Review of Management and Services: Report to the House of Commons Commission Part 16



16.1    Paragraph 48 of the Ibbs Report said:

  “It is one thing to develop ideas for change that will improve the performance of an organisation. It is quite another actually to bring about such change within an established institution, particularly when complex services have to be maintained to exacting standards while the changes take place”

  We agree. Our recommendations are not as radical as those in the Ibbs Report, but their implementation will require a comprehensive programme of change management.

16.2    Important elements will be:

  • commitment on the part of the Commission and senior management
  • active involvement of staff at all levels, particularly drawing on and reinforcing the Investors in People process
  • clear understanding of the benefits, and a desire to achieve them
  • realism about the difficulties which will need to be overcome
  • appreciation of the burden. Many of those who will have to bring about or respond to change have more than enough to do already. It will be important to ensure that the speed and method of change does not adversely affect the delivery of services
  • milestones for achieving changes, regular reporting, and measurement of performance

16.3    As with the Ibbs settlement, we recommend the appointment of a change manager. He or she should report through the Clerk to the Speaker as Chairman of the House of Commons Commission, and lead a group of senior officials of all Departments to implement change. He or she will naturally keep the Board of Management closely informed, and, as with the Ibbs process, should have the right of access to them.

16.4    A keen understanding of the House and its work, and familiarity with Departments, will be essential, and the change manager must therefore be a senior member of the House service. However, he or she should draw on professional help and advice from outside the House, which should also be available to the Commission and the Clerk.

16.5    The change manager should not be directly involved in the modified structure, but will need assistance from those who are, and especially from the Office of the Clerk, which should be established as a priority.

16.6    The planning of the change programme will need to take into account the study of the Parliamentary Works Directorate and other structural issues in the Serjeant’s Department which we have recommended, and to embrace any recommendations which may flow from it.

16.7    Our recommendations of course have shorter–term resource implications; we are confident that they will be more than self–financing.

16.8    As a matter of good practice, a review similar to our own should take place in about five years’ time.

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Prepared 26 July 1999