Palace of Westminster: Repairs and Maintenance

Parliamentary Works Sponsor Body written question – answered on 11th March 2021.

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Photo of Dehenna Davison Dehenna Davison Conservative, Bishop Auckland

To ask the Right hon. Member for East Hampshire, representing the Parliamentary Works Sponsor Body, what advice the Sponsor Body has sought from (a) the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, (b) HM Treasury and (c) the National Audit Office on the costs of the Restoration and Renewal Programme and ensuring value for money.

Photo of Damian Hinds Damian Hinds Conservative, East Hampshire

The Parliamentary Works Sponsor Body has good working relationships with the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA), HM Treasury and the National Audit Office (NAO). As the Sponsor Body transitioned out of Parliament, where it existed in shadow form, to becoming a formal statutory body, advice was sought from the IPA on good practice and lessons learned in areas such as assurance and governance. The relationship with the IPA continues to be positive and the Sponsor Body has recently worked with the IPA to identify independent reviewers for a forthcoming Gateway Review.

Productive discussions continue with HM Treasury regarding the Sponsor Body's preparation of the Outline Business Case for the Restoration and Renewal Programme and, under the terms of the Parliamentary Buildings (Restoration and Renewal) Act 2019, HM Treasury also has a role to provide advice to the Parliamentary Works Estimates Commission on the Sponsor Body's Estimate for each financial year prior to that Estimate being laid in the House of Commons.

Both the IPA and HM Treasury contributed to the recent Strategic Review via discussions as part of the Review's Challenge Panel.

The NAO published a review of the R&R Programme in April 2020, highlighting the vital and urgent need to restore the Houses of Parliament. That report contained a number of helpful recommendations which the Sponsor Body accepted in full. The Sponsor Body welcomes further reviews by the NAO on behalf of Parliament over the coming years to ensure value for money is delivered for the taxpayer. Both the Sponsor Body and Delivery Authority will also continue to work with the NAO to apply lessons learned from NAO reviews of other projects and programmes as well as in relation to the NAO's role as the external auditor for the Sponsor Body and Delivery Authority.

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