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

Authors Avatar by sundayinnit (student)

“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. They are also listened to- the government is required to issue a formal response to their reports, which may also be debated in Westminster hall, which shows that their ideas do not fall upon deaf ears. They also question various ministers in order to ensure that nothing foul is going on. They too can request access to government papers, which shows that they have a certain amount of power. The Departmental select committee makes sure that the ministers and the executive are doing their job properly, and this is something today which is essential as many people nowadays who work in important roles do things which they should not, and an eye needs to be kept on them.

Join now!

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 ...

This is a preview of the whole essay