• Research Briefing

    Budget Responsibility and National Audit Bill [HL]

    The Bill establishes the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) on a statutory basis, following its creation after the general election of 2010. It also requires the Treasury to publish a Charter for Budget Responsibility setting out its approach to fiscal policy. The Bill would also confirm a new corporate governance structure for the National Audit Office, under a new paid post of Chair, who would develop a joint strategy with the Comptroller and Auditor General.

  • Research Briefing

    European Union Bill (HC Bill 106 2010-11)

    This Bill strengthens the provisions of the European Union (Amendment) Act 2008 with explicit procedures for agreeing to or ratifying certain EU decisions or treaty changes, including provisions for referendums on changes that would transfer powers from the UK to the EU.

  • Research Briefing

    Civil Service reform

    This note outlines the Coalition Government's plans for the civil service. It also provides a very brief overview of civil service reform since 1979.

  • Research Briefing

    Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill 2010-11: Commons Stages

    This Paper summarises all Commons stages of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill 2010-11. It supplements Research Paper 10/55 which was produced for the Bill’s Second Reading and replaces Standard Note 5697 'Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill: Progress of the Bill'. No major changes were made during the passage of the Bill in the Commons, but the text of the referendum question was altered and legislative provision was made for the combination of polls on 5 May 2011.

  • Research Briefing

    The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill [Bill 63 of 2010-11]

    This Paper has been prepared for the Second Reading debate in the House of Commons. The Bill seeks to enable the next general election to be fought under the Alternative Vote system, provided this change is endorsed in a referendum on 5 May 2011 and boundary changes have been made to reduce the size of the House of Commons to 600. New rules for the redistribution of seats are designed to give primacy to numerical equality in constituencies and regular redistributions would take place every five years.

  • Research Briefing

    Reducing the size of the House of Commons

    The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill was introduced on 22 July 2010 and introduces new Rules for Redistribution which make provision for the number of constituencies to be reduced to 600. This note looks briefly at the current Rules for Redistribution and at recent calls for the Rules to be changed; details of the length of time it has taken to carry out periodical reviews of Parliamentary constituencies are also given. A summary of the Bill's main provisions is also included.

  • Research Briefing

    Northern Ireland: political developments January to June 2010

    This Note should be read in conjunction with Library Standard Note 5350 The Hillsborough Agreement, published March 2010, which explains in detail the agreement reached on the devolution of policing and justice. This duly took place on 12 April 2010 and David Ford, the leader of the Alliance Party, became Policing and Justice Minister. New arrangements need to be agreed by May 2012.

  • Research Briefing

    The establishment of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority

    This note briefly describes the background to the decision to create the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) and a Commissioner for Parliamentary Investigations. It then outlines the functions given to IPSA and to the Commissioner for Parliamentary Investigations by the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009. It also sets out the steps taken in establishing IPSA, including the appointment of the Speaker's Committee and the Chair of IPSA, Sir Ian Kennedy.

  • Research Briefing

    Members 1979-2010

    This paper provides a complete list of all Members who have served in the House of Commons from the General Election of 1979 to the dissolution of Parliament on 12 April 2010. It also provides basic biographical and parliamentary data. The paper is based on data collated from published sources by the House of Commons Library and Information Office. It replaces an earlier version, Research Paper 09/31.