§ 3.40 p.m.
§ The Chairman of Committees (Lord Aberdare)
My Lords, I beg to move that the Second Report from the Select Committee be agreed to.
There is only one paragraph of the report to which I shall draw your Lordships' particular attention; it is paragraph 2, "Accommodation". We should congratulate the noble Lord the Leader of the House on his success in obtaining additional finance for this House in order to lease accommodation on the third floor of No. 7 Millbank. That could well be a considerable contribution to solving the many problems which we face in the field of accommodation. I beg to move.
Moved, That the Second Report from the Select Committee be agreed to. (HL Paper 25).—(The Chairman of Committees.)
Following is the report referred to:
1. BLACK ROD
The Queen has approved the appointment of Admiral Sir Richard Thomas as Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod and Serjeant-at-Arms in succession to Sir John Gingell from 13th January 1992.
The Committee has agreed to the appointment of Sir Richard Thomas as Agent to the Administration and Works Sub-Committee to carry out on its behalf control of accommodation and services in the House of Lords area of the Palace of Westminster.
The Committee wishes to record on the occasion of his retirement its gratitude to Sir John Gingell for the assistance which it has received from him during the seven years he has served as Agent to the former Administration Sub-Committee.
The Leader of the House informed the Committee that additional funds have been made available to the House of Lords to lease accommodation on the third floor of No. 7 Millbank, where the House of Commons is arranging to lease certain other floors.
3. REPORT FROM THE FINANCE AND STAFF SUB-COMMITTEE
(1) Works Services and HMSO Expenditure
The Memorandum of Understanding approved by the House in July (3rd report, Session 1990–91, HL Paper 69) has now been signed by the Speaker and the Chairman of Committees on behalf of the two Houses. The Memorandum deals with the funding of works and the terms of reference and employment of the Director of Works. It provides for the House of Lords to pay 40 per cent. of the cost of joint works and of the Director and his staff. A space audit of the Palace of Westminster has confirmed that a 40:60 split between the Houses is appropriate.
The Committee has endorsed a proposed overall structure for the staffing of the Directorate of Works.
The two Houses will assume responsibility for funding expenditure on works and printing, publishing and office equipment from 1st April 1992. Negotiations on supply and service agreements with the Department of the Environment and HMSO are in progress.
It is expected that a Bill will be introduced this Session to make provision for the two Houses to hold property and enter 356 into contracts, by conferring the status of corporations sole on the Clerks of the two Houses, who would thus be able to act on behalf of their respective Houses.
(2) Financial Management
Initial proposals to introduce new financial monitoring and control arrangements in this House have been put forward in the light of the Ibbs Report to the House of Commons Commission (HC(1990–91)38). These involve decentralisation of the House of Lords Vote and delegated control of budgets, giving senior staff more responsibility for financial management. The Finance and Staff Sub-Committee has endorsed these proposals strongly. The Sub-Committee will be considering proposals for delegation of authority to the Clerk of the Parliaments in respect of certain categories of expenditure, thereby enabling the Sub-Committee and the Offices Committee to concentrate on policy issues rather than on the approval of items of expenditure which raise no novel issues.
The Offices Committee intends to keep the House informed of progress made and the part which Members of the House can play.
(3) Financial provision etc.
The Committee has agreed to the following recommendations from the Finance and Staff Sub-Committee—
(i) Works services and HMSO expenditure
Future arrangements for expenditure on works services and printing, publishing and office requirements.
(ii) Staff of the House
(iii) Parliamentary Broadcasting Unit
- (a) Creation of a post of sandwich student and
- (b) Extension for one year of a temporary post of Hansard word processor operator.
Provision for a 22 per cent. share of the salary and administrative costs of the Joint Supervisor of Parliamentary Broadcasting and his office.
(iv) Education Unit
Provision for a 22 per cent. share of the staff costs of the Education Unit of the House of Commons Library.
(v) Judicial fees
(a) Fees payable on judicial proceedings as follows—
(b) that fees payable to Nautical Assessors should in future be the same as those payable in the Admiralty Court and the Court of Appeal.
£ Petition of Appeal 60 Notice of Appearance.. 7 Waiver of Security for costs 15 Petition not referred to Appeal Committee
(including incidential petition to conjoin
30 Petition referred to Appeal Committee
(including report thereon)
35 Joint Petition (from each party thereto) 15 Application to set down for hearing 320 Final Judgment 35
(vi) Official Shorthand Writer
A revised scale of fees for the Shorthand Writer, subject to the continuing longer term review of the arrangements for shorthand writing in both Houses.
(vii) Hansard Reporting Staff
A revised scale of charges for the supply of an agency word processor operator.
(viii) Uniform allowances
An increase in the allowances paid to Clerks at the Table, the Gentleman Usher and the Yeoman Usher of the Black Rod and Doorkeepers for the purchase and maintenance of dress cloths.
The Committee took note of the following appointments by the Clerk of the Parliaments—Mr. D.L. Jones as Librarian from 1st August 1991.
