EXAMINATION OF EXPENDITURE
TASK 5: TO EXAMINE THE EXPENDITURE PLANS AND
OUT-TURN OF THE DEPARTMENT, ITS AGENCIES AND PRINCIPAL NDPBS
11. The Annual Departmental Reports and Accounts
of the Home Office and the Lord Chancellor's Department formed
the basis for evidence sessions with the relevant Permanent Secretaries.
The Committee was also able to question these witnesses and, later,
the Home Secretary, on the results of Spending Review 2002.
EXAMINATION OF PUBLIC
TASK 6: TO EXAMINE THE DEPARTMENT'S PUBLIC SERVICE
AGREEMENTS, THE ASSOCIATED TARGETS AND THE STATISTICAL MEASUREMENT
EMPLOYED, AND REPORT IF APPROPRIATE
12. The evidence sessions with the Permanent Secretaries
of the Home Office and Lord Chancellor's Department included consideration
of the two departments' performance against past targets and PSAs
and the development of new ones for the forthcoming year.
ASSISTING THE HOUSE IN
DEBATE AND DISCUSSION
TASK 10: TO PRODUCE REPORTS WHICH ARE SUITABLE
FOR DEBATE IN THE HOUSE, INCLUDING WESTMINSTER HALL, OR DEBATING
13. Home Affairs Committee reports were 'tagged'
on the Order Paper as relevant to debates in the House on three
successive sitting days in December 2002, which we think may be
a record. Two of the reports were on the Criminal Justice Bill
and the Extradition Bill, and were aimed to inform the respective
second reading debates; the third was that on "The Government's
Drugs Policy: is it working?", which was tagged in relation
to a full-day Estimates Day debate on drugs policy. Earlier in
the year, our report on the Police Reform Bill had also been tagged
in relation to the second reading debate.
All tasks: Extent to which systematic structure
is in place for meeting the indicative tasks listed, and response
14. The Committee has been informed of major policy
initiatives by the departments, mainly through press notices and
liaison with the Parliamentary Clerks, and conducts inquiries
into these as and when appropriate. The departments have been
helpful and co-operative in response to the Committee's inquiries.
We are discussing with the Home Office ways of improving the mechanisms
by which the Committee is kept informed of significant developments.