Estimates and the Audit Committees

The activities of the House of Commons are funded under two budgets or Estimates, which provide the legal authority for the House to finance its activities. The House of Commons Administration Estimate covers the staff of the House and its running costs, and the Members Estimate covers certain expenditure relating to MPs. Much of the expenditure previously authorised under the Members Estimate, including members’ pay and allowances, was transferred to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority from the start of the 2010 Parliament.

The Administration Estimate Audit Committee (AEAC) is a sub-committee of the House of Commons Commission, and the Members Estimate Audit Committee (MEAC) is a sub-committee of the Members Estimate Committee. Both Committees support the Clerk as Accounting Officer in discharging his responsibilities under the relevant estimate. In particular, the Committees advise on: the effectiveness of the system of governance, risk management and internal control; the integrity of the Resource Accounts; the work of the internal audit service and the external auditor (the NAO); and other matters referred to them by the Accounting Office or the Commission/MEC. The Committees have identical membership, comprising three MPs and three external members, one of whom chairs the Committees.

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