PASC 03-04 PN.10

Session 2003-04

Press Notice No.10


PASC-the House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee-today asks for comments on the value of independent public inquiries into controversial events. Publication of an "issues and questions" consultation paper launches PASC's examination of "government by inquiry", with evidence to come from the men who led the investigations into the cases of David Kelly, Victoria Climbie and the Bristol heart babies.

The Committee's paper asks whether there should be a reconsideration of the way inquiries' terms of reference are set and their chairs are appointed. It also seeks views on whether there should be greater Parliamentary involvement in the establishment of inquiries. PASC will be taking into account experience of a wide range of inquiries, including those by Lord Scarman into the Brixton riots and Lord Saville into Bloody Sunday. It will not be seeking to re-open or duplicate any of the inquiries, but to see what lessons can be learned for future cases.  

Exact dates for oral evidence from Lord Hutton, Lord Laming (Climbie) and Sir Ian Kennedy (Bristol babies) will be announced in due course.

Responses to the issues and questions paper should be in by 2 April.

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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).