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Palace of Westminster Restoration and Renewal Project

Volume 597: debated on Thursday 18 June 2015

10. What steps the National Audit Office plans to take to monitor and scrutinise spending on the Palace of Westminster restoration and renewal project. (900404)

The current arrangements for the audit of the House of Commons by the Comptroller and Auditor General differ from those for the public bodies which allow him the right to examine the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of public expenditures under the National Audit Act 1983. As a consequence, any examination of the restoration and renewal programme would require the House to request him formally—he must be requested; he has no right—to review and report on these expenditures. Those arrangements secure the absolute independence of the House.

My constituents in Airdrie and Shotts and people from across these isles will demand value for money in this project. How will they be able to feed into and scrutinise the process?

Of course we must have value for money on this project. The National Audit Office is already involved: it is working with the project managers and will be looking at the finances on a continual basis. The House must report its finances. If the hon. Gentleman can restrain his impatience, the independent options appraisal will be published this afternoon, and for my part, I hope we can be allowed to stay here.