Annual Report 2002-03

ANNUAL REPORT 2002-03

Office Reports

House of Lords Administration: Organisation Chart

INTRODUCTION

1. The House of Lords' administration (excluding staff of the political parties or individual Members) employed numbers 416 staff on 31 March 2003, including a number of part-time staff. The posts of Accounting Officer and, in accordance with the Parliamentary Corporate Bodies Act 1992, the Corporate Officer of the House of Lords are held by the Clerk of the Parliaments. For the period covered by this Report, the Clerk of the Parliaments was Sir Michael Davies. He was succeeded in July 2003 by Mr Paul Hayter. Staff salaries and employment costs in 2002-03, including those for Refreshment Department staff, totalled £10m.

2. The Clerk of the Parliaments is assisted by a Management Board consisting of six senior members of staff (see paragraph 28 above). The administration is divided into 15 offices whose annual reports are set out below.

3. The House of Lords' Strategic Plan, including the aims and objectives of the Administration as well as its values and primary tasks, is set out in Appendix B.


Clerk of the Parliaments' Office



(Clerk of the Parliaments: Sir Michael Davies)

1 Purpose


The Office supports the Clerk of the Parliaments in carrying out his functions and responsibilities. It also supports the Clerk Assistant and the Reading Clerk, and from April 2003, the Chairman of Committees. Additionally, the Office provides administrative support for the House Committee, the Audit Committee and the Management Board; has responsibility for the production of the Minute of Proceedings and Order Paper; and carries out internal audit and staff advice functions.

2 Organisation


There were 12 members of staff at 31 March 2003. These were the three Clerks at the Table, the Private Secretary to the Clerk of the Parliaments and 3 personal secretaries; 2 posts which assist in the production of the Minute and Order Paper; and the Internal Review team comprising the Internal Auditor, an Assistant Auditor and the Staff Adviser.

3 Activities and Financial Performance


  • The Clerk Assistant continued to have responsibility for the Legislation Office, the Minute and Order Paper and for strategy on information technology and systems.
  • The Reading Clerk took part in the Introduction ceremonies for 10 new Lords. He continued as Principal Finance Officer. From January 2003, he received support from the new post of Financial Adviser which is located in the Accountant's Office.
  • Following the major changes in the Administration of the House (described in paragraphs 18 to 42 of the Review of the Year), a new post of Private Secretary to the Clerk of the Parliaments and Secretary to the Management Board was created; in April 2003 the post of Private Secretary to the Chairman of Committees was transferred to the Office so as to bring together staff support for the new management arrangements.
  • From the new session in November 2002, the Office provided support for the House Committee and Management Board, which, during the remainder of the financial year, met on three and six occasions respectively.
  • The Audit Committee was appointed for the first time in July 2002 and met twice in the financial year. Its first annual report appears on pages 37 to 40.
  • Amongst the important reviews carried out by the Staff Adviser were those on the Computer, the Accountant's, and the Journal and Information Offices, and a review of senior staff gradings. The work of the Internal Auditor is described in the Review of the Year (paragraph 99). An additional post of Assistant Auditor was created to meet a growing requirement for audit and the introduction of risk management across the Administration.
  • A Business Planning Group was appointed, chaired by the Clerk Assistant. The Group prepared a draft Strategic Plan for the Management Board; commissioned Business Plans from Offices for the period 2004-07, on the basis of which it put forward a corporate Business Plan for the Administration; and explained these developments to staff at a series of consultative meetings.
  • * The work involved in the production of the Minute and Order Paper was transferred to the Office and continued to grow. The appointment of an executive officer post made it possible to improve the provision of services to Members.

The cash budget for the Clerk of the Parliaments' Office in 2002-03 before virement was £1,819,213. Actual cash expenditure was £1,958,394. The overspend was due to additional costs incurred by the early replacement of broadcasting equipment in the Chamber. Overall savings were achieved by bringing forward this expenditure by a year and joining the House of Commons in the procurement of the equipment.

4 Future Activities


  • Changes to the responsibilities held by members of the Management Board following the appointment of the new Clerk of the Parliaments.
  • Overseeing a review of the provision of services to Members, including a consultation exercise.
  • A further Business Planning exercise for the next 3 year period to be prepared in the light of experience gained in the first year.
  • Further development of the new administrative arrangements, and restructuring of the support staff in the Office, together with changes in accommodation to bring the support staff closer together.

Accountant's Office


(Accountant: Andrew Underwood)

1 Purpose


The aim of the Office is to provide accounting and financial services to the House. Areas of operation include: (i) financial management and administration; (ii) financial advice; (iii) financial reporting; (iv) resource and cash management; (v) payments to Members, suppliers and staff; and (vi) accounting for receipts from Members, staff and the public.

2 Organisation


The Accountant's Office has a staff of 17 (4 more than last year). One member of staff is located in the Refreshment Department (responsibility for this post was transferred to the Refreshment Department on 1 April 2003). 9 members of staff hold professional accounting qualifications and 2 others are undertaking training towards this goal.

3 Activities and Financial Performance


The Resource Accounts for 2001-02 were completed during the year and published in February 2003. A single resource based estimate was submitted to the Treasury for 2003-04.

6,066 Peers' claims for expenses were paid during the year, of which 85% were paid within the target time of 7 days of receipt. 8,243 other payments were made during the year for the House as a whole. 100% of the Accountant's Office's own invoices were paid within 30 days of receipt.

