How we work

Defence Committee: How we work


We work principally by undertaking inquiries. Within our terms of reference, we choose our own subjects of inquiry and seek evidence from a wide range of groups and individuals with relevant interests and experience.

Depending on the subject, external deadlines and the amount of oral evidence we decide to take, an inquiry may last for several months and give rise to a report to Parliament. Other inquiries may simply consist of a single day's oral evidence which we may publish without making a report.


We receive evidence in writing, we also call witnesses to give evidence to us in person. This evidence almost always takes place in public, and is often televised. Transcripts from our oral evidence sessions are made available as soon as possible on our website.

Archives of webcasts of the evidence sessions are also available from


A report is produced once the evidence gathering process is complete, setting out our findings, coming to conclusions, and making recommendations where we believe that action needs to be taken. The Government responds to our conclusions and recommendations, both in published replies to our Reports, and, where it agrees with us, through its actions. The Government has two months to reply to a Committee report.

Our reports are available on our website, and also in printed format from the Stationery Office.

Informal meetings and visits]

In addition to formal evidence session, we hold informal meetings and visits. We frequently visit UK forces in the UK and overseas.