House of Commons Governance Select Committee – Tuesday 4 November 2014

On Tuesday 4 November 2014 the House of Commons Governance Committee heard evidence from from Dame Janet Gaymer and Barbara Scott who are non-exec members of the House of Commons Management Board and Alex Jablonowski, a former external member of the Management Board. Following this session there was further evidence provided by the Rt Hon Mr David Blunkett MP, Rt Hon Mr Peter Hain MP, Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MBE MP, and Mr Bernard Jenkin MP.

The Management Board is responsible for the management of the services provided by the Departments of the House of Commons. The Board consists of the Heads of the five House departments, and up to three external advisors.

The Board’s current membership is comprised of David Natzler, Acting Clerk of the House, Chamber and Committee Services; John Benger, Acting Head of Department, Information Services, standing invitation to attend Management Board meetings; Andrew Walker, Director General, Human Resources and Change; Myfanwy Barrett, Director, Finance; John Borley, Director General, Facilities; Matthew Taylor, Acting Head of PICT, standing invitation to attend Management Board meetings; Jacqy Sharpe, Acting Head of the Department of Chamber and Committee Services, standing invitation to attend Management Board meetings; Dame Janet Gaymer, Chair, external non-executive Board Member; Barbara Scott, external non-executive Board Member.

Valerie said:

“The Non-executive directors on the Management Board have a lot of experience in the public and private sector. I asked where the model of Parliament fits. The unique nature of Parliament means that the Board have to invoke a variety of models. It is important that the the Management Board fundamental operates on a system where the politicians decide what is needed to best serve the public and the officials deliver.”

“Margaret Hodge MP was a member on the interview panel that tried to find a replacement for the existing clerk. She told me that she would not have done anything differently in the initial appointment process.”

“I raised the topic of pre-appointment hearings for the candidate selected for the role of the clerk of the House and asked if the Members of Parliament present would support them for this role. The four Members of Parliament voiced their support for pre-appointment hearings.