An increase in staff which followed a staff review during 2002 was required to enable the Office to adapt to the changing needs of the House and its management structures and to take a more proactive role in financial management. In addition, an appointment was made to the new post of Financial Adviser in January 2003.

The cash budget for the Accountant's Office in 2002-03 was £467,045, increased by Supplementary Estimate to £504,850. Actual cash expenditure totalled £466,434 (£395,627 in 2001-02); the increase was mainly due to additional staff costs. The cash budget for Peers' expenses for 2002-03 was for £13,308,000, increased by Supplementary Estimate to £14,038,850; actual expenditure totalled £13,385,579 (£10,014,470 in 2001-02).

4 Future Activities


  • The Office will continue to be closely involved in developments in the financial management of the House, including business and financial planning.
  • The House's Business Plan will be integrated into the submission to the Government's 2004 Spending Review.
  • A system providing resource based reporting for in-year financial management will be developed.
  • Preparations to meet the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act when implemented in January 2005 will continue.
  • The possibility of linking the Office's accounting systems to the PDVN will be pursued.
  • Preparations for the possible implementation of new computer systems will begin. In particular, the option of introducing the House Administrative Information System (HAIS) or a similar system will be considered.

Committee Office



(Clerk of Committees: Rhodri Walters, who succeeded David Beamish in October 2002)

1 Purpose


The Office provides select committees with procedural and legal advice and the administrative support necessary to fulfil the committees' orders of reference and assists them in disseminating their reports and promoting their influence.

2 Organisation


The work of the European Union Committee, the Science and Technology Committee, the Constitution Committee, the Economic Affairs Committee (all sessional, ie. permanent committees) and any ad hoc Select Committees is supported by the Committee Office. The Office also supports pre-legislative scrutiny committees and, with the Clerk's Department of the House of Commons, supports the Joint Committee on Human Rights. The Office has a complement of 42 staff (14 Clerks, a Legal Adviser and Legal Assistant to the European Union Committee, a Legal Adviser to the Joint Committee on Human Rights, 5 Committee Specialists/Researchers, 2 IT support staff and 18 secretarial, executive and clerical staff). Each sub-committee and committee is served by a clerk, a shared committee specialist or researcher and a personal secretary. Committees regularly appoint specialist advisers for particular inquires.

An additional Clerk post was filled in October 2002 and three new posts of committee specialist, to provide support to the European Union Committee and its sub-committees, were filled in June and July 2002; a fourth, to support pre-legislative scrutiny and ad hoc committees, was filled in March 2003.

3 Activities and Financial Performance


An account of the work of select committees in 2002-03 is given in the Review of the Year (page 51).

A new Weekly Bulletin of committee work with redesigned layout replaced the former Weekly Agenda; and a new design for select committee reports was agreed. The new post of Press and Information Officer for committees has greatly strengthened the support available to committees in publicising their inquiries and reports.

Budget provision for the Committee Office in 2002-03 was £2,231,200; actual cash expenditure was £2,158,831 (£1,780,860 in 2001-02)

4 Future Activities


  • The Office will provide support for the Sub-Committee of the Economic Affairs Committee to examine the Finance Bill, for a programme of pre-legislative scrutiny of various bills, for the likely appointment of an additional sub-committee of the EU Committee and for any ad hoc committee which may be established.
  • Select Committee reports will be published in a new format with effect from the beginning of the Parliamentary session 2003-04.
  • A new report style guide will be prepared.

Computer Office



(Computer Officer: Les Hobbs)

1 Purpose


The Office provides the necessary support and expertise to enable Members and staff to take full advantage of information technology in discharging their functions. The Office supports the development of strategic approaches to allow full use of technological advances.

2 Organisation


The Computer Office had a staff complement of 11: the Computer Officer, 2 development officers,
5 Training and Support Officers, an Intranet Webmaster, and 2 assistants. Three posts were unfilled for long periods and were covered by agency staff.

Towards the end of the year, the recommendations of a review by the Staff Adviser were agreed. These involve 4 new posts, to which appointments will be made in 2003-04, an enhanced help desk service and a new emphasis on the development of business information systems.

In support of the Information Systems strategy shared by both Houses, a Parliamentary Programme Support Office was established to co-ordinate the overall delivery of core shared information systems. The Lords will contribute 25% of the costs (£30,000 p.a.). The Programme Support Office works closely alongside the bicameral Information Architecture Support Unit (IASU) which has responsibility for the creation of an information architecture or framework within which Information Systems can be designed in a consistent way. It also manages the Parliamentary Internet. The staff of IASU are funded by the Commons (75%) and the Lords (25%, which amounts to £57,000). Computer Office staff work closely with IASU and the Programme Office.

3 Activities and Financial Performance


Continued collaboration with the House of Commons saw the revision of the joint Information Systems Strategy and the implementation of a redesigned Parliamentary website.

Demand for connection to the Parliamentary Data and Video Network (PDVN) has remained high, and 177 new PCs were loaned to Members (144 in the previous year). Of these, 54 (88) were replacements for end-of-life models and 32 (56) were for first loan requests. A further 83 computers were replaced as part of the migration to the new Parliamentary Windows 2000 standard. 274 individual training places were organised for Members, compared with 320 in 2001-02. The number of calls for support during the year increased from 3,647 in 2001-02 to 4,971. Despite this increase, the proportion of calls resolved within internal working targets remained consistent. Help Desk opening hours were extended by five extra hours per week.

