PASC 03-04 P.N 20

Session 03-04

Press Notice No.20


PASC-the House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee-this week questions two former Cabinet Ministers about their experience of public inquiries. Frank Dobson, former Labour Health Secretary, and Lord Heseltine, former Conservative Deputy Prime Minister, will on Thursday help the Committee examine the issues surrounding investigatory inquiries into public service failures.

The two former ministers, who will appear at 10.45 am on Thursday, have been involved with a number of major investigations, including the Scott inquiry into arms to Iraq and the Bristol heart babies inquiry. The Committee will be exploring, among other things, the sort of circumstances that prompt Ministers to call inquiries, the implications for departments of the aftermath of inquiry reports and the role of Parliament in the inquiry process.

At 9.45 am on Thursday, the Committee will take evidence from three senior officials of departments which have been involved in a number of recent inquiries-John Gieve, Permanent Secretary at the Home Office, Sir Brian Bender, Permanent Secretary at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Sir Liam Donaldson, the Government's Chief Medical Officer.

The evidence session will take place in the Grimond Room, Portcullis House, London SW1.

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For further information please telephone Philip Aylett, Clerk of the Committee on 020 7219 3498

Tony Wright may be contacted for press inquiries on 020 7219 5583

Publications and evidence, including uncorrected evidence, is also available on the Internet at

For information regarding forthcoming meetings including venues and times please call the

House of Commons Committee Information Line on 020 7219 2033 (updated daily).

NOTE FOR EDITORS: The Committee was nominated on 16 July 2001.  Its terms of reference are to examine the reports of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsmen, and to consider matters relating to the quality and standards of administration provided by Civil Service departments, and other matters relating to the Civil Service.  The members are:

Tony Wright (Chairman) (Lab) ( Cannock Chase)
Annette Brooke (Lim Dem) ( Mid Dorset and Poole North)
Mrs Anne Campbell (Lab) ( Cambridge)
Sir Sydney Chapman (Con) ( Chipping Barnet)
Mr David Heyes (Lab) ( Ashton under Lyne)
Mr Kelvin Hopkins (Lab) ( Luton North)
Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger (Con) ( Bridgewater)
Mr Gordon Prentice (Lab) ( Pendle)
Hon Michael Tren (Con) ( Windsor)
Mr Brian White (Lab) ( Milton Keynes North East)