The Social Security Committee is appointed to examine
on behalf of the House of Commons the expenditure, administration
and policy of the Department of Social Security (and any associated
public bodies). Its constitution and powers are set out in the
House of Commons Standing Order No. 152.
The Committee has a maximum of eleven members, of
whom the quorum for any formal proceedings is three. The members
of the Committee are appointed by the House and unless discharged
remain on the Committee until the next dissolution of Parliament.
The present membership of the Committee is as follows:
Ms Karen Buck
Mr Vernon Coaker (added 9 November 1998; discharged 1 February
Mr David Crausby (added 6 December 1999).
Mr Andrew Dismore (added 9 November 1998).
Mr Howard Flight (added 20 July 1998; discharged 26 July 1999).
Mr Michael Foster (Hastings and
Rye) (added 9 November
1998; discharged 25 January 1999).
Mr Nick Gibb (discharged 20 July 1998).
Mr Paul Goggins (added 28 November 1997; discharged 9 November
Ms Patricia Hewitt (discharged 9 November 1998).
Mrs Joan Humble (added 9 November 1998).
Mr Andy King (added 29 November 1999).
Miss Julie Kirkbride (discharged 22 November 1999).
Mr Archy Kirkwood (elected Chairman 16 July 1997).
Mr Edward Leigh (discharged 13 December 2000)
Siobhain McDonagh (discharged 28 November 1997).
Kali Mountford (added 9 November 1998; discharged 29 November
Dr Doug Naysmith (added 25 January 1999).
Mr Chris Pond (discharged 29 November 1999).
Mr Laurence Robertson (added 22 November 1999).
Mr Frank Roy (discharged 9 November 1998).
Ms Debra Shipley (added 1 February 1999; discharged 29 November
Ms Gisela Stuart (discharged 9 November 1998).
Mr Desmond Swayne (added 26 July 1999).
Mr Gareth Thomas (Clwyd West) (added 29 November 1999).
Mr Malcolm Wicks (discharged 9 November 1998).
Mrs Ann Winterton (added 13 December 2000).
On the 16 July 1997, the Committee elected Mr Archy Kirkwood
as its Chairman.
The Committee has the power to require the submission
of written evidence and documents, to examine witnesses, and to
make Reports to the House. In the footnotes to this Report, references
to oral evidence are indicated by 'Q' followed by the question
number, references to the written evidence are indicated by 'Ev'
followed by a page number, or by reference to the Appendix number
of the evidence.
The Committee may meet at any time (except when Parliament
is prorogued or dissolved) and at any place within the United
Kingdom. The Committee may meet concurrently with other committees
or sub-committees established under Standing Order No. 152 and
with the House's European Scrutiny Committee (or any of its sub-committees)
for the purpose of deliberating, taking evidence or considering
draft reports. The Committee may exchange documents and evidence
with any of these committees, as well as with the House's Public
Accounts, Deregulation and Environmental Audit committees.
The Reports and evidence of the Committee are published
by The Stationery Office by Order of the House. All publications
of the Committee (including press notices) are on the internet
at www.parliament.uk/commons/selcom/socseccom.htm. A list of Reports
of the Committee in the present Parliament is at the end of this
All correspondence should be addressed to The Clerk
of the Social Security Committee, 7 Millbank, London, SW1A 3JP.
The telephone number for general enquiries is: 020 7219 5833;
the Committee's e-mail address is: [email protected]