Select Committee on Work and Pensions Second Report

3  New developments of 2005-06

You and Yours

50. In order to engage in a wider debate on the subject of Pension Reform the Chairman of the Committee appeared on the Radio 4 show, 'You and Yours', to answer questions and to listen to audience views. The calls and emails received were reflected in the Report and provided a useful insight for the Committee.

Questionnaire pilot

51. This year the Committee has been taking part in a Committee Office pilot to distribute questionnaires to witnesses asking them about their experiences of select committee scrutiny. Committee staff drew up a questionnaire with subjects ranging from administration arrangements to the tone and style of questioning. Feedback has been very positive with most witnesses being satisfied with the service they have received from the Committee staff and with the way the meetings ran. Following this pilot the Liaison Committee has now agreed on a generic questionnaire for the use of all select committees. The witness questionnaires relate to two of the three principal House objectives, in that the results of feedback will help the House's committees to conduct their business more effectively and may also lead to an improved perception of the work of Parliament by others.

Evidence on internet

52. The Committee decided this Parliament that written memoranda to inquiries should be published on the internet as soon as possible after being received. We hope that this will be of use both to witnesses and others who wish to follow the progress of Committee inquiries. This way witnesses can read other submissions and those listening to the evidence have a better background knowledge of what is being discussed. So far this system has been working well.

Updates to the Press List

53. With the start of the Parliament the Committee thought it would be useful to review the list of press contacts and interested parties who receive emails about the work of the Committee to ensure that the information reaches as many people as possible. Requests for contact addresses were placed on relevant websites and we now have over 400 names on our lists of individuals or groups interested in different areas of our work.

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