18 October 2018

Draft governance bill published for Palace of Westminster restoration

The draft Bill to establish the statutory bodies responsible for the restoration of the Palace of Westminster has been published today.

The draft Parliamentary Buildings (Restoration and Renewal) Bill will establish a governing body which will have overall responsibility for the Programme.

The Bill will also require the Sponsor Body to create a Delivery Authority charged with delivering the programme to the scope, budget and timescale set by the Sponsor Body. The draft Bill is expected to be scrutinised by a joint select committee in advance of its anticipated introduction next year.

The legislation also establishes a Parliamentary Works Estimates Commission. This body will review the Programme’s proposed annual expenditure, including consultation with the Treasury, and will present the programme’s estimates to Parliament for approval in the usual way. The Bill was developed jointly by Government and Parliament.

Earlier this year, both Houses of Parliament agreed to temporarily vacate the Palace of Westminster to allow the increasingly urgent work on the building to be carried out in one single phase. They also agreed to establish an Olympic-style Sponsor Body, set up through legislation, and Delivery Authority to manage the work.

The Sponsor Body was established in shadow form earlier this summer. The draft Bill, if passed into legislation, will allow the Sponsor Body to be set up in statute. Further information on the current governance arrangements, including information on the shadow Sponsor Board and Delivery Authority is available on the Restoration and Renewal Programme website.

Liz Peace, Chair of the shadow Sponsor Board, said:

“The publication of this draft Bill allows the restoration of the Palace of Westminster, one of the most iconic buildings in the world, to proceed to the next important stage.

The bodies set up by this legislation will have the powers to make strategic decisions on the programme, as well as deliver the restoration works themselves, but at the same time they will remain accountable to Parliament, and this will ensure we can continue to put value-for-money for the taxpayer at the heart of the restoration.

We are pleased that the Government recognises the need to make this progress, so that the building can be secured as the home of the UK Parliament for future generations.”