The Liaison Committee has agreed to the
THE WORK OF SELECT COMMITTEES 2001
This is a time of opportunity for committees. We
welcome the Leader of the House's statement that " Good scrutiny
makes for good government ". The priority given by him to
committees as scrutiny's " most developed vehicle" creates
a sense of expectancy.
The Modernisation Committee is due to report shortly;
we have agreed to appoint a Sub-Committee to prepare our response.
We shall keep up the pressure for reform.
We are continuing the work of our predecessors in
publishing annual reports from select committees on their work
over the past year, their forward plans, and problems they may
We draw attention to some familiar problems, in particular
- slow, and sometimes inadequate , replies from
- failure to publish bills in draft or, if published,
to allow sufficient time for scrutiny;
but we are also happy to record some areas where
progress has been made by select committees, and where more can
- in joint working with one another, and
with the National Audit Office
- in new means of public consultation
- in improving the accessibility of public hearings
- in modernising the appearance of reports.
We make some modest proposals for change
- formal departmental target times for replies
- changes to Standing Orders as sought by the Joint
Committee on Human Rights
- formal powers to committees meeting concurrently
to choose/elect a chairman.