• Research Briefing

    The Departmental Select Committee System

    On 25 June 1979 the House of Commons agreed to establish a new system of departmental select committees to scrutinise the expenditure, administration and policy of government departments. This paper briefly sets out the historical background to the departmental select committees system before charting their development over the last 30 years, considering evaluations made of the system and recent proposals for reform.

  • Research Briefing

    Members’ allowances – the Government’s proposals for reform

    This note outlines the background to the CSPL inquiry and contrasts the Government's proposals for reforming the allowances' system with the conclusions reached by the MEC in its June 2008 Review of Allowances. It briefly notes some reaction and responses to the Government's proposals and gives details of the current amounts that Members can claim under the allowances.

  • Research Briefing

    Members’ salaries – implementing the Baker Review

    On 24 January 2008, Members agreed that the 1996 resolution governing their salaries should cease to exist. No mechanism to replace it was considered. Instead, the House agreed with the Government that Sir John Baker, the retiring chairman of the Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB), should be charged with finding a mechanism that would end the need for Members to vote regularly on their salaries.

  • Research Briefing

    The Whip’s Office

    This Standard Note provides a brief history of the origins and role of the Government and Opposition Whips in the management of parliamentary business, and an overview of their current functions and duties.

  • Research Briefing

    Members’ pay and allowances – decisions of 3 July 2008

    On 3 July 2008, the House of Commons debated a series of motions based on reports from Sir John Baker on their pay, and from the Members Estimate Committee on their allowances, in two separate debates This note briefly sets out the background to the debates, and then reviews the decisions that the House took. The decision taken on Members' home addresses is also set out.

  • Research Briefing

    Ministerial Salaries

    This Standard Note sets out the background to and effect of the Ministerial and other Salaries Order 2008, which was laid before both Houses of Parliament in draft on 2 June 2008.

  • Research Briefing

    In Brief: Members’ pay

    This note briefly reviews the background to Sir John Baker's review, outlines his conclusions and the Government's response to them. It does not consider the question of Members' allowances, which are currently being reviewed by the Members Estimate Committee.

  • Research Briefing

    Modernisation: Programming of legislation

    This note describes these developments and the background to them in more detail. It then describes earlier proposals for the timetabling of legislation. Finally, it reviews some recent comments on the programming of legislation.

  • Research Briefing

    Draft Queen’s Speech

    This note briefly reviews the reasons why a draft Queen's Speech was made, and some of the reaction to it. The Modernisation Committee has reviewed the process. It welcomed the publication of the draft legislative programme and supported the Leader of the House's plan to give the House, its committees and the public longer to consider the draft legislative programme. This note briefly reviews the Modernisation Committee's report. Finally, the Note reviews the background to the institution of the Queen's Speech.