House of Commons
Session 2008 - 09
Publications on the internet
Weekly Information Bulletin
Weekly Information Bulletin: 21st March 2009

Select Committees

Select Committees are set up to examine the work of Government Departments, and now constitute the main investigatory system by which the House overseas the exercise of Government responsibilities and the development of public policy and expenditure.

The following information on Select Committees is available on the Parliament website:

Select Committee membership:

Links to Select Committee home pages containing information on the work of the Select Committee and its publications:

For further information on Select Committees see HCIO Factsheet P2 produced by the House of Commons Information Office, available in hardcopy on request or to download from the Parliament website.


North East Regional Committee:

Chairman: Ms Dari Taylor

Standards and Privileges:

Mr David Curry discharged and Mr Greg Knight added

Select Committee Meetings
16 - 20 March 2009

Monday 16 March

Northern Ireland Affairs
Subject: A Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland.
Witnesses: Thomas Duncan, Commissioner, Ann Hope, Commissioner, Professor Colin Harvey, Commissioner, and Virginia McVea, Head of Legal Services, Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission; Patrick Corrigan, Sara Boyce and Pam Tilson, Northern Ireland Human Rights Consortium.

Northern Ireland Affairs
Subject: Omagh Support and Self Help Group.
Witnesses: Omagh Support and Self Help Group.

Innovation, Universities and Skills Sub Committee
Subject: Putting Science and Engineering at the Heart of Government Policy.
Witnesses: Nick Dusic, Campaign for Science and Engineering, Professor David Edgerton, Imperial College London, Professor David Charles, Regional Studies Association, and Professor Adrian Smith, Director General for Science and Research, Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills; Sir Roland Jackson, British Science Association, Professor Iain Haines, UK Deans of Science, and Tracey Brown, Sense about Science.

Children, Schools and Families
Subject: School Accountability.
Witnesses: Association of School and College Leaders, Association of Teachers and Lecturers, General Teaching Council for England, National Association of Head Teachers, and National Union of Teachers.

Public Accounts
Subject: (i) Crown Courts Administration (ii) National Audit Office Supply Estimate 2009-10.
Witnesses: Christine Mayer CBE, Chief Executive, HM Courts Service, and Peter Handcock CBE, Director General, Access to Justice, Ministry of Justice (ii) Tim Burr CB, Comptroller and Auditor General, Jim Rickleton, Assistant Auditor General, and Phil Woodward, Director of Finance, National Audit Office.

Communities and Local Government
Subject: Appointment of the Chair of the Infrastructure Planning Commission.
Witnesses: Sir Michael Pitt, Chair-designate of the Infrastructure Planning Commission.

Tuesday 17 March

Subject: Banking Crisis.
Witnesses: Lord Myners CBE, Financial Services Secretary HM Treasury.

Home Affairs
Subject: Managing Migration: Points-Based System.
Witnesses: Migration Advisory Committee; Phil Woolas MP, Minister of State for Borders and Immigration, Matthew Coats, Director, Immigration Group, and Neil Hughes, Director, Points-Based System Programme, Home Office.

Welsh Affairs
Subject: Digital Inclusion in Wales.
Witnesses: Vodafone and Apple; BBC, Digital UK and Switchover Help Scheme.

Subject: Russia: A new confrontation?
Witnesses: Professor Jonathan Stern, Director of Gas Research, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, and John Roberts, Energy Security Specialist, Platts; Professor Martin McCauley, University of London, Dr Roy Allison, London School of Economics and Political Science, and Dr Alex Pravda, University of Oxford.

Public Accounts Commission

Subject: NAO's Estimate for 2009-10

Witnesses: Tim Burr CB, Comptroller and Auditor General, Sir Andrew Likierman, Chairman, Jim Rickleton, Assistant Auditor General, and Phil Woodward, Finance Director, National Audit Office

Subject: The role of the Prison Officer.
Witnesses: Alison Liebling, Professor of Criminology, Cambridge University; Frances Crook, Director, Howard League for Penal Reform, and Juliet Lyon, Director, Prison Reform Trust.

Subject: The work of the Service Complaints Commissioner.
Witnesses: Dr Susan Atkins, Service Complaints Commissioner for the Armed Forces.