Projects undertaken during the year and not reported in the Review of the Year, (paragraphs 90 to 93) included:

  • The upgrading or replacement of 300 staff computers and 280 Member computers to the new Parliamentary standard based on Windows 2000, Office XP and Active Directory. Feedback forms issued to Members indicate the following scores for very good or excellent gradings:
  • Engineering work - 87%;
  • Training - 92%.
  • The implementation of a high availability fileserver for use by staff and Members.
  • The provision of web based computer training for Members.
  • A revised Service Level Agreement was concluded with the Parliamentary Communications Directorate. This defines the service levels expected by the House in respect of the Parliamentary network.

Budget provision for the year was £1,868,782 (£1,899,000 in 2001-02) and out-turn expenditure £1,838,275 (£1,324,849 in 2001-02), an underspend of 1.6 %.

4 Future Activities


  • The implementation of a new staff structure, including the formation of a Business Systems team to enable the administrative processes of the House to benefit from information systems. The Help desk service will be enhanced with opening hours extended to 7.00 pm on sitting days.
  • The main strategic priority is further development and implementation of a joint Parliamentary Information Systems strategy. Key activities will be continuing development of the intranet and the availability of e-services; expansion of the Internet; and procurement of the Parliamentary Information Management System.
  • A new method of remote access to the Internet and Parliamentary information services, including broadband links, will be implemented for Members.
  • The Office will work closely with the Parliamentary Communications Directorate to implement a refresh of the Parliamentary network in the Summer of 2003 and to introduce a "Critical Services Network".

Establishment Office


(Establishment Officer: Edward Ollard)

1 Purpose


To ensure that the House of Lords has a workforce with the skills and commitment to meet the requirements of its Offices and departments; and that it provides a satisfying working environment in which staff are treated with respect and enabled to fulfil their potential.

2 Organisation


The Establishment Office has 9 members of staff, 2 of whom work exclusively on superannuation and related matters. The Establishment Officer is Clerk to the Refreshment Committee and is responsible, on behalf of the Clerk of the Parliaments, for supervising the Refreshment Department. The complement of the Office increased by one junior administrator post (D1) during the year.

3 Activities and Financial Performance


  • A pay settlement for 2002 was negotiated with staff representatives and a new pay system for senior staff introduced.
  • A new staff pension scheme was introduced with effect from 1 October 2002.
  • The Staff Handbook was recast and revised to reflect, in particular, new statutory arrangements for leave related to family and caring responsibilities.
  • The Office supervised the recruitment of 80 new staff following 54 recruitment boards, and was involved in 29 internal appointments boards. Equivalent figures for 2001-02 were 63, 38 and 12.
  • The Office prepared pension authorisations for 67 retirements or resignations; and calculated 133 worked responses to enquiries and estimates relating to pensions, and 420 personal pension forecasts in connection with the new staff pension scheme options exercise. Equivalent figures for 2001-02 were 63, 121 and nil.

Net cash expenditure by the Establishment Office was £614,256. Gross cash expenditure on superannuation was £1,638,108. Superannuation contributions collected for family benefits totalled £246,518. (Equivalent figures in 2001-02 were £524,076, £1,616,209, and £210,538.)

4 Future Activities


  • Negotiate the acceptance of proposals on 2003 pay and implement a new pay system for staff in bands A-D.
  • Introduce a new staff performance appraisal system to take effect from April 2004.
  • Conduct an initial assessment of the steps necessary for the House to achieve recognition as an Investor in People, and, subject to approval, begin the accreditation process.
  • Develop the Establishment Office presence on the Internet and Intranet.
  • Prepare as an Office for the implementation of the Data Protection Act 1998.
  • Assess the impact of changing sitting patterns on conditions of service.

Journal and Information Office


(Clerk of the Journals: David Beamish, who succeeded Brendan Keith in October 2002)

The Office consists of two sections, each with its own management structure:

1 Purpose


The Journal Office provides a research and record-keeping service and advises on present and past procedural developments; maintains records of membership and business of the House; and compiles the Journals of the House (the authoritative record of proceedings).

The Information Office produces and disseminates publications about the role and work of the House; manages contacts with the press and media; is the main liaison point for the Parliamentary Education Unit (PEU); and provides an enquiry service for Members of the House, the public, press and staff.

2 Organisation


There were 7 staff in the Journal Office, one of whom was based in the Minute Room producing the daily Minutes of Proceedings. That post was transferred to the Clerk of the Parliaments' Office in April 2003. One post has been vacant since Summer 2002. Two others are part-time posts.

There are 7 staff in the Information Office: the Director of Public Information, her PA and Office Manager, the Press and Publicity Officer (Committees) (who was appointed in March 2002), the Publications and Publicity Officer, the Head of the Enquiry Unit, and 2 Information Assistants.

3 Activities and Financial Performance


Many of the activities of the Office are described in the Review of the Year (page 29).

The Office led the information team involved in the Queen Mother's Lying-in-State in Westminster Hall.

The Clerk of the Journals was Lords' Clerk to the Joint Committee on House of Lords' Reform and Clerk to the Procedure Committee, which examined at length the proposals of the Group on the Working Practices of the House.

New editions of the Standing Orders (Public Business), the Companion to the Standing Orders, and the pocket guide Procedure & Practice were published.

The administration of, and the handling of publicity in relation to, the hereditary peers' by-election held in March 2003 in consequence of the death of the Viscount Oxfuird.

Net cash expenditure was £658,005 compared with £667,501 in 2001-02.

4 Future Activities


  • Implementation of administrative changes following a review by the Staff Adviser in Autumn 2002.
  • Action will be taken to outsource the indexing of the Journals.
  • Improvement of the robustness and usability of information kept in electronic form, in particular statistical information about the House and its work.
  • Production and dissemination of further information material about the work of the House in various formats and media, including the website.


