Select committee attendance
26. Full participation of a committee's members
in its work is essential to the effectiveness of that committee.
It ensures that Members share the experiences and evidence upon
which they will base their report; it encourages vital trust between
them; and it helps in building up the collective expertise of
27. In the circumstances it is strange that the
House's convention of recording attendance at select committees
should mark a Member as present if, for example, he or she were
in the committee room for only the first minute rather than remaining
for the whole of the three-hour evidence session which followed.
Over a Session, the formal record of a Member's attendance may
thus be wholly misleading.
28. A Member who is prepared to serve on a select
committee must regard that service as a significant priority in
his or her Parliamentary work, with the appropriate commitment.
We therefore think it entirely reasonable that the Chairman of
a select committee should be able to report to the Panel a Member
who, without good reason (such as standing committee service),
had not taken a full part in, say, four successive formal Committee
activities (both sittings and other events). We would expect the
Select Committee Panel to replace a Member whose participation
was no longer justifying his or her membership of that committee,
but was keeping out other Members who wanted to join.