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Ministers and ParliamentAccountability in Theory and Practice$
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Diana Woodhouse

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198278924

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198278924.001.0001

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The Reform of the Select Committee System; An Attempt to Redress the Balance

The Reform of the Select Committee System; An Attempt to Redress the Balance

(p.176) (p.177) 10 The Reform of the Select Committee System; An Attempt to Redress the Balance
Ministers and Parliament


Oxford University Press

In 1979, the system of the select committees based on the Expenditure Committee and descended from the former Estimates Committee was reformed to provide a series of specialist committees to examine the expenditure, administration, and policy of the principal government departments and associated public bodies. This reform was intended to redress the balance between the executive and Parliament by improving Parliament's ability to scrutinise the executive and hold ministers to account. Over a decade later, however, fundamental questions about the powers of the select committees had still not been resolved. In order to assess these powers and the limitations upon them, it is necessary to examine both their origins and recent developments. Such will also assist in providing an understanding of the relationship between the committees and the executive, and the inherent conflict between them.

Keywords:   select committees, Expenditure Committee, Estimates Committee, reform, expenditure, administration, balance, Parliament, executive

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