(Clerk: David Beamish)
The Office facilitates contacts between the House
of Lords and overseas parliaments and international assemblies;
and provides advice and support to Members, including the Lord
Chancellor or his representative, when attending conferences overseas.
The Clerk of the Overseas Office undertakes the duties
of the Office in addition to being Clerk of Committees. He is
supported by one full-time member of staff, the Visits Co-ordinator.
3 Activities and Financial Performance
Many of the activities of the Office during 1999-2000
are described in the Review of the Year (paragraphs 38 to 44).
The Clerk of the Overseas Office, the Visits Co-ordinator
and 5 other volunteer members of staff provided support to the
United Kingdom Branch in the running of the annual Commonwealth
Parliamentary Conference, held in London and Edinburgh in September
Lord Russell-Johnston continued as President of the
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and the Office
continued to provide support for him at Westminster in this role.
In addition, the Visits Co-ordinator attended, at the Assembly's
invitation, 3 of its 4 part-sessions in Strasbourg.
In August 2000 the Clerk of the Parliaments visited
Denmark and Greenland at the invitation of the Secretary-General
of the Danish Parliament and the Clerk of the Overseas Office
attended the Canadian Clerks' annual Professional Development
Seminar in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.
The Office received, and prepared programmes for,
officials from overseas parliaments on attachment to the House
of Commons and dealt with a wide range of enquiries and communications
from overseas parliaments, including letters to the Lord Chancellor
as Speaker of the House from Speakers of other Parliaments.
Budget provision in 2000-01 was £283,100; actual
expenditure was £203,426 (£191,851 in 1999-2000). The
underspend was due to lower than expected expenditure on parliamentary
4 Future Activities
Forthcoming Speakers' Conferences include:
- the annual Conference of European Union Speakers
to be held in Stockholm from 13 to 15 September 2001, and
- the biennial Conference of Commonwealth Speakers
to be held in Botswana in January 2002.