Judicial Office


(Clerk of the Judicial Office: Brendan Keith, who succeeded James Vallance White in October 2002)

1 Purpose


The aims of the Judicial Office are: (a) to enable the House to discharge its judicial function; and (b) to compile, maintain and publish an up-to-date Register of Lords' Interests.

2 Organisation


To achieve its objectives, the Judicial Office operates in three parts: (i) the general Office; (ii) the Law Lords' Office; and (iii) the Office of the Registrar of Lords' Interests.

The general Office (2 Clerks, 2 doorkeepers and 5 other staff) deals mainly with the legal profession and the general public. It advises on, and administers, the rules governing appeals to the House of Lords. It processes the documents needed for such appeals, arranges hearings by the Law Lords, and takes in the fees charged on judicial business. It is also responsible for taxing judicial costs, ie. assessing the amounts of money to be paid to barristers and solicitors for work in connection with appeals to the House.

The Law Lords' Office (7 staff plus 4 legal assistants on annual contracts), under the general supervision of the two Clerks, supports the 12 Lords of Appeal in Ordinary and provides research and secretarial services, particularly the processing and publication of Opinions (judgments).

The Registrar of Lords' Interests plus a secretary maintain and monitor the operation of the Register of Lords' Interests, advise Members about their obligations under the House's Code of Conduct, and refer issues as appropriate to the Privileges Committee's Sub-Committee on Lords' Interests.

3 Activities and Financial Performance


(i) Judicial Office:

The number of petitions for leave to appeal disposed of in calendar year 2002 was similar to the previous year. 72 appeals were determined. A summary table comparing 2002 with previous years is set out below. A fuller statistical account is set out in Judicial Statistics, published by the Lord Chancellor's Department.

Petitions for leave to appeal 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997
Pending at beginning of year 31 93 86 80 89 81
Presented during year 253 287 236 241 264 252
Disposed of 274 280 229 235 273 240
of which allowed 99 101 58 68 63 62
of which refused 166 170 156 152 193 164
Pending at end of year 10 31 93 86 80 73
Petitions of appeal
Pending at beginning of year 89 90 94 66 53 66
Presented during year 107 84 79 82 83 83
Determined 72 85 76 60 60 71
Pending at end of year 92 89 90 94 66 53

The Judicial Office retains its responsibility for peerage claims although none were referred to the Committee for Privileges during the year. In conjunction with the Crown Office, the Judicial Office processed the claims of hereditary peers seeking to prove their succession and their admission to the register of hereditary peers wishing to stand in by-elections.

The group of 4 judicial assistants appointed in 2001 to assist the Law Lords successfully completed their year's posting in July 2002 and a new group of 4 began work in October.

Work continued on developing the petitions database.

New arrangements were made for the taxation of bills of costs. The Clerk of the Parliaments appointed as judicial taxing officers the Principal Clerk of the Judicial Office, and the Senior Costs Judge of the Supreme Court of England and Wales. Taxations are now conducted in public by the taxing officers sitting as a court of two. This ensures transparency and best practice. An appeal lies from their decisions to the Appeal Committee.

(ii) Registrar of Lords' Interests:

This is described in the Review of the Year (page 25).

Budget

The budget for the Office was £177,210 (£168,300 in 2001-02; £141,484 in 2000-01 and £112,610 in 1999-2000). Total net expenditure was £78,806 (£123,833 in 2001-02; £141,484 in 2000-01 and £108,352 in 1999-2000). This does not include the Law Lords' salaries which are paid from the Consolidated Fund. Total receipts were £571,926 (£499,715 in 2001-02; £443,220 in 2000-01 and £496,708 in 1999-2000), 7.3% above estimate.

4 Future Activities


Judicial Office:

  • A revised edition of the guide to taxations reflecting the changes in taxation procedure will be published in 2003.
  • Further improvements will be made to the petitions database and the Internet site.

Registrar of Lords' Interests:

  • In accordance with the undertaking of the Leader of the House at the time the new Code of Conduct was adopted, a review of the Code and the operation of the Register of Lords' Interests will be carried out in Autumn 2003.


Legislation Office


(Clerk Assistant and Clerk of Legislation: Paul Hayter)

The Legislation Office comprises offices responsible for Public Bills, Private Bills and (until the end of the financial year 2002-03) support for the Chairman of Committees.

Financial Performance

Budget provision for 2002-03 was £1,013,462 and net cash expenditure was £925,063. The out-turn for public bills was £533,858 (£344,347 in 2001-02) and for private bills and the Chairman of Committees, net of fee income, £391,205 (£365,424 in 2001-02). Fee income from private bills was £36,056 (£28,000 in 2001-02).

Public Bills


(Clerk of Public Bills: Tom Mohan, who succeeded Rhodri Walters in October 2002)

1 Purpose


The Office manages and assists the processes relating to the House's consideration of public legislation and authorises, on behalf of the Clerk of the Parliaments, the publication of Acts of Parliament and Measures.

2 Organisation


The complement consists of the Clerk Assistant, 2 Clerks, a Higher Executive Officer and 2 Executive Officers.

