How effective is the house of commons in scrutinising the work of the executive? [25]

How effective is the house of commons in scrutinising the work of the executive? [25]

One way that parliament scrutinises the work of ministers is through departmental select committees, most notably the Public Accounts Committee. The job of these organisations is to monitor the performance, cross-examine and report on the actions of governmental departments, such as defence or education. These committees have both attributes and deflects. One positive aspect of the committees is that they are elected by parliament, not by government. This means that a mix of members from both parties will sit on them, hopefully producing unbiased results. Departmental select committees are also more likely to be effective as the members who sit on them are inclined to have special knowledge on the department they scrutinise as committees last for the whole parliamentary term. Member of Parliament may also build up there expertise on a subject through the enrolment of a committee Committees may also call on external witnesses or organisations to assist them; both Alan Rusbrige and Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe have been called to committees in December 2013. The report the committees publish may also have an effect on policy. For example in 2008 the Treasury Select Committee on published a report on ‘the run of the rock’ that criticised the Financial Services Authority, this lead to the nationalisation of Northern Rock. On the other hand, the committees have no means of enforcing their decisions and, primarily lack power; they have no way of ensuring the people that they examine are telling the truth, or will even turn up. This devalues the quality of their inquiries.  Additionally, committee recommendations are usually only recognised by government if they are sympathised with by the dominant party or have significant support. For example the public accounts committee has around


No comments have yet been made

Similar Government & Politics resources:

See all Government & Politics resources »See all house of commons in scrutinising the work of the executive resources »