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Point of Order

Volume 723: debated on Wednesday 30 November 2022

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I would like your advice on how my Select Committee can receive timely responses from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on our reports. The International Development Committee published a powerful and pertinent report on racism in the aid sector on 23 June. The convention is that the Government should respond within eight weeks. It has now been more than 22 weeks: what can I do?

I am grateful to the hon. Lady for giving me notice of her point of order. She is right that the expectation is that the Government should respond to Committee reports within eight weeks. While there may sometimes be exceptional circumstances that justify a later response, that should be negotiated with the Committee concerned. In general, it is very important that the standard response time is met to ensure that Committee reports are dealt with in a timely way. Having to wait 22 weeks for a response is not acceptable. Ministers on the Treasury Bench will have heard these comments, and I hope that FCDO Ministers will ensure that a response is produced quickly. I want to emphasise how important this is, because Select Committees are a key way of holding Government accountable and scrutinising what they do. It is important that this is fed back to the FCDO and that a response is given.