3 Activities and Financial Performance


  • 36 public bills received Royal Assent. The Office drafted, or assisted in the drafting of, 26 bills for private members. The House dealt with 8,457 amendments, of which 2,485 were agreed to.
  • The Office assumed full responsibility for the support of Grand Committees. The number of sittings of these committees increased markedly during the year (see Review of the Year, page 13).
  • The Office published the first reprint since 1982 of the Northern Ireland Assembly Disqualification Act 1975.
  • The Joint Committee on Tax Law Rewrite Bills met twice to consider the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Bill, a 550-page bill which received Royal Assent on 6 March 2003.

4 Future Activities


  • Further development of the software used for electronic processing of legislation.
  • Responding to the possible further increase in the number of Grand Committee sittings.

Private Bills and Chairman of Committees' Office


(Clerk of Private Bills and Examiner: Tom Mohan)

1 Purpose


The Office supervises the passage of private legislation in accordance with the requirements of the House. The Office also supported the Chairman of Committees; this function was transferred to the Clerk of the Parliaments' Office at the start of the 2003-04 financial year.

2 Organisation


During 2002-03, the complement comprised 6 posts (including 2 part-time Counsel sharing a post). These included the Clerk to the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee, and a Clerk acting as Private Secretary to the Chairman of Committees and Clerk to the House Committee.

3 Activities and Financial Performance


  • 7 private acts (compared with 3 in 2001-02) received Royal Assent in 2002-03. 3(7) private bills were deposited in November 2002. 4 bills were carried over from the preceding session. 2(27) petitions were deposited against private bills.
  • 5(4) unopposed bill committees sat, 1 produced a special report; the Standing Orders Committee sat twice to consider 3 cases of non-compliance with Standing Orders.
  • Select Committees sat for a total of 6 days. Both produced special reports.
  • The Chairman of Committees made a determination under Private Business Standing Order 130.
  • There was one, unopposed, Special Procedure Order.

The Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee made 27 reports (compared with 24 in
2001-02); reported on 47 bills, 9 sets of Government amendments and 9 Government responses; and considered 9 proposals for Regulatory Reform Orders ("first-stage scrutiny") and 8 draft Regulatory Reform Orders ("second-stage scrutiny"). Further information on the Committee's work is contained in the Review of the Year (page 14).

4 Future Activities

  • In view of the low levels of activity on Private Bills, merger of the resources of the Private Bill Office with those of the Public Bill Office.
  • Improving documentation of private bill procedure and practice.


Library


(Librarian: David Jones)

1 Purpose


The Library provides research, information and bibliographic services to support the legislative, deliberative and judicial functions of the House.

2 Organisation


The Library has 31 staff (including 2 temporary appointments) and 2 part-time staff; 16 of the 23 graduates on the staff hold professional library qualifications. Responsibility for the Library's research services was transferred from the Deputy Librarian to a new post, Head of Research Services.

3 Activities and Financial Performance


Increasing reliance on electronic sources in the provision of research and information for Members led to the nomination of a Senior Assistant Librarian as Electronic Resources Librarian and to the development of Library web pages on the Parliamentary Intranet. This has resulted in more efficient management of, and easier access to, the Library's extensive collection of databases, especially legal databases, and electronic journals and the Library's catalogue. The necessary conversion of the operating system on the Parliamentary Network to Windows 2000 and of the related applications to Windows XP was successfully completed in 2002. The CD-Rom databases were relaunched using Citrix Nfuse, and this has proved to be resilient. Towards the end of the year, a database to control inter-library loans was developed.

The programme of work continued on the renovation of the Library's storerooms in the Palace with the contents of two storerooms being stored offsite. The Technical Services Room was also refurbished. These renovations have led to a significant improvement in access to material and working conditions for staff. New shelving was installed near the Law Lords' offices in order to cope with the growth of the collection housed there and to provide more efficient access to the collection. A shelf-check of the Library's collections was initiated.

Library staff were involved, with the House of Commons Library, in discussions on the development of the Parliamentary Information Management Services (PIMS) which will replace POLIS. A number of Library staff received training in the use of XML standards.

Staff at the Information Desk again dealt with a record number of enquiries - 19,537 compared with 17,230 in 2001-02. There was a steady use of the services provided in the Millbank Library and by the Assistant Librarian in charge of the Law Lords' collection. The Research Section also dealt with a record number of enquiries: 1,870 (1,529 in 2001-02). 1,436 new titles or new editions were added to the Library's catalogue (1,698 in 2001-02) and 5,248 items were added to the POLIS database (5,006 in 2001-02).

A draft business plan for the Library covering the years 2004-05 to 2006-07 was produced in consultation with Library staff and submitted to the Management Board.

Budget provision for 2002-03 was £1,747,947. Net cash expenditure was £1,592,111 (£1,538,502 in 2001-02).

4 Future Activities


  • The development of the Parliamentary Information Management Services.
  • Further development of access to electronic texts and information.
  • Final completion of the renovation of the basement storerooms.

Official Report (Hansard)


(Editor: Carole Boden, who was succeeded by Jackie Bradshaw in April 2003)

1 Purpose


To support the work of the House and its Members by providing a record of the proceedings in accordance with the requirements of the House.

2 Organisation


The Department is headed by the Editor of Debates. There are a Deputy Editor, 4 Assistant Editors (one post is job-shared), 3 Chief Reporters, 14 Reporters (2 posts are job-shared), an Office Manager, a Personal Secretary (on a job-share basis) and 2 Executive Officers (IT Managers).

On any one day, the House reporting team consists of 15 Chief Reporters and Reporters plus 4 Editors, with the Editor or Deputy Editor responsible for the overall form and production of the day's report, including the processing of Written Answers.

