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Supporting the work of MPs

The House of Commons is the democratically elected House of the UK Parliament. It is responsible for scrutinising the work of Government, making laws, setting taxes and debating topical issues. The House of Commons is housed in the Palace of Westminster, a World Heritage Site.

The House of Commons service employs around 3,000 people to support these activities. The work of the House of Commons service includes:

  • The services that facilitate MPs’ legislative and scrutiny work in the House of Commons Chamber, Westminster Hall, and in committees
  • Legal advice to Speaker
  • Research services for MPs
  • Maintenance of the Palace of Westminster and the rest of the Parliamentary Estate
  • Engaging the public with the role of Parliament
  • HR advice and support to assist with the running of MPs offices
  • Corporate functions including HR, payroll, finance and corporate planning
  • IT and technology services to all of Parliament (jointly run by the Commons and Lords)

The introduction to the most recent House of Commons annual report and accounts (PDF) explains how the House Service supports the work of the elected House of Commons.

In a speech to the Institute for Government’s Annual Conference 2023, on 17 January 2023, the Leader of the House, Penny Mordaunt, said she was going to focus on “making our legislature the best in the world”. She wanted to make sure MPs were enabled to serve their constituents.

Governance of the House of Commons

The House of Commons Commission is responsible for setting the strategic priorities and objectives of the House Service under section 2 of the House of Commons Commission Act 2015.

The Commons Executive Board provides advice to the Commission in relation to strategic priorities and objectives.

The Clerk of the House, as Head of the House Service, has overall responsibility for, and provides strategic leadership of, the House Service.

The Clerk has delegated responsibility for day-to-day provision of operational services to the Director General. (Both the Clerk of the House and the Director General are also members of the House of Commons Commission.)

Supported by the Commons Executive Board, they are accountable to the Commission for delivery of the strategy. The Commons Executive Board decides policy and operational issues to support service delivery.

Heads of teams in the House of Commons have delegated responsibility to set annual business plans to support the strategy and are accountable to the Clerk for delivering the objectives in these plans.

The House Service Strategy

The House of Commons Service has developed the next House of Commons Service Strategy, for the period 2023-27 (it has not yet been published). It will replace the current House Service Strategy which runs until March 2023.

The new strategy was agreed by the House of Commons Commission at its meeting on 16 May 2022.

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