Select Committee on Social Security Second Report

The Social Security Committee is appointed to examine on behalf of the House of Commons the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department of Social Security (and any associated public bodies). Its constitution and powers are set out in the House of Commons Standing Order No. 152.

The Committee has a maximum of eleven members, of whom the quorum for any formal proceedings is three. The members of the Committee are appointed by the House and unless discharged remain on the Committee until the next dissolution of Parliament. The present membership of the Committee is as follows:

Ms Karen Buck

Mr Vernon Coaker (added 9 November 1998; discharged 1 February 1999).

Mr David Crausby (added 6 December 1999).

Mr Andrew Dismore (added 9 November 1998).

Mr Howard Flight (added 20 July 1998; discharged 26 July 1999).

Mr Michael Foster (Hastings and Rye) (added 9 November 1998; discharged 25 January 1999).

Mr Nick Gibb (discharged 20 July 1998).

Mr Paul Goggins (added 28 November 1997; discharged 9 November 1998).

Ms Patricia Hewitt (discharged 9 November 1998).

Mrs Joan Humble (added 9 November 1998).

Mr Andy King (added 29 November 1999).

Miss Julie Kirkbride (discharged 22 November 1999).

Mr Archy Kirkwood (elected Chairman 16 July 1997).

Mr Edward Leigh (discharged 13 December 2000)

Siobhain McDonagh (discharged 28 November 1997).

Kali Mountford (added 9 November 1998; discharged 29 November 1999).

Dr Doug Naysmith (added 25 January 1999).

Mr Chris Pond (discharged 29 November 1999).

Mr Laurence Robertson (added 22 November 1999).

Mr Frank Roy (discharged 9 November 1998).

Ms Debra Shipley (added 1 February 1999; discharged 29 November 1999).

Ms Gisela Stuart (discharged 9 November 1998).

Mr Desmond Swayne (added 26 July 1999).

Mr Gareth Thomas (Clwyd West) (added 29 November 1999).

Mr Malcolm Wicks (discharged 9 November 1998).

Mrs Ann Winterton (added 13 December 2000).

On the 16 July 1997, the Committee elected Mr Archy Kirkwood as its Chairman.

The Committee has the power to require the submission of written evidence and documents, to examine witnesses, and to make Reports to the House. In the footnotes to this Report, references to oral evidence are indicated by 'Q' followed by the question number, references to the written evidence are indicated by 'Ev' followed by a page number, or by reference to the Appendix number of the evidence.

The Committee may meet at any time (except when Parliament is prorogued or dissolved) and at any place within the United Kingdom. The Committee may meet concurrently with other committees or sub-committees established under Standing Order No. 152 and with the House's European Scrutiny Committee (or any of its sub-committees) for the purpose of deliberating, taking evidence or considering draft reports. The Committee may exchange documents and evidence with any of these committees, as well as with the House's Public Accounts, Deregulation and Environmental Audit committees.

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 A list of Reports of the Committee in the present Parliament is at the end of this volume.

All correspondence should be addressed to The Clerk of the Social Security Committee, 7 Millbank, London, SW1A 3JP. The telephone number for general enquiries is: 020 7219 5833; the Committee's e-mail address is:

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