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The effectiveness and influence of the select committee system inquiry


Scope of the inquiry

The Committee invites written submissions on the following topics:

The work of select committees

  • Are select committees doing the best job they can, and if not, what is stopping them?
  • What should select committees aim to achieve? Do they focus on the right things?
  • How are the "core tasks" used, and should any changes be made? How can select committee achievements and impact be measured?
  • Are there particular examples of effective scrutiny by select committees that should be shared? Which select committee reports have had the biggest impact and why?
  • How will the UK’s future relationship with the EU have an impact on the departmental select committee system?


  • Are there any matters relating to the diversity and independence of select committee membership and chairs that should be addressed?
  • Is the rule requiring Members whose attendance falls below 60% to be reported effective?
  • Should the election of select committee chairs be extended to all committees?

Witnesses, evidence, and select committee powers

  • Are committees getting the right evidence? What barriers are there to select committees getting the information they need?
  • What is it like to give evidence either oral or written evidence to a committee? Is the experience appropriate for the different sorts of people and organisations committees invite to appear?
  • What more can be done to encourage witness diversity and wider public engagement?
  • Do select committees have the right resources to get the job done? Do they have access to the expert advice and commissioned research they need? How might they collaborate more effectively with the publicly-funded and charitable sector research bodies?

Public engagement and profile

  • How might the public profile of committee outputs be raised, for example, by making changes to the content, format and style of committee reports?
  • Are there any methods of involving the public that have worked particularly well, or that would be open to select committees who wish to innovate in new or different ways?
  • How well have departmental select committees worked alongside initiatives in public engagement and information within parliament such as Parliament Week and Vote100?

Joint working, cross-cutting scrutiny, and the role of the Liaison Committee

  • Are current structures effective in allowing for joint working and co-operation between committees?
  • Could the Liaison Committee take an increased role in cross-cutting policy issues, and if so, what changes might be needed to its standing orders to achieve this?
  • Are there any ways in which the Liaison Committee might improve its work in regularly taking evidence from the Prime Minister?

Reports, special reports and government responses

View all reports and responses
4th Report - The effectiveness and influence of the select committee system
Inquiry The effectiveness and influence of the select committee system inquiry
HC 1860

Oral evidence transcripts

View all oral evidence transcripts
13 May 2019
Inquiry The effectiveness and influence of the select committee system inquiry
Witnesses Esther Webber, Political Reporter, The Times, and Carole Walker, former Political correspondent, BBC; Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP, Leader of the House of Commons.
Oral Evidence
8 May 2019
Inquiry The effectiveness and influence of the select committee system inquiry
Witnesses Ruth Chambers, Senior Parliamentary Affairs Associate, Green Alliance, Kayley Hignell, Head of Policy (Families, Welfare and Work), Citizens Advice, Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive, Local Government Association, and Ed Cox, Director of Public Services and Communities, RSA; Professor Adam Cygan, Leicester Law School, University of Leicester, Dr Catherine Haddon, Senior Fellow, Institute for Government, Dr Holger Hestermeyer, Shell Reader in International Dispute Resolution, King’s College London, and Dr Jack Simson Caird, Senior Research Fellow in Parliaments and the Rule of Law, Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law.
Oral Evidence
29 April 2019
Inquiry The effectiveness and influence of the select committee system inquiry
Witnesses Dame Una O'Brien DCB, former Permanent Secretary; Sir Richard Mottram GCB, former Permanent Secretary; Rt Hon. Charles Clarke, former Secretary of State; Professor Meg Russell, Director, The Constitution Unit, University College London; Dr Hannah White, Deputy Director, Institute for Government; Dr Ruth Fox, Director, Hansard Society; and Professor Tony Wright, Emeritus Professor of Government and Public Policy, University College London.
Oral Evidence
Parliament and Treaties Hub, House of Commons (SCA0083)
British Academy of Management (SCA0082)
Dr Rachel Ramsey (SCA0081)

Other publications

No other publications published.

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