Select Committee on Work and Pensions First Special Report

The Work and Pensions Committee is appointed to examine on behalf of the House of Commons the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department for Work and Pensions (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 membership of the Committee since its nomination on 16 July 2001 has been as follows:

    Miss Anne Begg
    Ms Karen Buck
    Mr Andrew Dismore
    Mr Paul Goodman
    Mrs Joan Humble
    Rob Marris
    Mr Andrew Mitchell
    James Purnell
    Mr Andrew Selous
    Mr David Stewart

    Mr Archy Kirkwood was elected Chairman on 18 July 2001.

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 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 for the purpose of deliberating, taking evidence or considering draft reports and with the House's European Scrutiny Committee (or any of its sub-committees) or the Environmental Audit Committee for the purpose of deliberating or taking evidence. The Committee may exchange documents and evidence with any of these committees, as well as with the House's Public Accounts and Deregulation 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

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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Prepared 30 October 2001