Grand Committees (which sit for 31Ž2 to 4 hours) are reported by a team of 6 Reporters headed by a Chief Reporter. For Northern Ireland Grand Committees (which sit for only 2 hours) the team consists of 4 Reporters and a Chief Reporter.

3 Activities and Financial Performance


161 Daily Reports and 37 weekly volumes were published. From these, 13 Bound Volumes will be compiled. The report of each day's proceedings was published in full on every occasion, with no report left over to the next sitting day.

The number of Grand Committee sittings increased substantially: there were 34 sittings on 11 Bills, and 6 Northern Ireland Orders. These Committees continue to be managed by the Chief Reporters and, after an increase in staff of 2 Reporters, are now reported entirely with House staff, freelance transcribers no longer being used.

The electronic version of Hansard has been published daily on the Parliamentary Data and Video Network (PDVN) and the Internet and, in the latter case, was the subject of over 5 million hits during the year. The text from 16 November 1994 is available on-line on both the PDVN and the Internet, with the text from earlier years available on CD-Rom. Corrections are made not only for the Bound Volume but also to the electronic text. The accuracy rate, measured by the number of electronic corrections (72) as a percentage of pages produced (11,320), is 99.994%.

The Department has implemented its plan to provide on-line links to lengthy material which is referred to in Written Answers and placed in the Library.

The cash budget for the financial year was £1,743,400, increased by Supplementary Estimate to £2,015,400, against which net cash expenditure of £2,015,129 was incurred. This compares with net expenditure of £1,590,181 in 2001-02. The 15% (£267,595) overspend on the original estimate was due to the £288,753 overrun in printing costs, £210,687 of which related to higher than expected indexing costs.

4 Future Activities


  • To respond promptly to the unpredictable demands of Grand Committee sittings and the number of Written Answers as well as changes to sitting hours and the parliamentary calendar.
  • The Department remains committed to developing its computer-based production processes and will assess the prospects for increased efficiency, improved standards of service and lower printing costs.
  • A new indexing system will be introduced in collaboration with TSO.
  • To take forward, in cooperation with the House of Commons, the electronic delivery and processing of Written Answers in a more pro-active manner and involving all stakeholders.

Overseas Office


(Clerk: Rhodri Walters, who succeeded David Beamish in October 2002)

1 Purpose


The Office facilitates contacts between the House of Lords and overseas parliaments and international assemblies, including the arrangement of inward visits; and provides advice and support to Lords, including the Lord Chancellor, when attending conferences overseas.

2 Organisation


The Clerk of the Overseas Office undertakes his duties in addition to being Clerk of Committees. He is supported by one full-time member of staff, the Visits Co-ordinator.

3 Activities and Financial Performance


Many of the activities of the Office during 2002-03 are described in the Review of the Year (page 24)

The Office received and prepared programmes for members and officials from Overseas Parliaments and collaborated in the first Parliamentary Co-operation Programme to be run by the Commons' Overseas Office. The aim of the programme is to concentrate inward attachments from overseas, principally Commonwealth, parliaments into fixed periods of the year. The Office also dealt with a wide range of enquiries and communications from overseas parliaments, many of them in the form of letters to the Lord Chancellor as Speaker of the House inviting him or other representatives of the House to participate in international meetings of parliamentary interest.

The Clerk of the Parliaments attended a meeting of Presiding Officers of the British Isles in Belfast on 28 June 2002, and the Canadian Clerks' Professional Development Seminar in Canada in August 2002. He was represented by the Clerk Assistant at a meeting of the Society of Clerks-at-the-Table in Commonwealth Parliaments, held in conjunction with the 48th CPA Conference in Windhoek, Namibia, in September 2002; and of the Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments (ASGP) held in conjunction with the 107th IPU Conference in Geneva later that month. The Clerk of Committees attended the annual meeting of the Association of New Zealand and Australian Clerks at the Table in Alice Springs in July 2003. The Deputy Editor of Hansard participated in the Association of Commonwealth Hansard Editors in Fiji in July 2002.

Budget provision for the Overseas Office in 2002-03 was £298,880, increased by Supplementary Estimate to £357,380; actual cash expenditure was £357,337 (£265,596 in 2001-02).

4 Future Activities


  • The annual Conference of European Union Speakers in Athens from 24-25 May 2003.
  • Logistical support for the CPA's 34th British Isles and Mediterranean Regional Conference in London and Cambridge from 15­20 June.
  • The Office will assist in hosting the members of the ASGP during the 109th IPU Conference to be held in London between 28 March and 2 April 2004.
  • The Office will co-host with the Commons the OSCE Conference in Edinburgh between 9 and
    13 July 2004.

Printed Paper Office (including Supplies Office)


(Clerk of the Printed Paper Office: Chris Rogers)

1 Purpose


(1) To ensure the availability to the House of those printed papers which are required by Members for the proper discharge of their Parliamentary functions.

(2) To provide a procurement service and to meet the needs of the House for stationery and office supplies.

2 Organisation


There were 9 members of staff at 31 March 2003, of whom 2 were responsible for procurement and office supplies. As a result of a staff review, the staff complement was reduced by one during the year.

3 Activities and Financial Performance


The Office continued to provide a high standard of service in the core business of providing papers, stationery and office supplies to Members and offices. Other ongoing work included the provision of postage-paid envelopes and postcards to Members, together with associated recording and control procedures; the management and monitoring of contracts with The Stationery Office for the printing and supply of core documents and the checking of related invoices on behalf of the originating offices; the provision of advice and assistance to other offices on procurement matters, in some cases in conjunction with House of Commons' procurement staff; and the receipt and recording of papers laid formally before the House.

