Skip to main content

House of Lords External Management Review published

27 January 2021

The House of Lords Commission has today welcomed the publication of a far-reaching, independent report into the running of the Lords Administration.

The External Management Review, conducted by Keith Leslie and his deputy, Liz Mohr, was set up to consider two of the key recommendations made by Naomi Ellenbogen QC in her 2019 report and to recommend wider improvements to the overall effectiveness of the Administration.  

The final report contains a detailed analysis of issues such as governance, leadership structures, management and people development. It makes 37 wide-ranging recommendations that together will constitute a major change in how the House is run. Among the recommendations are: 

  • The Clerk of the Parliaments should remain at the head of the Administration as Chief Executive and Accounting Officer, as well as being the principal procedural and constitutional adviser to the House; 
  • A new senior position of Chief Operating Officer should be established to provide leadership of the non-procedural areas and oversee major change programmes; 
  • The Commission should have an enhanced role to provide greater oversight and strategic direction to the Administration;
  • New staff career paths should be developed and work already underway accelerated to give everyone working in the Administration equal opportunities to progress;
  • Work already underway in the Administration to improve the inclusivity and working culture should be accelerated.

The Commission has accepted and welcomed the broad direction of the review and is committed to examining and taking forward the findings. It will hold a special standalone meeting in February to consider the recommendations in detail and to draw up an implementation plan. The Administration will appoint a programme director to work with the Commission in executing the agreed plan.

Lord Speaker's comment

Lord Fowler, Lord Speaker and Chairman of the Commission, said:

“This is a fundamentally important report. It provides a blueprint for how we as a Commission and the senior leadership in the Administration can work for the benefit of all who work in the House of Lords – and ultimately the public. Delivering on the findings will be a shared responsibility.

“The Commission will meet shortly to decide a process and timetable for the way forward, recognising that the incoming Clerk of the Parliaments and the new Chief Operating Officer – when appointed - will have a crucial role in deciding how some of the recommendations are implemented.”