Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons Written Evidence


Letter from Rt Hon Alan Williams MP, Chairman of the Liaison Committee (M46)

INQUIRY INTO STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF THE BACKBENCHER AND MAKING BETTER USE OF NON-LEGISLATIVE TIME

  The Liaison Committee this morning discussed two issues which are relevant to the Modernisation Committee's current inquiry.

  The Committee supported the proposal made by a previous Liaison Committee that there should be the opportunity for a weekly `committee half-hour' on the floor of the House, making it possible for Members, including a Minister and the Chairman or another member of the relevant Committee, to make brief comments on a Select Committee report. The proposal is for brief comments rather than a debate, and would not pre-empt detailed consideration of a report and the Government's reply to it.

  The Committee also took the view that Committees should have the option of having their reports debated in the Chamber on substantive motions put forward by the Committee concerned. In many cases Committees might not want to proceed in this way, but the option would be available if the Committee considered it worthwhile.

  I enclose relevant extracts from three reports of the Liaison Committee in 1999-2000. 6 The Liaison Committee would like the Modernisation Committee to consider these proposals as part of its current inquiry.

May 2007





 
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