Select Committee on Treasury Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Letter from Mr Archy Kirkwood MP, Work and Pensions Committee

  Thank you for your letter dated 12 December. I have now had the opportunity to examine the proposals to change the content and style of 2002 Departmental Reports outlined in the letter from the Chief Secretary.

  The predecessor Committee regularly examined the Department (usually the Secretary of State) on the Report at an oral evidence session. The last such occasion was 2 May 2001 and the Minutes of Evidence were published as HC, 2000-01, 457-i.

  During the course of that session, I commented (at Qs 2 & 3) on the complexity of the report and associated accounts. I would, therefore, favour any improvement in the presentation and content of the report which made the document clearer and I believe that the proposals by the Chief Secretary will assist in this regard.

  I note that the proposed changes are to be introduced on an interim basis and therefore hope that the Treasury, via your Committee, will provide a further opportunity for consultation once the results have been produced and considered by Committees.

  Finally, I can confirm that, although the Committee did not receive advance copies of the Winter Supplementary Estimates, the content was discussed informally by officials. In view of the content of the estimate, the Committee does not intend to make any use of the information, but the explanatory material provided in the estimates was considered helpful.

  I hope this helps your Committee's deliberations.

15 January 2002

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