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Compare and contrast the effectiveness of parliamentary and Dail committees

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Compare and contrast the effectiveness of parliamentary and Dail committees Committees are used in the House of Commons and the Dail in order to scrutinize the work of the Government. Unlike Britain, the Irish committee system was considered to be very ineffective until 1997 "up until 1997, the committee system was a disaster" - Arkins. Before 1997 there were only 10 to 30 deputies monitoring the Governments performance in certain policy areas and unlike British committees, they were not departmentally related. For example the Irish committees monitored policies such as women's rights and vandalism while Britain monitored Government departments such as Education and Agriculture. Therefore with no brief to monitor departments, the Irish committee systems scrutiny function was much less effective than Britain's and it also had a limited pool to draw from in terms of committee talent e.g. ...read more.


While in the Irish committees, there are four paid positions within each and TD's are appointed to these positions by the Taoiseach, likely leaving them included to the point of view of the executive, as TD's won't " bite the hand that feeds them". Also as there are strong party loyalties in Ireland, it means that members of the majority party are less likely to scrutinize the government. The one-sidedness's of committees in Ireland and Britain shows that committees are always in Government control and therefore they will not fulfil their role of holding the government to account and due to this, there has been very few times in which committees have successfully held the government to account, e.g. in 1999, an Irish committee held the government to account over tax irregularities. Another common factor between the Irish and British committee system is due to the fact that MP's and TD's have a lot ...read more.


to invade Iraq as media coverage revealed the limitations and weakness of the committees as it demonstrated their "lack of legal assistance, the inability to carry out research and the tendency of committee members to make party-political points" - Anthony Sampson, the Observer, August 2003. Although the Irish Committee system is more effective than it was before 1997 and has some powers in which the British committee does not, it is not as well established or powerful. Irish committees lack resources and ministers and TD's do not see them as being crucial to their career therefore attendance is usually poor, even though their Public Accounts committee is one of the best ways in which the opposition can scrutinize the government, while the British Committee system is considered to be well developed with great potential. Although in order to improve its effectiveness, Britain will need to provide its committees with more power and human resources. ...read more.

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