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Lords COVID-19 Committee disappointed at Government’s engagement with their work

22 July 2021

The Committee is concerned about the quality of the response it has received from the Government to their recent inquiry.

The COVID-19 Committee has taken the unusual step of publishing a report in which it criticises the recent response received from the Government to its Beyond Digital inquiry. The inquiry considered how the pandemic has rapidly accelerated digital trends such as e-commerce, the online provision of public services, remote working, and automation by businesses, and what the long-term implications of this might be for our social and economic wellbeing.

Governments traditionally provide responses to reports of select committees within two months of publication. The response received by the COVID-19 Committee, however, failed to acknowledge one third of the Committee’s 24 recommendations, including on significant issues such as ensuring that employment rights are fit for the digital age and the need to mitigate the long-term impact on pupils of the last sixteen months of disrupted schooling.

The Committee has called on the Government to provide a more substantive response to their report, and also raised broader concerns that a lack of engagement by governments with committee reports hampers the ability of Parliament to hold the Government to account and to properly investigate public policy.

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