Select Committee system effectiveness and influence inquiry launched

18 January 2019

The Liaison Committee – the committee of all the Chairs - has launched an inquiry into the effectiveness and influence of the select committee system which scrutinises the work of Government and associated bodies.

The inquiry

The inquiry is timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the creation of the departmental select committee system in June 2019, when the Liaison Committee will publish its recommendations for change.

2019 also sees the 10th anniversary of the Wright Report, which brought a wave of reforms, including the election of select committee Chairs.

Inquiry focus

Questions which the inquiry focuses on include:

  • Do Select Committees perform the right functions, with the right people, resources, powers and outputs?
  • What has worked well, and what can they do better?
  • How can committees improve diversity of their evidence and witnesses, be more inclusive, and engage A wider range of people with their work?

See a full list of the themes and questions for the inquiry.

Send us your views

This new inquiry offers an opportunity for everyone to share their views about and experiences of the select committee system – including anyone who has provided written evidence, appeared as a witness, representative groups and leaders from civil society, business and Government – and anyone who is interested in the work of committees.

Send us your views through The effectiveness and influence of the select committee system inquiry portal.

Deadline for written submissions is Thursday 28 February 2019.

Chair's comment

The Chair of the Liaison Committee, Dr Sarah Wollaston, said:

"Select committees ensure that Members can come together and work together across party divides, often showing Parliament at its best. Committees are central to the scrutiny of government, and provide a platform for views and expertise to be heard. They hold Government to account – as well as other powerful organisations and individuals as well. They produce reports based on evidence, and make recommendations to improve Government policy. This anniversary year provides a unique opportunity to take stock and reflect on what we do well, what we can do better, and how we can maximise our influence on Government on behalf of the public.

We want to know what select committees should be aiming to achieve. Are we focusing on the right things? What are the barriers to us hearing the evidence we need? Do our recommendations have an impact on government, and if not, why not? And what more can we do to enable a wider range of people to participate in our work?"

Further information

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