Select Committee on Treasury Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Letter from Mr Michael Mates MP, Northern Ireland Affairs Committee

  Thank you for your letter and enclosure of 12 December 2001 concerning the review of Departmental Reports.

  The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee has not in this Parliament made any use of the supplementary estimates; indeed, the Winter Supplementaries included no additional provision for the Northern Ireland Office. You may however wish to know, in the context of developments in the reporting procedure, that the Northern Ireland Office has informed the Committee of a reduction in the Requests for Resources from five to two in 2002-2003, to bring the estimate into line with those for other GB Departments.

  In the past the Committee, like other select committees, has drawn upon the Annual Report as a useful source of information in its scruitiny of the Northern Ireland Office's work; the staff have been charged with drawing to our notice any matters in the Supplementary Estimates which are worthy of attention. Whether the Committee will wish to change this pattern in future will depend, of course, on the style and content of the revised Report when we see it. I anticipate, however, that the Committee will also wish to be kept informed of developments in respect of the new autumn submission, and may well conduct formal proceedings if it then seems appropriate to clarify matters or to seek refinements of the process in 2003.

15 January 2002

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