Wednesday 18 March

Work and Pensions
Subject: DWP's Autumn Performance Report 2008.
Witnesses: Sir Leigh Lewis KCB, Permanent Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions.

Children, Schools and Families
Subject: Child Health Strategy.
Witnesses: National Children's Bureau, National Youth Agency, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and Unite-Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association.

Subject: The use of Airspace.
Witnesses: Eurocontrol and European Commission Directorate-General for Energy and Transport; NATS.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Subject: Securing Food Supplies up to 2050: The Challenges for the UK
Witnesses: Natural England

Public Accounts
Subject: The Health of Livestock and Honeybees in England
Witnesses: Dame Helen Ghosh DCB, Permanent Secretary, Katrina Williams, Director General, Food and Farming, and Stephen Hunter, Deputy Director, Plant and Bee Health, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and Catherine Brown, Chief Executive, Animal Health

Thursday 19 March

Scottish Affairs
Subject: Banking in Scotland.
Witnesses: Royal Bank of Scotland; Lloyds Banking Group.

Public Administration
Subject: Leaks and Whistleblowing in Whitehall.
Witnesses: Katharine Gun, Dr Brian Jones and Derek Pasquill; Carne Ross.

Subject: Patient Safety.
Witnesses: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and National Patient Safety Agency; Professor Lord Darzi of Denham KBE, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ann Keen MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, and Sir Liam Donaldson KB, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health.

Energy and Climate Change
Subject: UK offshore oil and gas.
Witnesses: Professor Alexander Kemp, University of Aberdeen; Malcolm Webb, Chief Executive Officer, Paul Dymond, Operations Director, and Mike Tholen, Economics Director, Oil and Gas UK.

Subject: Banking Crisis.
Witnesses: Rt Hon Alistair Darling MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Friday 20 March


Forthcoming Select Committee Meetings

23 - 27 March 2009

Monday 23 March

Innovation, Universities and Skills Sub-Committee
Subject: Students and Universities
Witnesses: Professor Gerald Pillay, Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Liverpool Hope University, Professor Michael Brown, Vice-Chancellor, Liverpool John Moores University, and Professor Jon Saunders, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Liverpool; Professor Bernard Longden, Liverpool Hope University, Professor
Lin Norton, Liverpool Hope University, and Professor Mantz Yorke, Lancaster University (at 2.45pm) ; Panel of Students from Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool John Moores University and University of Liverpool

2.00pm Liverpool Hope University
Children, Schools and Families
Subject: Teacher Training
Witnesses: Professor Pat Broadhead, Chair, Training, Advancement and Co-operation in Teaching Young Children, Di Chilvers, Early Years Regional Adviser, The National Strategies, Professor Elizabeth Wood, School of Education and Lifelong Learning, University of Exeter, and Sally Yates, Vice-Chair, Universities' Council for the Education of Teachers

3.45pm The Wilson Room, Portcullis House
Welsh Affairs
Subject: The National Assembly of Wales (Legislative Competence) (Welsh Language) Order 2009
Witnesses: CBI; Cymdeithas yr Iaith and Mudiadau Dathlu'r Iaith (at 4.45pm);
The Mobile Broadband Group (at 5.15pm)

4.05pm Committee Room 6, Palace of Westminster
Public Accounts
Subject: Type 45 Destroyer
Witnesses: Sir Bill Jeffrey, Permanent Secretary, Dr Andrew Tyler Chief Operating Officer, Defence Equipment and Support, and Rear Admiral Paul Lambert CB, Capability Manager (Precision Attack) and Controller of the Navy, Ministry of Defence

4.30pm Committee Room 15, Palace of Westminster

Tuesday 24 March

Regulatory Reform
Subject: Inquiry into themes and trends in regulatory reform
Witnesses: Consumer Focus, Citizens Advice, Trading Standards Institute, Which?, Trades Union Congress

9.35am Committee Room 19, Palace of Westminster
Subject: February 2009 Inflation Report
Witnesses: Mervyn King, Governor, Paul Tucker, Deputy Governor, Spencer Dale, Executive Director, Professor Tim Besley and Professor David Blanchflower, External Members of the Monetary Policy Committee, Bank of England