A new contract was negotiated for the provision of office supplies. As a result, offices are now able to order most of their requirements direct from the supplier, and the need to hold extensive stocks has been eliminated.

After extensive negotiations, an order has been placed for a new information system for the Office which will replace the existing PPO database.

Following a review by the Staff Adviser, improvements have been made in working practices, and the role of the Procurement Officer has been further developed.

Budget provision was £1,761,000 (£1,463,300 in 2001-02 and £1,748,800 in 2000-01). Net cash expenditure was £1,759,033 (£1,192,045 in 2001-02 and £1,584,473 in 2000-01), of which £1,418,517 (81%) related to the provision of publications for Members and staff. The lower expenditure in 2001-02 was due largely to the effect of the General Election.

4 Future Activities


  • Introduction of a new office information system, which will bring further improvements in the efficiency of the Office and the service offered to Members.
  • Further development of the procurement service in the light of a House-wide value for money review of procurement.
  • Preparation for the letting of new contracts for the printing and supply of House of Lords documents following the expiry of the current contracts in March 2005.

Record Office (The Parliamentary Archives)


(Clerk of the Records: Stephen Ellison)

1 Purpose


The Record Office provides a records management service and an archives service for each House of Parliament, answers enquiries about the archives and history of Parliament, and makes records accessible to Members and the public in the Search Room. Outreach activities aim to enhance public awareness of the historical and information value of the archives as a core resource of Parliament. The Freedom of Information Officer has responsibility for ensuring compliance of the House Administration with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Data Protection Act 1998.

2 Organisation


The Office has a complement of 7 archivists and records managers and 4 temporary archivists who have completed the second year of four-year contracts in connection with the automation project. They are assisted by 4 support staff, 6 conservation officers and a part-time manager (seconded from the British Library), and 3 reprographic officers (seconded from The Stationery Office).

3 Activities and Financial Performance


Some of the key activities of the Office, including those relating to Freedom of Information and Records Management, are described in the Review of the Year (pages 28 and 31).

Archive Service: The project for bringing the Victoria Tower repository up to archival standard dominated the work of the Office because of the continuous need to decant and restore records as building work moved from floor to floor. At year end, the main air conditioning plant had been installed and 5 strongrooms were restored to archival use. The key outreach activity was the internet launch of the on-line exhibition Citizenship - A History of People, Rights and Power in Britain. This was a joint project with the National Archives, funded by the New Opportunities Fund, providing an accessible documentary resource for lifelong learners. A small, but significant, collection of the papers of Thomas Erskine May was acquired.

At the end of the third year of the automation project there were 132,580 records in the catalogue. Catalogues to 17 departments were retrospectively converted and 80 metres of shelf space in the Victoria Tower was freed by their simultaneous appraisal. 13,382 files of the Commons' European Scrutiny Committee were catalogued from scratch and the Architectural Archive was rearranged by provenance, and fully indexed. 11 catalogues to general Parliamentary bodies and 4 collections were converted. Conversion work on the databases of Accessions, Commons' and Lords' Committee papers was completed. The uploading of data about records of microfilm and images will enable linking of digital images to entries in the catalogue.

The archives and records management pages on the newly-designed website launched in August 2002 are added to monthly and are attracting increasing numbers of visitors, as the table below shows.

 


Financial Performance: The Record Office is a joint service of Parliament with its budgeted costs shared by the Lords and Commons in the ratio of 60:40. Gross cash expenditure was £887,996. There were receipts of £15,821 from the sale of photocopies. The comparable figures for last year were £824,773 and £11,343. The Commons' contribution was £312,946. Net cash expenditure on Freedom of Information and Data Protection was £40,794 (£25,069)

4 Future Activities


  • Priority will be given to completing rollout in each House of the corporate file classification scheme for Parliamentary records; drafting and approving records' disposal authorities for key functions of Parliament; and devising strategy for the management of electronic records.
  • Further preparations for the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act and Data Protection Act in 2005.
  • The Works project to bring the Victoria Tower repository up to archival standard will continue.
  • Automation project work will involve retroconversion of finding aids to the main legislative, scrutiny and judicial records; launch of the online catalogue in the public search room, and scoping for internet access in 2005; and planning and implementation of the archive management modules.
  • The document display cases in the Royal Gallery will be replaced.

Refreshment Department


(Head of Catering Services: Tim Lamming, who succeeded Alfio Bibbiani in January 2003)

1 Purpose


The Department aims to provide high quality catering services for Members, Officers, staff and guests. It also provides a private function service and retails House of Lords' gifts and souvenirs.

2 Organisation


The Department employs 107 staff (104 in 2001-02), of whom 16 are in managerial positions and 3 are employed in a clerical capacity. Considerable use is also made of casual labour to mitigate the effects of variations in demand for services and staff absences.

3 Activities and Financial Performance


The Department provided catering services through 9 trading outlets, a private function service and a Gift Shop. The Millbank Cafeteria completed its first full financial year of operation and performed well up to expectations.

Turnover for the year was £3.257m, representing a 19.26% increase over 2001-02 and a record for the Department. Gross profit was £1.675m (£1.43m in 2001-02).

The performance of each outlet continued to be monitored with reference to specified profit targets, set and reviewed periodically by the Refreshment Committee.

All internal and external performance targets were met with the exception of the Peers Dining Room where performance was 7% below target. Profitability in this outlet was affected by several factors including variabilities in sitting patterns.

