Annual Report 2001-02

ANNUAL REPORT 2002-03

Finance and Staff

97. Additional staff were appointed in a number of areas to meet the requirements of Members and in response to increased levels of activity in the House. Amongst the posts created were:

  • Two new posts in the Accountant's Office at middle management level to assist in the introduction of resource-based budgeting and better management information.
  • New posts of Committee Clerks, Research Assistants and support staff to increase the support available to investigative committees.
  • A new post of Financial Adviser, initially for a period of two years, to meet the recommendation of the Working Group on Management and Services for greater financial expertise; and a new post of Assistant Internal Auditor.
  • New posts to support the Clerk of the Parliaments, the Audit Committee and the Management Board in discharging their administrative functions.
  • Two additional Hansard Reporter posts to meet increases in the number of Grand Committee sittings.
  • Additional support for the Computer Office to meet the growing needs of Members and staff, including a Business Systems Support Consultant and a Technical Support Manager.

Audit and Risk Management

98. The Administration continues to monitor corporate governance developments in the public sector. Work is currently under way to develop local risk registers for all Offices of the House.

99. The Internal Audit programme for 2002-03 included reviews of postal services; invoice verification procedures; the provision of accounting information from the House of Commons; and an evaluation of new point-of-sale technology in the Refreshment Department. A review of Peers' expenses and allowances was also undertaken in collaboration with the National Audit Office. All audit findings and management responses are now considered by the Audit Committee.

House of Lords' Cash Expenditure 2002-03

100. The table below sets out the main elements of the House of Lords' cash expenditure in 2002-03, together with the cash requirement for 2003-04.

HOUSE OF LORDS CASH EXPENDITURE

A summary of the House of Lords' cash expenditure over the past five years, together with a more detailed statement of cash expenditure in 2002-03 broken down between offices, appears in Appendix E. The two charts below give a percentage breakdown of the main elements of expenditure.

Administration Expenditure

101. Provision for Peers' expenses and general administration costs in 2002-03 was £39,643,000, which was increased by a spring supplementary estimate to £42,239,000. Expenditure totalled £40,463,000.

102. The administration net cash requirement for 2003-04 was set by the House Committee at £45,201,000.

Works Expenditure

103. Provision for works services in 2002-03 was £17,765,000, which was increased
by a spring supplementary estimate of £339,000 to £18,104,000. Expenditure was £17,106,000. This underspend was due to delays in the implementation of large capital projects.

104. The works services net cash requirement for 2003-04 was set by the House Committee at £23,335,000.

Refreshment Department

105. Turnover for the year was at a record level of £3.26m, representing a 19.3% increase over 2001-02. After transfers and appropriations, a surplus of £710,000 was returned to the Exchequer.

106. Mr Tim Lamming succeeded Mr Alfio Bibbiani as Head of Catering Services.
On his retirement after 22 years, Mr Bibbiani was awarded an honorary OBE.

Future Expenditure and the Spending Review 2002

107. Expenditure plans for the House of Lords for the years 2003­04, 2004­05 and 2005­06 were approved by the Finance and Staff Sub-Committee for inclusion in the Government's Spending Review 2002. In July 2002 the Treasury indicated that they preferred to consider the funding requirements of the House on an annual basis over the period covered by the Spending Review. The requirements for 2003­04 were subsequently approved.

Security Fund Account

108. Under the Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876, security must be provided for the cost of certain civil appeals. Details of the lodgements of security and repayments will be included in the Resource Accounts for 2002-03.

Remuneration and Expenses of Members of the House

109. Remuneration for Members of the House is restricted to Ministers, to the Leader and Chief Whip of the main opposition party, to the Chairman and Principal Deputy Chairman of Committees and to Lords of Appeal in Ordinary. Of these, only the Chairman and Principal Deputy Chairman of Committees' salaries and that part of the Lord Chancellor's salary attributable to his duties as Speaker of the House are paid from House of Lords' funds.

110. For other Members of the House, expenses may be reimbursed in accordance with the Peers' Reimbursement Allowance Scheme. The limits within which they may be reimbursed, applicable at 31 March 2003, are given in Appendix F. Total expenditure on Peers' expenses in 2002-03 was £13.39m (compared with £10.01m in 2001-02 and £8.41m in 2000-01). The increase is a result of the substantial increases in allowances recommended by the Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB) and implemented by Resolution of the House with effect from June 2001. Higher expenditure is anticipated in 2003-04 and a cash requirement of £14.97m was approved.

111. Following agreement by the SSRB, on 5 March 2003 the House approved a new allowance to enable Members to claim certain costs arising from visits on Parliamentary business to the EU institutions or the national parliaments of EU member states or candidate countries.

112. Financial assistance to the two main Opposition parties in carrying out their Parliamentary business in the House has been provided from House of Lords' funds since 1996. Similar assistance has been provided to the Convenor of the Cross Bench Peers since 1999. The sums payable are uprated annually on 1 April in line with the Retail Price Index. On 30 July 2002, the House approved substantial increases in the available sums. With effect from 1 April 2002, a sum of £390,555 was available to the Official Opposition; £195,000 to the Liberal Democrat Opposition; and £35,000 to the Convenor of the Cross Bench Peers to provide secretarial assistance. The sums paid are subject to independent audit. In addition, it was agreed that PCs, related equipment and appropriate IT support should be provided to the opposition whips' offices and the office of the Convenor by the Computer Office and funded by the House.


 
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