§ Sir Gerard Vaughan
To ask the hon. Member for Berwick upon Tweed, as representing the House of Commons Commission, what progress is being made with implementing the Ibbs report; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Beith
Following the generally favourable response of hon. Members in the "take note" debate in the House on 17 January,Official Report, columns 1046–84, the Commission has been making progress towards implementing the main recommendations in accordance, so far as possible, with the timetable proposed in Sir Robin Ibbs's report "House of Commons Services"—HC 38. Competitions for the new posts of Director of Finance and Administration, and Director of Works, have been organised with the assistance of appropriate management consultants. The new Director of Finance and Administration, Mr. James Rodda, currently director of finance and administration at the London Futures and Options Exchange, will assume the headship of the renamed Finance and Administration Department on 514W Monday 1 July. The appointment of a new Director of Works within the Departmnent of the Serjeant at Arms will be announced shortly.
Negotiations are in train for the transfer to the Commission of responsibility for the cost of printing, stationery and office supplies, currently accounted for by HMSO—class XVIII, vote 17; and for the Commons component of the parliamentary works budget, currently accounted for by the Department of the Environment—class VIII, vote 7. An announcement of the likely date of transfer of formal vote responsibility for these and other activities will be made in due course.
Discussions are also in train to draw up appropriate draft standing orders for the new Select Committees which the Ibbs report proposes should replace the Select Committee on House of Commons (Services), and new terms of reference for the Board of Management. I understand that the authorities of the House of Lords are adapting their own procedures and administrative arrangements to keep in line with the implementation of the Ibbs report programme in this House. Other consequences of the recommendations in the Ibbs report are being implemented by the Commission as speedily as possible, although full account is being taken at every stage of the views and interests of other bodies and individuals concerned.