Press Notice 5, Session 2005-06

PASC launches inquiry:

Governing the Future

PASC - the Public Administration Select Committee - has launched an inquiry into the place of strategy and planning in government. 

• How does government find a balance between planning for long term future problems like global warming, medium term issues with a high profile such as bird flu, while addressing pressing issues of the day?

• What incentives are there for the Government to solve long term problems that require immediate, but often unpalatable, decisions?

The inquiry will focus on the role of the Centre, including the Number 10 Strategy Unit, in strategic planning, the relationship between the centre and individual departments in the strategic planning process, and the results of strategic work in government. The Issues and Questions paper published today also asks:

• Is strategic thinking too centralised, or not centralised enough?

• How does one train someone to carry out strategic thinking?

• Is there a greater role for Parliament in the Strategic Planning process?


The Committee is inviting written evidence from interested parties and will also hold evidence sessions to hear oral evidence from some of those who submit written evidence and from relevant officials.  The Issues and Questions paper can be found on the Committee website  Responses to the paper should be with the Committee by Friday 2nd December.  Some respondents may wish to concentrate on those issues in which they have a special interest, rather than necessarily answering all the questions.

Evidence submitted should:

• be submitted as hard copy on A4 paper and as an electronic file also, by email to, or on computer disk in Rich Text Format, ASCII, WordPerfect 8 or Word. Hard copies should be sent to Eve Samson, Clerk, Public Administration Select Committee, Committee Office, First Floor, Committee Office, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA;

• have a covering letter containing your full postal address and contact details;

• any memorandum of more than ten pages should begin with a one page summary;

• avoid the use of colour or expensive-to-print material;

• further guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at

Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, either by printing the written evidence alongside the oral evidence or by making the evidence available through the Parliamentary Record Office.  If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

It would be helpful, for Data Protection purposes, if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details separately in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 


The Committee was nominated on 13 July 2005.  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 Membership of the Committee is as follows:

Tony Wright (Chairman) (Lab) (Cannock Chase), Mr David Burrowes (Con) (Enfield, Southgate), Paul Flynn (Lab) (Newport West), Julia Goldsworthy (Lib Dem) (Falmouth & Camborne), David Heyes (Lab) (Ashton under Lyne), Kelvin Hopkins (Lab) (Luton North), Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger (Con) (Bridgewater), Julie Morgan (Lab) (Cardiff North), Mr Gordon Prentice (Lab) (Pendle), Grant Shapps (Con) (Welwyn Hatfield), Jenny Willott (Lib Dem) (Cardiff Central)

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

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