The History of Parliament was established by a declaration of Trust made in 1940 (shown in the image above). The Trust operates under this document, subject to subsequent variations in March 1956, January 1967, October 1971 and July 1996. The History of Parliament is a registered charity (registration number 306034). Since 1951 it has received public funding, originally from the Treasury. It is now funded principally through two sets of Grant-in-Aid provided by the House of Commons and the House of Lords, currently in the proportion 67:33. The Grant-in-Aid is provided subject to the approval of the House of Commons Commission (for the Commons) and the House of Lords House Committee (for the Lords). A Financial Memorandum, agreed in 1995, governs the financial and administrative arrangements for the activities of the Trust and its relationship with the House of Commons Commission, and accountability for the Grant-in-Aid.
The overall management of the Trust is the responsibility of the Trustees. At no time are there more than fifteen Trustees. Trustees (other than the Treasurer, and some of those appointed ex officio) are normally, though not necessarily, members of either House of Parliament. New Trustees are appointed by a majority of Trustees. Should a majority not be reached, the Speaker of the House of Commons can appoint new Trustees. The Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords, the Chairman of Ways and Means in the House of Commons, the Clerk of the Parliaments in the House of Lords) and the Clerk Assistant of the House of Commons, all serve ex officio. The Secretary to the Trustees is appointed from the Clerk’s department of the House of Commons.
The responsibilities of the Trustees include:
- The determination of the programme of activity and monitoring of its progress and delivery;
- The arrangements for the administration and management of the Trust’s affairs;
- The appointment of a Treasurer and Secretary and the employment of staff as required;
- The determination of any conditions of service of people engaged, including any special provisions - e.g. sick pay arrangements;
- The raising of funds to cover the activities of the Trust and the appointment of the Director.
The Trustees normally meet at least four times a year to receive reports from the Treasurer and Secretary, to review the activities of the Editorial Board (see below) and the Trust, to fulfil their obligations in connection with applications for grant-in-aid and to agree a report to the Commission.