Select Committee on Public Accounts Fifteenth Report

Committee of Public Accounts

The Committee of Public Accounts is appointed under Standing Order No. 148 to examine on behalf of the House of Commons "the accounts showing the appropriation of the sums granted by Parliament to meet the public expenditure, and of such other accounts laid before Parliament as the committee may think fit, to consist of not more than fifteen Members, of whom four shall be a quorum. The Committee shall have the power to send for persons, papers and records, to report from time to time, and to adjourn from place to place.".

This Parliament's Committee was nominated on 25 July 1997 and on 28 October that year its membership was increased to 16. The Committee's Members are nominated by the House and continue to be Members of the Committee for the remainder of the Parliament unless the House orders otherwise. For ease of identification names followed by an asterisk represent current Members of the Committee of Public Accounts. Members nominated to the Committee in this Parliament are as follows:

Rt Hon David Davis* (Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden) (elected Chairman 30.07.97)
Mr Simon Burns* (Conservative, Chelmsford West) (added 07.11.00)
Mr Alan Campbell* (Labour, Tynemouth)
Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (Conservative, Cotswold) (discharged 02.07.99)
Rt Hon David Curry (Conservative, Skipton and Ripon) (added 02.07.99) (discharged 07.11.00)
Mr Ian Davidson* (Labour, Glasgow Pollok)
Mr Geraint Davies* (Labour, Croydon Central)
Ms Maria Eagle (Labour, Liverpool Garston) (discharged 29.11.99)
Mr David Faber* (Conservative, Westbury) (added 07.11.00)
Mr Barry Gardiner* (Labour, Brent North) (added 10.06.99)
Ms Jane Griffiths (Labour, Reading East) (discharged, 21.10.99)
Mr Nigel Griffiths* (Labour, Edinburgh South) (added 29.11.99)
Mr Phil Hope (Labour, Corby) (discharged 05.11.98)
Mr Edward Leigh* (Conservative, Gainsborough) (added 14.04.2000)
Mr Christopher Leslie (Labour, Shipley) (discharged 05.11.98)
Mr Andrew Love* (Labour, Edmonton)
Rt Hon Robert Maclennan (Lib Dem, Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross) (discharged 03.11.99)
Mr Jim Murphy* (Labour, Eastwood) (added 29.11.99)
Mr Richard Page (Conservative, Hertfordshire South West) (discharged 14.04.2000)
Ms Dawn Primarolo (Labour, Bristol South) (added 30.10.97) (discharged 12.01.99)
Mr David Rendel* (Lib Dem, Newbury) (added 03.11.99)
Mrs Barbara Roche (Labour, Hornsey and Wood Green) (added 12.01.99) (discharged 03.11.99)
Mr Gerry Steinberg* (Labour, City of Durham) (added 05.11.98)
Mr Stephen Timms* (Labour, East Ham) (added 03.11.99)
Mr Derek Twigg (Labour, Halton) (added 17.11.98) (discharged 10.06.99)
Mr Stephen Twigg (Labour, Enfield Southgate) (added 05.11.98) (discharged 17.11.98)
Mr Charles Wardle (Conservative, Bexhill and Battle) (discharged 07.11.00)
Rt Hon Dafydd Wigley (Plaid Cymru, Caernarfon) (discharged 16.12.97)
Rt Hon Alan Williams* (Labour, Swansea West)

The Committee has the power to require the submission of written evidence and documents, to examine witnesses, and to make Reports to the House. The Committee may not arrange to meet at any time when the House is adjourned, prorogued or dissolved. It has power to meet at any place in the United Kingdom and may also travel abroad.

The Committee may meet concurrently with the European Scrutiny Committee or any of its sub-committees for the purpose of deliberation or taking evidence. It may receive documents from that Committee or from any Committee established under Standing Order No. 152 and may make available to those Committees evidence received from the National Audit Office which has not been reported to the House.

The reports and evidence of the Committee are published by The Stationery Office by Order of the House. All publications of the Committee (including press notices) are on the internet at

All correspondence should be addressed to The Clerk of the Committee of Public Accounts, Committee Office, House of Commons, London SW1P 3JA. The telephone number for general inquiries is: 020-7219-5708. The Committee's e-mail address is:

In the footnotes to this Report, references to oral evidence are indicated by 'Evidence, Q' followed by the question number; references to the written evidence are indicated by 'Evidence' or 'Evidence, Appendix ......', followed by a page number.

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Prepared 18 July 2001