During 2002-03, £710,000 of realised trading profit was surrendered to the House of Lords' Request for Resources (£750,000 in 2001-02)

The Refreshment Department expenditure falling on the House of Lords' Request for Resources (chiefly wage costs of staff other than those engaged in functions and retail) amounted to £1.76m (£1.65m in 2001-02). Expenditure falling on the Works Services Request for Resources was £213,492, offset by a contribution by the Department of £4,862 as reimbursement of the cost of qualifying items of light equipment under an agreement with the Parliamentary Estates Directorate. The net cost of the Department's services was approximately one million pounds.

4 Future Activities


  • 2003-04 will see the first stage of a major three-year kitchen and staff facilities refurbishment project to address health and safety concerns, improve staff facilities, improve capacity for revenue producing functions, and create new and improved staff restaurant facilities with larger capacity and greater flexibility.
  • Work to be completed in 2003-04 will be the construction of the new basement shell in Peers' Court, which will be used to accommodate the improved storage and staff changing facilities.
  • In the light of the extended closure of the main kitchen throughout the Summer recess 2003, trading will be adversely affected, particularly function business which is normally busy in September and October.
  • The Department will continue to offer the best possible catering facilities and highest quality of service and be responsive to the wishes of clientele. To this effect, a questionnaire was designed and issued to Members in May 2003. The results of the survey will be analysed and used to gauge the success of the services provided.

Black Rod's Department


(Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod: Lieutenant General Sir Michael Willcocks)

1 Purpose


Black Rod's Department provides: security and control of public and media access to the House and its Chamber; accommodation; the building and works programme to maintain and improve the fabric and usage of the House of Lords' estate; and support facilities and domestic services. Black Rod is also responsible for planning, organising and mounting all ceremonial events, for Royal and State occasions in the Palace of Westminster and, on behalf of the Lord Great Chamberlain, for control of HM the Queen's residual estate within the Palace.

2 Organisation


The Department has 96 directly employed staff which include the Doorkeepers, Attendants and Housekeepers but not the members of the Metropolitan Police security staff who work under the joint direction of Black Rod and the Serjeant at Arms in the House of Commons. The organisation has remained unchanged since last year and has a full complement of qualified personnel.

3 Activities and Financial Performance


The year was particularly busy with a number of ceremonial events and the continuing high level of threat from terrorist attack placing heavy demands on the security staff.

a. Ceremonial

  • The Lying in State and funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother between 5 and 9 April 2002 (see Review of the Year page 27).
  • The celebration of Her Majesty The Queen's Golden Jubilee in Westminster Hall on 30 April 2002 and her subsequent tour of the Palace of Westminster, followed by a reception for Members and staff in the Royal Gallery; and the acceptance of the Golden Jubilee sundial on behalf of the Queen (see page 26).
  • The Lord Chancellor's Breakfast in Westminster Hall to mark the start of the Legal Year on
    1 October 2002.
  • The State Opening of Parliament by Her Majesty The Queen in November 2002.

b. Security

  • The security of the Palace of Westminster is a closely co-ordinated operation between the Lords' and Commons' authorities, the Metropolitan Police and the Security Services.
  • There has been continuous review, adjustment and improvement to the physical, technical and procedural security measures throughout the year.

c. Accommodation

  • An accommodation strategy, aimed at meeting the current and future needs of Members and their staff and the other offices of the House of Lords, is being updated, using the emerging results of an accommodation survey which is being carried out by a team of consultants.
  • The design phase for the use of Fielden House was completed.

d. Visitors

  • Following another successful summer recess opening of the Palace of Westminster for public tours (Line of Route) in 2002, it was decided to rationalise arrangements for guided tours of the Houses of Parliament. Accordingly, a Central Tours Office has been established (see page 29).
  • The changes in sitting patterns in both Houses have reduced the scope for visitors' tours at these times.

e. Works

As budgetholder for Works, Black Rod now chairs the Project Boards for all major projects. A full programme of summer Works was successfully completed in 2002 (see also page 32).

  • The Old Palace Yard restoration scheme (part of the "World Squares for All" project) was completed.
  • The Victoria Tower Archives project for improved fire precautions and air conditioning completed its penultimate phase. It is due to finish in 2004.
  • Design work on the Refreshment Department Refurbishment Project was completed.

f. Administration

Deregulation of postal services will necessitate a new contract between Royal Mail and the Houses of Parliament. A consultant has been employed to advise both Houses throughout this process.

4 Finance


  Cash Provision (£) Out-turn (£) Outturn (£)  
Budget 2002­2003 2002­2003   2001­2002  
Security 7,033,000 6,976,264 5,894,156
Works
18,104,000
17,105,998
 
24,258,658
   
Telecommunications 609,000 573,805 552,630
Black Rod's Dept 1,886,373
1,680,373
 
1,687,928
 
Postal Services 266,000 144,609 161,666  
Total 27,898,373 26,431,049   32,555,038  

5 Future Activities


  • Completion of security enhancements.
  • Renegotiation of the Palace of Westminster Special Service Agreement for the provision of security services (in conjunction with the House of Commons).
  • Completion and implementation of the accommodation survey results and finalisation of the future accommodation strategy.
  • Negotiation of the mail service contract in conjunction with the House of Commons.
  • Refurbishment of Fielden House.
  • Completion of Phase I of the Refreshment Department Modernisation by the excavation of Peers Court.
  • The project to replace the Palace main boilers and chillers will be completed.
  • Completion of the modernisation of the Victoria Tower Archives.


 
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