Select Committee on House Second Report


5 March 2003

  The House Committee has agreed a Strategic Plan for the House of Lords administration. The Plan, which will be subject to annual review, sets out the aim, objectives, values and primary tasks of the Clerk of the Parliaments and the staff of the House for the years 2003-08. The text of the Strategic Plan is as follows:



  The aim of the House of Lords administration is:

  To enable the House, together with its Members, to carry out its parliamentary and judicial functions fully and effectively, and to give value for money.


  The four objectives of the House of Lords administration are:

  1.  To ensure that the House and its committees have the necessary procedural, information, research, administrative and security support to meet at any time and in any circumstances.

  2.  To provide all Members of the House (and their staff) with the services they need, including appropriate accommodation and facilities, in support of their parliamentary and judicial duties, regardless of party or office.

  3.  To provide the public with information and with access to the proceedings of the House, so as to enhance awareness and understanding of the House's work.

  4.  To maintain the heritage and integrity of the House's buildings, objects and documents.

Core Values

  The administration will be guided by the following core values and principles:

    —  Respect for the importance and dignity of Parliament.

    —  Professional excellence.

    —  Honesty and integrity.

    —  Impartiality.

    —  Accountability.

    —  Efficiency in maximising the return on all inputs.

    —  Fairness and respect among its staff.

    —  Openness.

Primary Tasks

  The administration has identified 14 primary tasks for the period 2003-08. How these tasks will be implemented will be detailed in annual business plans. The order in which the tasks are set out is not intended to indicate their relative importance. In fulfilling its objectives, the House of Lords administration will seek to:

  1.  Ensure that the provision of services to Members of the House is managed efficiently and effectively and in a way which is responsive to their wishes.

  2.  Anticipate and provide for the needs of a changing House.

  3.  Provide sufficient accommodation and facilities to allow Members, Members' staff and the staff of the House to work in an efficient and safe environment while maintaining the fabric and heritage of the parliamentary estate.

  4.  Develop a system of corporate governance and internal control which is open, effective and accountable; and make further progress with implementing sound financial management.

  5.  Implement a programme to obtain value for money in all the administration's activities and resources.

  6.  Continue to make security arrangements which are appropriate to the assessed level of threat and allow the House to function effectively, and develop contingency plans to enable the House and its committees to continue their work under any circumstances.

  7.  Develop a strategy for effective communications between the administration and Members of the House, and within the administration.

  8.  Promote public understanding and knowledge of the House through the development of an external communications strategy in all media including print, electronic and speaking activities, and improve both physical access and facilities for visitors.

  9.  Exploit information systems and technology so as to give parliamentary and public users ready access to a wide range of parliamentary information, when they want it and without having to know where it is held.

  10.  Extend the electronic delivery of services wherever appropriate.

  11.  Pursue human resources policies which promote the recruitment, retention and development through training of staff of high calibre; which encourage diversity and support innovation; and which provide staff with the skills and motivation to meet the needs of the House.

  12.  Ensure that records in all media are created, used and disposed of in accordance with the business, legal, evidential and archival needs of the House by applying recognised standards and best practice in records management.

  13.  Develop relationships at the administrative level with devolved Parliaments and assemblies, Commonwealth Parliaments and European Union institutions and Parliaments.

  14.  Improve existing arrangements for shared services with the House of Commons and explore new areas where shared services could benefit the House of Lords and Parliament.

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