Role of the Committee
The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee scrutinises the policy, spending and administration of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and its public bodies, including Ofgem, the Financial Reporting Council and the Committee on Climate Change. It is chaired by Rachel Reeves MP.
The BEIS Committee has examined a variety of business, energy and climate change issues in recent years, ranging from topics including automation, workers’ rights and climate change to product safety, regional growth, and the audit industry. Over recent Parliaments, the Committee has examined corporate failures at BHS and Carillion (jointly with the Work & Pensions Committee) and at Thomas Cook and has also picked up on issues affecting small businesses such as poor payment practices. The Committee has taken a keen interest in corporate governance matters, examining issues such as executive remuneration and the gender pay gap.
The Committee regularly holds accountability evidence hearings with Government Ministers and with bodies such as the Financial Reporting Council, the Committee on Climate Change and Ofgem. The BEIS Committee also hears from a range of stakeholders in the course of its work, receiving evidence from academics, business groups, NGOs and charities to its inquiries.
The BEIS Committee was one of the six Select Committees of the House of Commons that commissioned the citizens’ assembly on climate change.
On 14 July 2016, the then Prime Minister announced that elements of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills would merge with the Department for Energy and Climate Change to become the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. On 11 October 2016, the House of Commons Standing Orders governing the committee structure were amended to allow the Committee to be renamed in order to reflect this change.
The remit of the Committee reflects the responsibilities of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and includes such issues as business regulation and corporate governance, energy and climate change (formerly covered by the Energy and Climate Change Committee), and science and innovation.