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Parliament: Security

Question for House of Commons Commission

UIN 206466, tabled on 17 July 2014

To ask the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross representing the House of Commons Commission, how much the contract with Metropolitan Police Service to provide search and screening functions at the Houses of Parliament is expected to cost by the the time it ends on 31 March 2015; whether any financial penalties have been incurred during the course of the contract; and whether the contract contains (a) a break clause and (b) an option to extend beyond March 2015.

Answered on

22 July 2014

The final decision about which organisation will provide security officer services from April 2015 has not yet been taken. Consequently, no procurement process for the provision of the search and screening function at the three main public entrances has begun and no date has been set. The parliamentary authorities continue to work in partnership with the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to agree and implement a mutually acceptable outcome. In October, the Parliamentary Security Director, as Chair of the Security Arrangements Renewal Programme (SARP) Board, will provide an update to committees of both Houses on progress made in negotiations with the MPS over the summer recess.

The SARP business case will not be disclosed at this stage for commercial and security reasons. This is usual practice for such documents. A high-level statement of Parliament’s requirements for security post-2015 was communicated to MPS in February, since when it has been refined in discussion with MPS. A much more detailed specification was sent to MPS in June. The parliamentary authorities are now negotiating with the MPS about the scope of services the MPS will provide.

The expected overall cost of the current contract with the MPS, which is due to expire in March 2015, is £155,380,200. A breakdown of costs associated with the individual parts of the service, including the search and screening function, cannot be provided, on grounds of commercial sensitivity. No financial penalties have been incurred under the current contract, which does not contain a break clause. The contract includes an option to extend for a maximum period of two years if agreed by both parties.

Answered by

House of Commons Commission