Select committees have come to play a central role in the UK’s system o parliamentarydemocracy. Only in 1979 was the modern House o Commons committee system established,with dedicated cross-party committees scrutinising the work o each governmentdepartment. Since then, the capacity, status and eectiveness o committees has increasedsteadily. Select committees today are as established a part o Westminster lie as PrimeMinister’s Questions.But as Andrew Tyrie sets out in this pamphlet we could and should move urther in enhancingthe inluence o select committees. Andrew Tyrie is well-placed to lead the discussion on thisagenda. He is a long-time campaigner or greater accountability o government to Parliament.And under his chairmanship, the Treasury Committee recently won an unprecedented vetopower over appointment to the independent Oice or Budget Responsibility.In this important pamphlet, Andrew Tyrie sets out a broad vision or reorm o the selectcommittee system, guided by the insight that the key role o committees is to secure“government by explanation”, in which the executive is required to explain its proposals andjustiy its actions. He makes a number o signiicant and radical proposals, including stepsto enhance the role o the Liaison Committee, reorm to the method by which committeemembers are selected, and urther committee powers over key public appointments (in linewith the Institute or Government’s recent Balancing Act report).I am delighted that the Institute or Government is able to publish this document as part oour
OUT series. I hope that its publication will lead to a lively discussion about the roleo parliament, and serious consideration o the vision and the proposals contained within.
Director, Institute or Government