I beg to move,
That Mr Nicholas Brown, Bob Russell, Laura Sandys, Mr Charles Walker and Ms Rosie Winterton be appointed under Schedule 3 to the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 as members of the Speaker’s Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority until the end of the present Parliament.
The motion sets out the nominees for membership of the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, the composition and functions of which are defined in the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009. I remind the House that the Committee is a statutory body established under the Act, not a Committee of this House, which is why its members are being nominated by a Government motion.
There are five nominees, who will sit alongside three ex officio members. The first of those ex officio members is the Speaker. The others are my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House of Commons and the Chairman of the Standards and Privileges Committee. The nominees are drawn from recommendations from both sides of the House.
My hon. Friend is listing excellent members of the Committee and I am sure that it will be first class, but will the Committee have the opportunity to report to the House? Some Speaker’s Committees have a quarter-hour slot for question time in the House, and it would be most useful if that Committee reported to the House via one of its members. In that way, we could keep updated and ask some questions.
I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for that point. The duties and functions of the Committee are fairly closely defined by the Act. Its only functions are to ratify the nomination of IPSA’s chair and board members before they are put to the House, and to approve the estimate—a very important function—so there are perhaps limited requirements for reporting, but I think he makes a valid point. We have such an arrangement for the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission. I shall certainly take his suggestion on board and see whether an arrangement can be made for the Committee to be answerable to this House.
As I said, the nominees are drawn from recommendations from both sides of the House and I very much hope that they will be accepted by both sides. I commend the motion to the House.
I welcome the setting up in this Parliament of the new Speaker’s Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, as defined in the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009, amended by the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010.
I add my support to the suggestion that we are reaching the point where we need some feedback. Hon. Members have raised a number of issues and having some sort of question time slot would be helpful. We know that the public want to have full confidence in our system here in Parliament, but it is equally important that Members of Parliament have full confidence in the system, and perhaps that is what we need to develop.
I welcome the nomination of those Members listed in the motion. I hope that it helps the House to move forward on this issue.
Question put and agreed to.