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Liaison Committee: Second Report

Volume 722: debated on Thursday 25 November 2010

Motion to Agree

Moved By

That the Report from the Select Committee on new proposals for committee activity (2nd Report, HL Paper 61) be agreed to.

My Lords, the report sets out our recommendations on some suggestions for new committee activity. Two of these suggestions were ones that we had considered before, for a committee on regulation and a Joint Committee on the UK Statistics Authority. For the reasons set out in the report, we decided against recommending either of these suggestions to your Lordships. We thought that it would be difficult for any committee on regulation to scope and plan its work, and we had doubts about the impact that any inquiry would be likely to have, given the significant changes in the regulatory environment in train or in prospect. Nor did we renew our support for a Joint Committee on the statistics authority.

Since we last reported on this in 2008, the role of parliamentary oversight has been discharged primarily by the Public Administration Committee in the House of Commons. Given that scrutiny arrangements exist and that they appear to be working, we were unpersuaded of the case to seek to supplant them through the establishment of a different and more elaborate scrutiny mechanism.

The last proposal was for an ad hoc committee on HIV/AIDS in the United Kingdom, and this is the proposal that we commend to the House. Although we accept that there is no imminent deadline for an inquiry, we considered that it would be timely. We did not think that it should be too lengthy, so we recommend that an inquiry should be concluded by the Summer Recess next year.

Finally, as health policy is a devolved matter, we recommend that the scope of the inquiry is limited to issues of general relevance throughout the United Kingdom and does not extend into consideration of issues particularly to the devolved nations.

Motion agreed.