Thursday, June 25, 2020

Ros in the Lords - there's a first time for everything...

The House of Lords is an odd place sometimes. When confronted with something that doesn't perhaps fit neatly into the procedures, the procedures are applied in unexpected ways. And so it was, three weeks ago, that Ros made what was described as a Written Ministerial Statement.

Don't worry, Ros hasn't gone over to the dark side - I'm sure that she'd tell me if she had done - but, in accordance with Clause 17.2 of the Parliamentary Relationship Agreement between the Corporate Officers of the House of Lords and the House of Commons and the Parliamentary Works Sponsor Board, the Sponsor Body shall nominate two Parliamentary members of its Board (one drawn from each House) and agree substitutes as required, to act as spokespeople in each House and to answer Parliamentary questions, make written statements and participate in debates on the Works as required. For the Lords, that would be Ros...

Her formal debut was a written one, which went like this;

I wish to inform the House regarding certain documents that have been  agreed by virtue of the Parliamentary Buildings (Restoration and Renewal) Act 2019 ('the Act').

On 8 April the Parliamentary Works Sponsor Body was established as a corporate body by section 2 of the Act with overall responsibility for the Parliamentary building works. As required by section 3 of the Act the Sponsor Body established the R&R Delivery Authority to carry out the works.

Section 4 of the Act requires the Sponsor Body and Delivery Authority to enter into a programme delivery agreement (PDA) regarding the arrangements for the definition, development and delivery of the works. The PDA was approved by the Sponsor Body and Delivery Authority Boards on 18 May and it will be reviewed after six months.

Section 5 of the Act requires the Sponsor Body to prepare a strategy for consulting Members of both Houses in relation to the works, which must be published by 3 June. The Sponsor Body Board approved the strategy on 23 April and the Commissions of both Houses took note of the strategy in May. The Act requires the strategy to be kept under review with subsequent versions published accordingly.

Section 6 of the Act requires the Corporate Officers of both Houses to enter into a parliamentary relationship agreement (PRA) with the Sponsor Body. The PRA sets out the arrangements for how both Houses and the Sponsor Body will work together during the works, including their respective roles and responsibilities, and what they should expect of each other across a wide range of areas. The Commissions of both Houses and the Sponsor Body Board approved the PRA in April and it will be reviewed after six months.

I have attached these documents, which are also available on the Programme website.

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