COMMONS

Fixed-term Parliaments: The final year of a Parliament

16 December 2013

Political and Constitutional Reform Committee begin a new inquiry into fixed term parliaments.

The inquiry

On 12 December 2013, the Committee agreed to conduct an inquiry into the effects of the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011 on the final year of a Parliament. This will follow-up on the Committee’s previous Report on The impact of the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011, which was published in July.

The greater certainty about the date of the next general election that is provided by the Fixed-term Parliaments Act means that, for the first time, it is possible to be reasonably sure when the final year of a Parliament begins. This new inquiry will focus on planning in the last year of a Parliament, and consider what improvements can be made.

Terms of reference for the inquiry

The Committee welcomes written evidence on any aspect of the impact of the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011, but will be looking in particular at:

  • What improvements could be made to the arrangements within the civil service for briefing the Opposition ahead of a general election, in light of the greater certainty about the date of the general election?
  • The Spending Review announced in June 2013 covers the 2015/16 financial year only. What discussions can take place in the final year of the current Parliament to prepare for the next Spending Review?
    o What scope is there for future Spending Reviews to more closely mirror the term of a Parliament?
  • What can the Government do to ensure there is a substantive legislative programme for the final year of the Parliament?
  • How is greater certainty about the date of the next general election likely to affect the work of Parliament, and in particular of Select Committees, in the final year before that election?
  • To what extent, if any, have the effects of the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011 been different because there is a Coalition Government?
    How to respond

The deadline for written submissions is Monday 13 January 2014. Submissions should not significantly exceed 3,000 words unless this has been cleared in advance with the Committee secretariat. Written responses to the Committee will be treated as evidence to the Committee and may be published. If you object to your response being made public, please make this clear when it is submitted.

Written evidence to the inquiry into Fixed-term Parliaments: The final year of a Parliament should be submitted online

If you are considering submitting written evidence please read the following guidelines

If you intend to make a submission and require further time, please contact Edward Faulkner on 020 7219 0772 or [email protected]

Further information

Image: Parliament copyright

Share this page