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House of Commons (Governance)

Volume 598: debated on Wednesday 15 July 2015

(Representing the House of Commons Commission): Following the House’s agreement on 9 July to a motion appointing Sir Paul Beresford, Tom Brake, Nicholas Brown and Stewart Hosie to the House of Commons Commission, the Commission met on 13 July for the first time since the House of Commons Commission Act 2015 took effect. The majority of the meeting focused on progress with implementation of the recommendations of the Select Committee on House of Commons Governance.

The Commission noted that the final interviews for the new post of director general of the House of Commons had been held on 2 July, and hoped that it would be possible to announce an appointment shortly.

The Commission agreed a delegation under the terms of paragraph 5 of schedule 1 of the House of Commons Administration Act 1978 to establish an Executive Committee to replace the Management Board and to set out the authority for senior appointments. This delegation is appended to the “decisions” of the meeting, which are published on the Parliament website at:

The new Executive Committee’s main delegated responsibilities will be delivery of the strategy to be agreed by the Commission and ensuring that the terms and conditions of staff are consistent with the Commission’s statutory duties. Pending the outcome of a senior management review, the Executive Committee will comprise the director general of the House of Commons (once appointed) as chair, the Clerk of the House of Commons, the head of the Department of Chamber and Committee Services, the head of the Department of Facilities, the Director of Finance, the head of the Department of Human Resources and Change and the head of the Department of Information Services. In addition the Executive Committee may co-opt the director of the parliamentary digital service and/or the parliamentary security director into its membership.

The Commission agreed that Tom Brake would act as its spokesperson, and that he would answer all questions tabled to the Commission and the Members Estimate Committee.

The Commission agreed that to improve transparency, it would publish its agendas on the Parliament website prior to its meetings.

The Commission agreed to begin the process of recruiting its external members in September. In the meantime, the former external members of the Management Board will continue to attend by invitation.

The Commission also up-dated its statement of membership, functions and practice to reflect the changes that have occurred as a result of the Governance Committee’s report. In particular, it agreed that its quorum should increase from three to five, to include four members and one official.