, with Members from both Houses, will advise the Commission and the Lords House Committee on matters that do not fall to the delegations or groups, including the overall strategy.

Members Estimate audit

The Members Estimate Committee (MEC) has responded to the NAO’s remarks in its audit of expenses payments in 2009/10. It points out that the NAO conclusions do not indicate that any payments were improper and that it is not clear what further evidence could have been provided to support travel claims. See the MEC statement (PDF PDF 29 KB) and the resource accounts containing the NAO’s observations.

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).