Resources for select committees
115. In our Report last year, we noted the announcement
of a review of select committee resources, to follow up the 2002
review initiated by the House of Commons Commission. The review
was led by a Director at the NAO, and reported in November 2007.
The key conclusions of the review were:
- the changes introduced by the
2002 review were , broadly, a success;
- since the 2002 review, workload and staff numbers
have increased; current resources are roughly appropriate for
the needs of committees but could be deployed more effectively,
- career development opportunities for staff, especially
administrative staff, fail to make the best use of their potential.
In response to the review, Committee Office management
is taking forward several pieces of work:
- the development of a new staffing
model for researchers and policy analysts which will provide the
best and most flexible resources for committees and for individual
- an analysis of current areas of specialism of
research staff across the Committee Office and the Library;
- establishment of clear development opportunities
and training routes for administrative staff of committees, and
- a fundamental analysis of the current staffing
needs of each committee.
116. We welcome the fact that the resource needs
of select committees continue to be kept under review, and look
forward to the outcome of the work now being carried out by Committee
Office management. In this context, we note that improved scrutiny
by the House of the Government's financial reporting is likely
to require both increased specialist advice and a change in the
nature of the advice required.