The House of Lords Constitution Committee took evidence from Sajid Javid MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, and Paula Diggle, Treasury Officer of Accounts, as part of its inquiry into the pre-emption of Parliament by Government action.
The Committee questioned the witnesses on whether the frequency of government spending money in anticipation of legislation has changed over time and asked for examples of where the Government have committed to spending before a proposal has been agreed by Parliament. They explored the Treasury’s statement that it acts as the guardian of Parliament’s interests in Whitehall, and how this works where the Government’s and Parliament’s interests conflict.
Mr Javid and Ms Diggle was questioned on how Government departments abide by the requirement in the Treasury document Managing Public Money that expenditure cannot be authorised prior to Royal Assent unless the relevant piece of legislation is “certain or virtually certain to pass into law”, and how that is assessed.
The evidence session started at 10.30am on Wednesday 6 February in Committee Room 1 of the House of Lords.