Select Committee on Procedure Minutes of Evidence

Supplementary information from the Department of Social Security


  So far as we are aware, no representations were made to the Department by individual members of Parliament, in advance of the provision being voted on. However, the chairmen of the Social Security Select Committee and the Committee of Public Accounts did express concerns about what is now Section 82. This led to the undertaking given by Stephen Timms, Minister of State in the Department at the time, to consult both those Committees on draft reports before formally tabling them before the House (Hansard, 20 May 1999, column 1338).


  In the letter of 19 April from the chairman of the procedure committee, he suggested (in paragraph 5) that information should be routinely provided in respect of future draft reports under four headings. Each of these headings were covered in detail in the Department's memorandum of 31 May. As was made clear, in response to later questions, we are happy to share all the information that we have about the expenditure that is the subject of a Section 82 report, subject only to considerations of "commercial confidentiality".

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