Based on the interviews and workshops conducted as part of its recently published research on the impact of select committees on government, the Institute for Government has published a short pamphlet which aims to do just that. The pamphlet draws together the views and ideas of people with experience of interacting with committees – MPs, ministers, civil servants and others – to provide advice to new committee members on how to approach their role. So what is the advice for select committee members? First, that it is important for a committee to decide on its overall direction. As a select committee member you need to know what outcomes you are trying to achieve so that your committee can maintain an overall sense of focus when you are making decisions about what impact you want from individual inquiries. At the same time, as an individual you should recognise your own unique contribution – play to your strengths, make the most of your knowledge and contacts, and show an appropriate degree of commitment to your committee’s work. Being well informed is essential if you want to do your job well. This means you need to understand your department and the policy context […]

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