History of the Scrutiny Unit

The history of the Scrutiny Unit.

In 1998-99 the Procedure Committee examined Parliament's scrutiny of the Government's expenditure plans and concluded that select committees would need additional help to examine the newly introduced resource accounting and budgeting, three-year spending plans and departmental reports.

Procedure Committee, Sixth Report of Session 1998-99, Procedure for Debate on the Government's Expenditure Plans, HC 295, para 52

In 2000 the Liaison Committee developed this recommendation and argued that the House needed to establish a special unit to support committees in pre-legislative scrutiny as well as financial scrutiny.

Liaison Committee, First Report of Session 2000-01, Shifting the Balance: Unfinished Business, HC 321, paras 76-77

The Modernisation Committee recommended the formation of the Scrutiny Unit in 2002. The Scrutiny Unit was subsequently set up in November 2002. In its Annual Report for 2004, the House of Commons Commission reported that "The Scrutiny Unit has already established itself as a highly effective source of support to Committees..."

The House of Commons Commission, Twenty-sixth Annual Report, 2003-04, HC 791, Supporting the House and its committees, para 66

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