The Work of the Committee 2008-09 - Science and Technology Committee Contents

6  Conclusion

64.  It has been an interesting and challenging year as a select committee scrutinising government. We spent most of the year scrutinising a department, DIUS, albeit with a remit also to scrutinise science across government. We attempted to do justice to all the different parts of the DIUS portfolio. The pressures caused by two large inquiries—on science and engineering and higher education—inevitably displaced some work though we carried out scrutiny across all our main subject areas. We ended the year reverting to a cross-government scrutiny committee. We are anxious to pick up this work as smoothly and quickly and to get down to scrutinising science in government, particularly on evidence-based policy making.

65.  As we point out in our Report, Putting Science and Engineering at the Heart of Government Policy, the arrangements adopted in October 2009 for the Science and Technology Committee were the best that could be achieved following the machinery of Government changes.[75] Having now operated as a Committee for two months we are of the view that following the general election the committee's main fields of work cover science, engineering and technology policy and that as a result it should be called the Science, Engineering and Technology Committee. The Committee should revert to 11 members with a quorum of three.

75   HC (2008-09) 168-I, para 210 Back

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Prepared 15 December 2009