Constitution Committee - Eleventh Report
Inter-governmental relations in the United Kingdom

Here you can browse the report which was ordered by the House of Lords to be printed 18 March 2015.


Terms of Reference


Chapter 1: Introduction

Box 1: Why inter-governmental relations are important

The purpose of inter-governmental relations

Carrying out the inquiry

Chapter 2: The formal structures of inter-governmental relations

The existing structures

The Joint Ministerial Committee

Lessons from other examples of inter-governmental relations

Devolved and federal systems

The British-Irish Council

Improving the formal structures

The importance of a formal framework

The current Joint Ministerial Committee

Bilateral forums

Box 2: Complexity and inter-dependency: Welfare powers

Policy co-operation and co-ordination

Box 3: Policy and research co-operation: driver behaviour

Dispute resolution

A statutory basis for inter-governmental relations

The Finance Ministers' Quadrilateral

Independent advice on funding the devolved administrations

An imbalanced relationship?

Equal participants

Mutual respect

Chapter 3: Ministerial responsibilities

Territorial Offices and Secretaries of State

Recommendations and changes, 2002-10

Current ministerial and departmental responsibilities

Towards a merged department?

Arguments in favour

Arguments against

Central co-ordination and responsibility

Chapter 4: The Civil Service and departmental interactions

Formal and informal arrangements

An inconsistent approach


Experience and expertise among civil servants

Chapter 5: Transparency and parliamentary scrutiny


Joint Ministerial Committee and formal bilateral meetings

Civil service

Committee scrutiny

Current committee structures

Proposed new committee

Cross-parliamentary co-operation

Wider parliamentary scrutiny

Regular statements and debates

Parliamentary debates and devolved matters

Chapter 6: Inter-governmental relations, devolution and the future of the United Kingdom

Summary of Conclusions and Recommendations

Appendix 1: List of members and declarations of interests

Appendix 2: List of witnesses

Appendix 3: Call for Evidence

Evidence is published online at and available for inspection at the Parliamentary Archives (020 7218 3074).

Q in footnotes refers to a question in oral evidence.

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