10 March 2017

Public Accounts Committee supports Parliament move-out

A report published today by the Public Accounts Committee has supported recommendations that Parliament should leave the Palace while major works to the building are carried out.

The Public Accounts Committee recently conducted an inquiry into the Restoration and Renewal Programme, which reviewed the robustness of the options, indicative costings and project management proposals. The Committee’s role is to scrutinise the value for money of public spending and it holds the government to account for the delivery of public services.

In its report, the Committee endorsed the option recommended by the Joint Committee on the Palace of Westminster as being “the most economical, effective and efficient choice” in restoring the heritage-listed building.

The report concluded that:

  • Further delay and indecision will result in costs to the public purse whichever option is settled on
  • A Decision in Principle should be reached swiftly and that the decision should be to pursue a full move out of the Palace while it is being renovated to make it ready for at least another 150 years as the home of Parliament
  • A two-tier governance model, with a sponsor body and a delivery authority should be established, similar to the Crossrail and 2012 Olympics models
  • In supporting the conclusions of the Joint Committee, the feasibility of a full move out must be demonstrated clearly, and beyond reasonable doubt, with a comprehensive risk analysis before a final decision is made
  • The National Audit Office should be empowered to audit the delivery authority and carry out value for money studies, and
  • It is vital the sponsor body and delivery authority carry out effective public engagement.

Read the report in full:

Find out more about the Committee’s role and its membership on the UK Parliament website.