(Clerk of Committees: David Beamish)
The Office provides select committees with procedural
and legal advice and the administrative support necessary to fulfil
the committees' orders of reference.
The European Union Committee, the Science and Technology
Committee, the Constitution Committee, the Economic Affairs Committee
(all sessional, i.e. permanent committees) and any ad hoc Select
Committee are supported by a unified Committee Office. The Office
has 35 permanent staff (13 Clerks, a Legal Adviser and Legal Assistant
to the European Union Committee, a Legal Adviser to the Joint
Committee on Human Rights, a Specialist Assistant to the Science
and Technology Committee, and 18 secretarial, executive and clerical
staff). Each sub-committee and committee is served by a clerk
and a committee assistant or personal secretary. Committees regularly
appoint specialist advisers for particular inquiries.
The Office also joins with the Clerk's Department
of the House of Commons in supporting the Joint Committee on Human
3 Activities and Financial Performance
A summary of the new select committees appointed
in 2000-01, together with an account of the work of the European
Union Committee and the Science and Technology Committee, is given
in the Review of the Year (paragraphs 18 to 25).
There was a continued expansion of staff numbers
to meet the increased demands of committee activity, with six
new posts, including two new clerkships, filled during the year.
The Legal Adviser to the Joint Committee on Human Rights, Professor
David Feldman, previously Barber Professor of Jurisprudence at
the University of Birmingham, joined the staff in September 2000.
With a Commons' Chairman, the majority of administrative support
for the Committee has been provided by the House of Commons, and
the role of Lords' Clerk has been filled by the Clerk of the Science
and Technology Committee.
Additional accommodation was made available in 7
Old Palace Yard on a temporary basis. In view of the expansion
of committee activity and consequent staff increases, it was decided
that the whole Office would move to Millbank House.
Budget provision for the Committee Office in 2000-01
was £1,645,300; actual expenditure was £1,628,418 (£1,495,988
in 1999-2000). The increase in expenditure was largely due to
the staff increases mentioned above.
4 Future Activities
- The Office will ensure that it can continue to
give good service to the increased number of committees, notwithstanding
its move out of the Palace of Westminster to Millbank House.
- The Office will also pursue increased use of
information technology in the production and publication of reports