About the House of Commons Service
The purpose of the House of Commons Service is to “Support a thriving parliamentary democracy”. It does this through:
- facilitating effective scrutiny and debate;
- involving and inspiring the public; and
- securing Parliament’s future.
The ever present backdrop is that this work is carried out in a site consisting of a number of buildings, including a neo-gothic Palace, that has to be maintained and preserved whilst providing 21st Century services, including cutting edge digital technology and applications.
People are at the heart of the House of Commons Service. It is through the commitment and professionalism of our employees that the House and its visitors have come to expect and enjoy exceptional levels of service.
In all the Service employs around 2,500 people, working together in and across a number of teams:
- Support for the House of Commons to do its job (Chamber and Committees): parliamentary and procedural expertise; supports scrutiny and debate: 150 chamber sitting days; 104 sitting days for Westminster Hall; nearly 1,300 select committee meetings; over 400 General Committee meetings
- Supporting the organisation to be efficient, professional and fit for the future (Corporate Services): oversees £200 million+ resource budget; sharply increasing capital budget; a headcount of 2,000+ people
- Providing the essential enabling services including catering, maintenance, cleaning, office moves, access (In-House Services): 17 catering venues across four buildings, with over 1.4 million meals served annually; maintenance services provided 24/7 – nearly 39,000 maintenance requests dealt with in 2014/15
- Promoting public engagement with Parliament (Participation): 1m visitors; a target of 100,00 school visits in 2016-17; outreach to UK citizens
- Providing high quality research and briefing on the issues that matter to Members, their staff and the public (Research and Information): policy expertise provided on every subject to every Member; 67 research papers written; 194 debate packs prepared; nearly 27,000 enquiries answered; over 4,000 standard notes available on the intranet (2014/15)
- Keeping us safe (Security): balancing protection of one of the highest profile targets with access for all; over 1 million visitors screened annually
- Looking to the future (Strategic Estates): responsible for the long term preservation and development of the buildings and supporting infrastructure that constitute the Parliamentary Estate
- Excellent digital services for a modern Parliament (Digital Service): managing our IT and digital resources to provide secure technology that works