9.45am The Thatcher Room, Portcullis House
Culture, Media and Sport
Subject: Press standards, privacy and libel
Witnesses: Jeff Edwards, Crime Reporters Association, Sean O' Neill, The Times, and Ben Goldacre, The Guardian; Tim Bowdler CBE, Chairman, The Press Standards Board of Finance, Sir Christopher Meyer KCMG, Chairman and Tim Toulmin, Director, Press Complaints Commission (at 11.30am)

10:30am The Wilson Room, Portcullis House

Home Affairs*
Subject: Knife Crime
Witnesses: Professor Kevin Browne; Chris Grayling MP (at 11.00am); Chris Huhne MP (at 11.30am); Alan Campbell MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office, and David Hanson MP, Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (at 12.00 noon)

10.30am Committee Room 8, Palace of Westminster
Welsh Affairs
Subject: (i) Legal Services Commission (ii) The provision of cross-border transport services for Wales
Witnesses: Lord Bach, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice and The Legal Services Commission (ii); Ieuan Wyn Jones, Minister for the Economy and Transport, Welsh Assembly Government (at 11.15am)

10.30am Committee Room 6, Palace of Westminster
Subject: Russia: A new confrontation?
Witnesses: Oksana Antonenko, International Institute for Strategic Studies;
Sir Andrew Wood, Chatham House, Denis Corboy, King's College London and Dr Jonathan Eyal, RUSI (at 11.15am)

10.30am Committee Room 15, Palace of Westminster
Business and Enterprise
Subject: Post Offices - securing their future
Witnesses: The Co-operative Society, Paypoint, Consumer Focus, Age
Concern / Help the Aged, Citizens Advice Bureau (at 11.30am)

10.30am The Grimond Room, Portcullis House
Joint Committee on Human Rights
Subject: Childrens Rights
Witnesses: Baroness Morgan of Drefelin, Parliamentary-Under Secretary of State, and Anne Jackson, Director, Child Wellbeing Group, Department for Children, Schools and Families

1.45pm Committee Room 5, Palace of Westminster
Communities and Local Government
Subject: Traditional Retail Markets
Witnesses: National Association of British Market Authorities; Chris Hurdman (an Oxfordshire Market Trader); New Markets Solutions (at 3.30pm); City of Bradford Metropolitan Council, Bolton Metropolitan Council and Leicester City
Council (at 4.00pm)

3.00pm Leicester Town Hall, Leicester

Wednesday 25 March

Energy and Climate Change
Subject: UK offshore oil and gas
Witnesses: Mike O'Brien MP, Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

9.45am The Thatcher Room, Portcullis House
Children, Schools and Families*
Subject: The Protection of Children in England: Lord Laming's Progress Report
Witnesses: Lord Laming of Tewin CBE

10.15am The Wilson Room, Portcullis House
Scottish Affairs
Subject: Enforcement of the National Minimum Wage
Witnesses: Rt Hons Stephen Timms MP, Financial Secretary, HM Treasury

2.15pm Committee Room 16, Palace of Westminster
Home Affairs*
Subject: Violent crime/drugs
Witnesses: Rev Jesse Jackson

2.30pm Committee Room 8, Palace of Westminster
Foreign Affairs
Subject: Global Security: Afghanistan
Witnesses: Elizabeth Winter and Dr Jonathan Goodhand, School of Oriental and African Studies; David Mansfield, Consultant, and Fabrice Pothier, Director, Carnegie Europe (at 3.45pm)

2.30pm The Grimond Room, Portcullis House
Northern Ireland Affairs
Subject: Omagh Bombing
Witnesses: Mr John Ware, BBC Panorama
3.00pm The Thatcher Room, Portcullis House

Thursday 26 March

Public Administration*
Subject: Official Statistics: Publication of Immigration and Workforce Statistics
Witnesses: Phil Woolas MP, Minister of State, Home Office and HM Treasury; UK Statistics Authority and Office of National Statistics (at 10.45am)

10.00am The Thatcher Room, Portcullis House
Home Affairs Sub-Committee
Subject: Project Contest
Witnesses: (tbc)
10.15am Committee Room 21, Palace of Westminster

Friday 27 March


All public Select Committee meetings are webcast.

Select Committees marked with * will be taken by BBC Parliament

Please note: The decision of a Committee to sit in public may be rescinded, and the place altered without notice.

Committees which sit at short notice may not be included in this list.

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Prepared 21 March 2009