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Role - Foreign Affairs Committee

7 June 2010

The Foreign Affairs Committee examines the expenditure, administration and policy of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and its associated agencies and public bodies. The FCDO is also responsible for UK participation in international and regional multilateral organisations such as the United Nations, the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and NATO. The Committee examines the FCDO’s role in these international and regional fora.


The Committee is made up of eleven Members of Parliament, appointed by the House of Commons.


The Committee chooses its own subjects of inquiry. Depending on the subject, external deadlines, and the amount of oral evidence the Committee decides to take, an inquiry may last for several months and give rise to a report to the House; other inquiries may simply consist of a single day's oral evidence which the Committee may publish without making a report.

When the Committee has chosen an inquiry it normally issues a press notice outlining the main themes of inquiry and inviting interested parties to submit written evidence. It may also identify possible witnesses and issue specific invitations to them to submit written evidence. Witnesses in a typical inquiry include ministers and officials from the FCDO, together with a range of other witnesses depending on the nature of the inquiry; this may include representatives from academic and research institutions, think tanks and NGOs, interest groups, international organisations, former diplomats and journalists.

If you would like to receive press releases from the Committee please email the Foreign Affairs Committee.