Letter from the Chairman to Chairmen of
Departmental Select Committees
In October 2000, the Treasury informed our predecessors
of its intention to review Departmental Reports with users and
producers, to see how they might be improved. It intended that
the review should be completed by May 2001. In the event, the
Review did not begin in earnest much before then, and was completed
in October 2001. Based on the conclusions of this Review, the
Chief Secretary proposed quite substantial changes in the context
and style of the 2002 Departmental Reports. I enclose a copy of
his letter to me outlining the proposals, and the rationale for
The timescale of the Review unfortunately precluded
my direct input from Select Committees themselves, one of the
core users of Departmental Reports, although a number of Clerks
supplied factual material about work done by their former Committees.
We therefore took evidence on the proposals from Treasury officials,
and a copy of the transcript is enclosed with this letter. In
the New Year, we shall be taking evidence from the Chief Secretary.
If you or your committee has any thoughts on what is proposed,
I should be delighted to receive them.
I should also be interested in your experience
this year with Estimates and, in particular, the recent Supplementary
Estimates, as this is the first year that Departments rather than
the Treasury have been responsible for their submissions to Parliament.
did you receive advance copies in
draft of the Supplementary Estimates;
how helpful was my explanatory material
in the Supplementary Estimates; and
what use has your Committee made,
or does it propose to make, of the Winter Supplementaries and
Vote on Account?
I look forward to hearing from you.