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Call for Evidence

Written submissions

The inquiry

The House of Lords Statutory Inquiries Committee was set up on 24 January 2024 to “consider the efficacy of the law and practice relating to the Inquiries Act 2005”. Its task, in other words, is to consider how well that Act is working, and whether statutory inquiries run as efficiently and effectively as possible, and with the right degree of oversight. The Committee must report by 30 November 2024.

This is a public call for written evidence to be submitted to the Committee. The deadline is 5pm on Friday, 19 April 2024.

An inquiry can be set up by a minister under section 1 of the Inquiries Act 2005 into “a matter of public concern”.

The objects of the Act were “to make inquiries swifter, more effective at finding facts and making practical recommendations, and less costly, while still meeting the need to satisfy the public’s expectation for a thorough and wide-ranging investigation.”

The House of Lords has previously carried out post-legislative scrutiny of the 2005 Act. Its Report was published in 2014 and made 33 recommendations to Government, 19 of which were accepted. As part of its own inquiry, the Committee will be considering the extent to which those recommendations, and in particular those agreed to by the Government, have been implemented.

The questions

The Committee would welcome views on whether the Act has achieved its objectives. It would in particular welcome views on the following issues:

1. Does the 2005 Act provide the right framework for ensuring that inquiries are:

a) Effective

b) Efficient

c) Appropriately overseen, and

d) Followed-up?

 

2. How could the following be improved?

a) The Inquiries Act 2005.

b) The Inquiry Rules 2006 and the Inquiries (Scotland) Rules 2007.  

 

3. The 2014 House of Lords report made 33 recommendations to the Government, of which 19 were accepted.

a) How effectively have the accepted recommendations been implemented?

b) Do any of the rejected recommendations still have merit?

 

4. Since the publication of the 2014 Lords report, how has the use and operation of the 2005 Act changed? 

 

5. Ministers have recourse to statutory and non-statutory inquiries. Should the 2005 Act be amended to reflect or change this in any way?

 

6. Does the Act ensure that official core participants and wider stakeholders are sufficiently and appropriately involved in the proceedings?

Guidance for submissions

Written evidence should be submitted online using the written submission form available at https://committees.parliament.uk/submission/#/evidence/3343/preamble. This page also provides guidance on submitting evidence.

The deadline for written evidence is 5pm on Friday, 19 April 2024.

Persons who submit written evidence, and others, may be invited to give oral evidence. Oral evidence is usually given in public at Westminster and broadcast online; transcripts are also taken and published online. Persons invited to give oral evidence will be notified separately of the procedure to be followed and the topics likely to be discussed.

This is a public call for evidence. Please bring it to the attention of other groups and individuals who may not have received a copy direct.

You may follow the progress of the inquiry at: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/702/statutory-inquiries-committee/

This call for written evidence has now closed.

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