To ask the hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed, as representing the House of Commons Commission, if the House of Commons Commission will arrange for an efficiency scrutiny of the House; and if he, will make a statement.
The efficient working of the staff of the House is scrutinised on a continuing basis by the Board of Management, and by the Staff Inspectorate and the Internal Auditor, both of whom report directly to the Commission. Authority for additional expenditure or services must be obtained from the Accounting Officer and be approved by the Commission.After a comprehensive series of inspections, a unified pay and grading structure has been agreed with the trade unions representing staff of the House, which contributes to the requirements of the House of Commons Administration Act that pay and conditions of staff of the House are kept broadly in line with those in the Home Civil Service.The Staff Inspector has now been instructed to conduct a rolling programme of reviews of specific areas of the work of the House Departments; and this rolling programme will be reviewed every six months. An important part of the Staff Inspector's reviews is, of course, to examine the efficient and economical use of resources.