Press Notice 38, Session 2005-06

25 April 2006

PASC Report on the Honours System (published in session 2003-04 as HC 212-I) to be debated by the House of Commons

The Public Administration Select Committee's 2004 report ‘A Matter of Honour: Reforming the Honours System’ proposed a radical overhaul of the honours system including the appointment of an independent commission to oversee the system. It also noted that uncertainties over the status of the peerage continue to be a cause of confusion. This report will be the focus of a Parliamentary Debate at 2.30pm on Thursday 27 April in Westminster Hall.

PASC Chairman Dr Tony Wright said:

“PASC’s report on Honours expressed the Committee’s concern at the award of honours to political donors. In recent weeks there have been serious questions raised about propriety and the honours system. This debate will provide a timely opportunity for Members of Parliament to discuss ways to address these concerns.”

The Committee is currently conducting a specific inquiry into propriety in the honours system. Details of future evidence sessions will be announced in due course.

Notes for editors:

1. The debate will take place on Thursday 27 April at 2.30pm in Committee Room 10. It will be open to the public and will also be webcast live (www.parliamentlive.tv).

2. The Committee Report that will be the subject of the debate was published in July 2004. Full details can be found online at: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200304/cmselect/cmpubadm/212/212.pdf

The Government’s response to this Report, published in February 2005, can be found online at: http://www.honours.gov.uk/downloads/pdf/honours_reform_command_paper.pdf

3. The Committee recently launched a new inquiry into propriety and the honours system. Full details can be found at:

http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/public_administration_select_committee/pasc0506pn29.cfm and at http://www.parliament.uk/documents/upload/Third%20Special%20Report%20Scrutiny%20of%20Political%20Honours.pdf

Full details of all the Committee’s inquiries can be found on the PASC website at http://www.parliament.uk/pasc/

FURTHER INFORMATION:

The Committee was nominated on 13 July 2005.  Its terms of reference are to examine the reports of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsmen, and to consider matters relating to the quality and standards of administration provided by Civil Service departments, and other matters relating to the Civil Service. The Membership of the Committee is as follows: Tony Wright (Chairman) (Lab) (Cannock Chase), Mr David Burrowes (Con) (Enfield, Southgate), Paul Flynn (Lab) (Newport West), (Falmouth & Camborne), David Heyes (Lab) (Ashton under Lyne), Kelvin Hopkins (Lab) (Luton North), Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger (Con) (Bridgewater), Julie Morgan (Lab) (Cardiff North), Mr Gordon Prentice (Lab) (Pendle), Paul Rowen (Lib Dem), Grant Shapps (Con) (Welwyn Hatfield), Jenny Willott (Lib Dem) (Cardiff Central)

Media Enquiries: Jessica Bridges-Palmer, 020 7219 0724/07917 488 447, email - [email protected]

Chairman: Dr Tony Wright may be contacted for press inquiries on 020 7219 5583

Watch committees and parliamentary debates online: www.parliamentlive.tv

House of Commons Committee Information Line: Tel 020 7219 2033 for information regarding forthcoming meetings including venues and times (updated daily).

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