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Departmental Select Committees are toothless watchdogs In light of this comment, evaluate the effectiveness of departmental select committees in British parliament today.

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?Departmental Select Committees are toothless watchdogs? This statement describes departmental select committees as being ineffective, and rather useless and pointless. There are various points that both agree and disagree with this statement, and I will explore them in the essay. Many people see them as being essential, due to their effectiveness. They have a high degree of expertise in their field, and carry out detailed inquiries into the policies and actions of government departments. This means they can look into, and fix, problems present in the current government. They are also very independent , and work not to confront, but to construct new ideas. There is a chair in each committee, and the committees cover 19 departments of the government. ...read more.


An example of a Departmental select committee operating in the past is when they sternly questioned David Kelly about the weapons of mass destruction, and also when they questioned the former bosses of HBOS and RBS. This demonstrates how they have worked properly before, which repels the ?toothless? statement. However, one could say that they are ineffective. This may be due to a number of reasons, one of which could be that they don't actually have any power to propose policy or to change anything- the government can simply ignore them. This shows that if they can't, on their own, create and implement a policy, then they are simply nothing more than powerless advisers. On top of that, they don't have a complete access to documents, as the government may deny them the right to look at certain documents. ...read more.


This shows that committees can at times cause unwanted trouble within the government and can destruct, instead of construct- something which is not at all useful and can make some people see them as nothing but a hindrance to the government. The committees may also be seen by some as impractical and unfair, as a government with a majority in the House of Commons will also have a majority in the committees, which does not fairly represent members of opposition parties and could make them less efficient In conclusion, I believe that departmental select committees can at times prove to be ineffective and even useless, though on the whole they are an essential part of today's parliament and are necessary to keep the government in order. ...read more.

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