This House of Lords Library Briefing contains background reading in preparation for the second reading of the Parliamentary Buildings (Restoration and Renewal) Bill on 8 July 2019.
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The Parliamentary Buildings (Restoration and Renewal) Bill is a government bill which would establish the statutory bodies and governance structure for the works on the restoration and renewal of buildings within the parliamentary estate. This includes:
- A Sponsor Body with overall responsibility for the works;
- A Delivery Authority to formulate proposals for and provide the operational delivery of the works; and
- A Parliamentary Works Estimates Commission to lay the Sponsor Body’s estimates before Parliament and help assess the Sponsor Body’s proposed expenditure.
In addition to setting up these bodies, the bill would specify their duties, how they would operate and their relationship with each other and with Parliament.
The bill follows a motion, agreed in both Houses in early 2018, to proceed with the works and to set up the bodies outlined above. The Houses agreed there was a “clear and pressing need” for the repair works. They also accepted the conclusion of the Joint Committee on the Palace of Westminster that a “full and timely decant of the Palace is the best and the most cost-effective delivery option”. However, although the bill does contain some provisions as to duties the bodies would have in the case of either House decanting from the Palace, the bill itself does not enforce this option.
The bill was introduced in the House of Commons on 8 May 2019 and it completed its stages in the Commons on 19 June 2019. Four amendments were made to the bill at report stage, with two of these accepted by the Government and the others agreed upon division. These now form part of the bill. Two other matters, relating to heritage and to an annual audit of the size and location of companies involved in the works, were flagged up as matters worthy of further consideration in the House of Lords.
The bill is due to be receive its second reading in the House of Lords on 8 July 2019.