Select Committee on Liaison First Report


First Report

Session 1997-98


Thursday, 20 November 1997

  By the Select Committee appointed to advise the House on the resources required for select committee work and to allocate resources between select committees; to review the select committee work of the House; to consider requests for ad hoc committees and report to the House with recommendations; to ensure effective co-ordination between the two Houses; and to consider the availability of Lords to serve on committees:


Future Committee activity

  1.    The Committee's First Report, Session 1996-97, recommended the re­appointment of the Committee on the Public Service in the new Parliament, on the understanding that it should complete its work by Christmas 1997. We have therefore considered whether another ad hoc Committee should be appointed after that Committee has reported to the House, but we have decided to defer a decision until the new year. This will enable us to take account of any proposals which may have emerged by then.

The European Union budget

  2.    We have considered the suggestion, made during Starred Questions on 4 November (Official Report, cols. 1317-18) that an additional Select Committee might be appointed to examine the European Union budget and perhaps other aspects of European Union expenditure.

  3.    We understand that the difficulties encountered by the European Communities Committee in scrutinising the annual budget proposals arise from the tight timetable, allowing little time for scrutiny, and that this problem is being actively addressed by the Committee, in particular in correspondence with Treasury ministers. We consider that it would serve no useful purpose to appoint a separate Committee. Nor would it be right to set up an additional Sub-Committee of the European Communities Committee, when only a year ago the number of Sub-Committees was increased from five to six for an experimental period of two years.

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Prepared 27 November 1997