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House of Commons Commission decisions – 20 July 2020

23 July 2020


  • The Speaker, in the Chair
  • Jacob Rees-Mogg
  • Valerie Vaz
  • Sir Charles Walker
  • Dame Rosie Winterton
  • Pete Wishart
  • Dr John Benger (Clerk of the House)
  • Ian Ailles (Director General)
  • Jane McCall (External member)


  • Dr Rima Makarem (External member)



1.  Reports and updates

a.    Covid-19 update
b.    Written updates from the Domestic Committees

The Commission noted updates from the Chair of the Covid-19 Planning Group and from the Chairs of the Administration and Finance Committees.

2.  Proposed change to the Northern Estate Programme and use of Richmond House during Norman Shaw North Refurbishment

As part of a scoping exercise, the Commission agreed to the preparation of a revised plan to use Richmond House as accommodation for Members during the refurbishment of Norman Shaw North and to create better welfare facilities for House staff. This work will be undertaken whilst the proposals to create a replica House of Commons Chamber within a redeveloped Richmond House are subject to the Strategic Review being undertaken by the Restoration and Renewal Sponsor Body. A final decision on the use of Richmond House will be made in November after the publication of the strategic review.

The Commission issued a statement, which can be found here.

3.  Impact of NEP decision, forthcoming Commons Executive Board changes, and possible future composition of CEB and House Service Teams

The Commission:

a)    agreed a renewed focus for the House Service, that it should prioritise the delivery of core parliamentary functions and services for Members; and

b)   noted and agreed some changes to senior management roles which will help deliver those priorities, the Northern Estate Programme changes, and major estates programmes.


4.  House Service Strategy update, Corporate Business Plan and financial planning for 2020–21 and 2021–22

a.  House Service Strategy 2019–25 update and the Draft Corporate Business Plan 2020–21

The Commission:

  • Provided feedback on the proposed metrics for monitoring implementation of the House Service Strategy 2019–25; and
  • approved the Corporate Business Plan for 2020–21.

b.  Financial planning: Financial Year 2020–21

The Commission agreed its preferred way forward to allow the House Service to reorganise its resources to manage the impacts of Covid-19.

c.   Financial planning and financial remit for 2021–22

The Commission agreed:

  • that the focus of the next Medium-Term Financial Plan should be on developing robust budgets for 2021–22, with indicative budgets for the subsequent three years; and
  • the proposal for a simpler financial remit for 2021–22 focused on the overall growth in cash budgets, with the baseline to be agreed in the Autumn.

d.  Resolutions of the Members Estimate Committee 2020–21

The Members Estimate Committee agreed its annual publication on the Consolidated list of provisions of the Resolutions of the House relating to expenditure charged to the Estimate for the House of Commons: Members (as required under Standing order 152D).

5.  Principles for reopening banqueting and paid-for tours                

Subject to ongoing wider decisions on access to the Parliamentary Estate relating to Covid-19, the Commission approved the proposed principles for restarting banqueting and paid-for tours.

6.  ICGS 18-month review update

The Commission noted:

a.    The proposed timeline for the 18-month review;

b.    The progress towards a final terms of reference for the review and the appointment of the independent reviewer; and

c.    The progress towards appointing an advisory panel.

7.  Appointments to the Committee on Standards

The Commission:

  • Agreed the nomination to the House of Ms Melanie Carter and Professor Michael Maguire to be the two replacement lay members of the Committee on Standards for a period of six years each;
  • Agreed that, in the case of one or both of the selected candidates not being able to take up the position, or of a further vacancy being created in the next 12 months, the panel be asked to recommend one of the reserve candidates for appointment.
  • Agreed the draft report to the House on the current recruitment round, based on the selection panel report; and
  • Agreed to the tabling of a motion by a Commissioner, on behalf of the Commission, to give effect to the appointments.

8.  Papers to note:

The Commission/MEC took note of the following papers:

  • Cultural transformation update
  • Risk update
  • R&R strategic review update
  • Draft Forward Programme
  • Deliberations from Monday 29 June


9.  Any other business


10.  Date of next meeting  

The next meeting of the Commission/MEC will take place on Monday 14 September at 10.00 am in Speaker's Study and via Microsoft Teams.

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