Select Committee on Treasury Third Report

1  Introduction

The scope of the Treasury Committee's work

1. HM Treasury is the United Kingdom's economics and finance ministry. It is responsible for formulating and implementing the Government's financial and economic policy.[1] Our duty to scrutinise such wide-ranging responsibilities ensures that the scope of the Treasury Committee's work is similarly wide. Our work encompasses examination of fiscal and monetary policy, study of the operation of financial services markets, and their impact on consumers in particular, and consideration of the operation of the several departments and public bodies which report to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. These include HM Revenue and Customs, which is now responsible for a substantial element of the welfare state as well as performing the traditional revenue and duty collection functions of its predecessor departments.

Purpose and structure of this Report

2. The concept of annual reports by select committees originated with a Report by the Liaison Committee published in March 2000 which advocated a more systematic approach by select committees to critical examination of their own work and its impact.[2] The Treasury Committee in the 1997-2001 Parliament reported on its work in December 2000, surveying activities of the Committee and its Sub-Committee during the Parliament which began in 1997 to that point.[3] The Treasury Committee in the 2001-05 Parliament reported on its work in the early months following its establishment in a memorandum to the Liaison Committee.[4] Subsequently, in respect of each calendar year from 2002 to 2004, the then Treasury Committee published an annual report on its work early in the following calendar year.[5]

3. The main purpose of this Report is to provide an account of the work of the Treasury Committee in the current Parliament from its appointment until the end of 2006. In addition, in order to provide continuity, some mention is made of the activities of the previous Committee in the last months of the 2001-05 Parliament. The work of that Committee formally came to an end with the dissolution of Parliament on 11 April 2005.[6] The membership of the Committee in the present Parliament was determined on 13 July 2005 and we held our first meeting the following day.

4. Chapter 2 of this Report provides an overview of the current Committee's work to the end of 2006. In chapter 3, we analyse the activities of the Committee thematically in relation to the "core tasks" assigned to select committees, and departmental select committees in particular, by the House of Commons and the Liaison Committee. Chapter 4 deals with the Committee's working practices and relations with the Treasury.

1 Back

2   Liaison Committee, First Report of Session 1999-2000, Shifting the Balance: Select Committees and the Executive, HC 300, paras 51-55 Back

3   Treasury Committee, First Report of Session 2000-01, Work of the Treasury Committee and Treasury Sub-Committee, HC 41 Back

4   Liaison Committee, First Report of Session 2001-02, The Work of Select Committees 2001, HC 590, Appendix S Back

5   Treasury Committee, Fifth Report of Session 2002-03, Annual Report for 2002, HC 491; Treasury Committee, Fourth Report of Session 2003-04, Annual Report for 2003, HC 386; Treasury Committee, Third Report of Session 2004-05, Work of the Treasury Committee in 2004, HC 335 Back

6   The last meeting of the House of Commons in the 2001-05 Parliament was on 7 April 2005; the then Treasury Committee held its last meeting on 5 April 2005. Back

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Prepared 26 January 2007