LORDS

Follow-up evidence from senior civil servants on quality of SIs

04 September 2017

The Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee (SLSC) takes follow-up evidence from senior members of the civil service, about what has been done to maintain and improve standards throughout Whitehall since their first evidence session in July 2016.

Witnesses

Tuesday 12 September 2017 at 4.00pm in Committee Room 3A, Palace of Westminster

  • Elizabeth Gardiner, First Parliamentary Counsel and Permanent Secretary in the Cabinet Office
  • Jonathan Jones, HM Procurator General, Treasury Solicitor and Head of the Government Legal Service and Crown's Nominee
  • Sir Chris Wormald, Head of Government policy profession and Permanent Secretary in the Department of Health

Background

The Scrutiny Committee has a long-standing concern that Government departments do not always provide sufficient information in support of statutory instruments laid before Parliament.  In July 2016, the Committee first questioned Ms Gardiner, Mr Jones and Sir Chris Wormald and heard from them that a cross-Whitehall "improvement package" would be put in place.

In a follow-up public oral evidence session, the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee is asking the officials to explain what action has been taken over the last year.  The adequacy of supporting information will become even more important to Parliament when Departments lay secondary legislation in relation to "Brexit" (under powers which the Government are seeking through the EU (Withdrawal) Bill).

The Scrutiny Committee's most recent end-of-session report (32nd Report of 2016-17) noted that, in 2016-17, it reported seven instruments for insufficient information, while a total of 47 Explanatory Memorandums were replaced because of deficiencies.

Further information

Image:  Parliamentary copyright

Share this page