House of Commons Commission - Twenty-Third Annual Report


Twenty-third Annual Report 2000-01

         1.  This Report of the House of Commons Commission, required by Section 1(3) of the House of Commons (Administration) Act 1978, covers the financial year 2000-01. As in previous Reports it has been necessary to include some reference to events outside the period.
Form of the Report

         2.  This Annual Report continues the substantive form of the previous Report, with a general introduction followed by a section by the Board of Management. These parts are followed by sections summarising the organisation and services of each Department of the House which outline progress on business plans, as well as setting out objectives. The Report also contains information about salary scales and allowances in the House of Commons Service, together with details of numbers, pay, and grading (Annex B). The First Report of the newly established Audit Committee is also incorporated. This Report is available in electronic form.[2]
Work of the Commission

         3.  The Commission held nine meetings during the course of the financial year.
Questions to the Commission

         4.  Questions to the Commission are answered once a month together with Questions to the President of the Council. Mr Archy Kirkwood MP answers Parliamentary Questions on behalf of the Commission. 52 questions were tabled during the Financial Year 2000-01.
Accounting Officer

         5.  Sir William McKay KCB has been Accounting Officer since January 1998 on his appointment as Clerk of the House of Commons.
House of Commons Expenditure

         6.  The House has moved to a Resource budget from 2001-02. This report shows both the historical and current figures in cash terms. An adjustment under the appropriate tables shows the difference between the net resource and net cash requirements. It should be noted that the definition of capital expenditure used in the tables has changed as a result of resource budgeting. The figures used in the tables reflect the old usage. The adjustment under each table takes account of the new classification.
The Vote for the House of Commons: Administrative Expenditure (Class XVIII, A, Vote 1), 2000-01

         7.  Estimates for 2000-01: A summary of the Estimate and Outturn for 2000-01 is set out in Tables 1 & 2. The provisional outturn was £161,157,000, which was £2,864,000 or 1.7% less than the Estimate, due in the main to lower than forecast expenditure on salaries etc, travel, printing, security and capital expenditure.
The Supply Estimate for the House of Commons Administration 2001-02

         8.  The Summary Request for Supply for the administrative expenditure of the House in 2001-02, which was laid on the Table by the Speaker on 2 April 2001, amounted to a request for resources of £199,794,000, which included a request for £15,588,000 on capital expenditure and a cash requirement of £141,110,000. The cash requirement is summarised in Tables 1 & 2. The Supply Estimate and forward plans include provision for development of computer-based services and replacement of computer equipment. Major items include final work on the new parliamentary building (Portcullis House), refurbishment of the Norman Shaw South building, cabling of the House for the Parliamentary Data and Video Network, Committee room air conditioning and restoration, fire compartmentation and stone cleaning.
         9.  An illustrative chart of the House of Commons Votes for 2001-02 is set out at Table 3 and a five-year summary in Table 4.
History of Parliament Trust: Grant-in-Aid

         10.  Since the financial year 1995-96, the History of Parliament Trust has received its Grant-in-Aid from the Commons Administration Vote. In the Estimates for 2001-02 a provision of £1,059,000 has been made. It is set out in Table 1. Progress on the History is broadly satisfactory though we think it needs to be the subject of continued scrutiny.
British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body

         11.  The UK element of the British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body continues to be financed by a Grant-In-Aid from HM Treasury. It operates under the oversight of an Executive Board consisting of the British Co-Chairman and Vice-Chairmen of the Body, a representative of the Commission, the Director of Finance Policy and the British Clerk to the Body (who acts as Secretary to the Board). The Opposition Vice-Chairman acts as Accounting Officer and the Comptroller and Auditor General has been appointed as Auditor. The Board met three times during 2000-01.

2   On both the Internet ( under 'Publications on the Internet/Other House of Commons Papers') and via the PDVN on the Parliamentary Intranet. Back

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Prepared 17 July 2001