Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons First Report


36. Some select committees have experienced occasional difficulty in obtaining evidence from witnesses whom they considered to be crucial to their enquiries. For example, a former Minister, now a member of the House of Lords, might be the most appropriate person to provide background information on a previous policy decision or executive action. Yet the Standing Orders of both Houses currently leave it to the individual Member to decide whether or not to agree to give evidence to a select committee in the other House. We recommend that, in the light of the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Parliamentary Privilege,[16] these limitations on the power to require witnesses to give evidence should be reviewed by the appropriate committees of both Houses.

16   HC 214-I of Session1998-99, paragraph 239. Back

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