The House of Lords Liaison Committee has today published its report Review of House of Lords Investigative and Scrutiny Committees: towards a new thematic committee structure.
In March 2018 the Liaison Committee began a review of House of Lords investigative and scrutiny committees. This followed a recommendation from the 2015 report that established a new International Relations Committee. This review is the first full review of House of Lords committees in over 25 years, following the publication of the Jellicoe review in 1992. The review heard from more than 50 oral witnesses and received over 70 pieces of evidence, from House of Lords Members, other parliaments and external organisations.
The report recommends a move towards a more thematic structure of committee activity, addressing current scrutiny gaps including those around health, education and social affairs. It is recommended that a new Public Services Committee be created at the beginning of the next Parliamentary session, and that the remits of some existing committees be expanded to provide more comprehensive coverage of the main areas of public policy. The report also contains measures intended to allow Lords committees to engage more widely and more creatively with external audiences, alongside provisions for greater follow-up and evaluation of previous committee activity.
Lord McFall of Alcluith, Chair of the Liaison Committee commenting on the report said:
"House of Lords committees are rightly one of the most valued facets of our work. They perform a vital role, using the rich expertise of members of the House to produce detailed cross-cutting reports that raise important and often overlooked issues and have a real impact on public policy.
"The proposed thematic structure will allow the House to continue to adapt to the ever evolving technological, social and political changes facing the country. By so doing our committees will not only maintain but enhance their well-deserved reputation as outstanding beacons of parliamentary scrutiny."
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