Mr. P.G. Davis as Deputy Librarian from 1st August 1991.
Mr. D.J. Johnson as Clerk of the Records from 17th November 1991.
Mr. S.K. Ellison as Deputy Clerk of the Records from 17th November 1991.
Mr. D.A.W. Dunn as Staff Adviser from 1st November 1991. 357 Mrs. M.B. Bloor as a Clerk in the Committee Office from 31st October 1991.
Mr. J. Grist as the Supervisor of Parliamentary Broadcasting, a joint appointment with the House of Commons.
On the retirement of Mr. H.S. Cobb CBE as Clerk of the Records the Committee expressed its warm appreciation of his long and valuable service.
(5) Revised scales of pay and allowances
The Committee confirmed the application of the following Civil Service memoranda to staff of the House of Lords—
- (i) DEO letter dated 3 May 1991—Pay of Legal Officer.
- (ii) DEO letter dated 17 May 1991—Pay of Clerks at AT and HEO(D) level.
- (iii) CM/956—Pay of Administrative Staff below Grade 7 and automatic data processing allowances.
- (iv) CM/960—Responsibility allowances.
- (v) CM/965—Pay of staff linked to IPMS grades.
- (vi) CM/967—Pay of Grades 4, 5, 6 and 7.
- (vii) CM/968—Subsistence and meal allowances.
- (viii) GM/463—Fees to Specialist Advisers.
- (ix) IM91/2—Industrial staff pay.
- (x) GC/375—Performance related bonus to staff employed under fixed termed appointments.
The Committee was notified of the following awards made under the House of Lords Staff Pension Scheme—
- (a) Revised pension and lump sum to Mrs. M. Jones, Cleaner, who retired on 20th April 1991;
- (b) Pension and lump sum to Mr. R.H.V.C. Morgan, CBE, Librarian, who retired on 1st August 1991;
- (c) Preserved pension and lump sum to Mrs. G.A. Morgan, Reporter, who resigned on 19th October 1989;
- (d) Pension and lump sum to Mrs. K. Wills, Cleaner, who retired on 26th October 1991;
- (e) Pension and lump sum to Mrs. J.A. Seager, Cleaner, who retired on 26th October 1991;
- (f) Pension and lump sum to Mr. J.H. Davis, Senior Doorkeeper, who retired on 1st November 1991;
- (g) Pension and lump sum to Mr. W.A. Titmarsh, Judical Doorkeeper, who retired on 3rd November 1991;
- (h) Pension and lump sum to Mr. P. Reardon, Nightwatchman, who retired on 3rd November 1991;
- (i) Pension and lump sum to Mr. H.S. Cobb, CBE, Clerk of the Records, who retired on 17th November 1991.
4. VEHICLE ACCESS AND NEW PASS OFFICE
The Committee has approved a recommendation from the Finance and Staff and Administration and Works Sub-Committees that provision be made within the parliamentary works programme for design studies and consultations with regulatory and other interested bodies on improved traffic access into the Palace of Westminster via Black Rod's Garden and for a new security gate house there.
The Committee has also authorised an investigation into ways of improving parking facilities for the House of Lords.
5. CHAIRMAN'S ADVISORY PANEL ON WORKS OF ART
The Committee has agreed that the following Lords should form the Chairman's Advisory Panel on Works of Art—
M. Cholmondeley V. Hood L. Fanshawe of Richmond L. Crathorne L. Morgan B. Trumpington B. David L. Palumbo L. Gibson (Chairman) B. Ewart-Biggs L. Renton
Lord Bruce of Donington
My Lords, I raise the question of paragraph 3(2) of the report which refers to financial management. The last sentence of that paragraph states:The Sub-Committee will be considering proposals for delegation of authority to the Clerk of the Parliaments in respect of certain categories of expenditure, thereby enabling the Sub-Committee and the Offices Committee to concentrate on policy issues rather than on the approval of items of expenditure which raise no novel issues".I am sure that the House would be glad to know just what are the certain categories of expenditure which the committee has in mind.
358 At present I believe that certain proposals are being considered about the work of the Select Committees of your Lordships' House, particularly the Select Committees dealing with EC affairs and various other Select Committees. I should like to be assured that if expenditure on those committees is included in the term "certain categories", your Lordships' House will have the opportunity to consider the report which, I understand, is now being prepared as a result of questionnaires that have been sent out to Members of your Lordships' House concerning the functions of the Select Committees to which I have referred.
§ The Chairman of Committees
My Lords, most of those matters will go to the Finance and Staff Sub-Committee of the Offices Committee. It is only the Offices Committee itself which we hope will be able to deal with matters of major principle. All matters of finance will be considered in detail by the Finance and Staff Sub-Committee.
§ Lord Cocks of Hartcliffe
My Lords, if some of your Lordships are to be accommodated at 7 Millbank, how much time does the committee think should be allowed for your Lordships to get into the Division Lobbies?
§ The Chairman of Committees
My Lords, I am afraid that that matter still has to be considered.
On Question, Motion agreed to.