There are 19 Select Committees in Parliament, each made up of between eleven and sixteen cross party MPs, which are designed to scrutinise the work of government departments.
Culture, Media & Sport Committee
Since 2005 I have served on the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, which monitors the policy, administration and expenditure of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and its associated public bodies, including the BBC. It also conducts inquiries into areas of particular importance, such as London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the UK's cultural heritage and new developments in broadcasting.
The Committee is independent of Government and seeks written and oral evidence from a wide range of relevant groups and individuals. At the end of an inquiry the Committee will produce a report setting out its findings and making recommendations to the Government. The Government must respond to each of the report’s recommendations within two months of publication.
The inquiries currently being considered are listed on the Committee's website, which can be viewed here
Additionally, the Select Committee has recently been investigating whether it was misled during its previous inquiry into press standards, privacy and libel law, specifically in relation to allegations of phone hacking, and has questioned a number of witnesses - including a high-profile evidence session with Rupert Murdoch.
Science and Technology Select Committee
From 2003 until 2005 I served on the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee, with responsibility for ensurng that the Office of Science and Technology’s money is wisely spent and investigates science policy decisions made by it and other parts of the Government. During my two years on the Committee a number of reports were produced, with the following inquiries perhaps being the most important:
- Strategic Science Provision in English Universities
- Human Reproductive Technologies and the Law
- The Use of Science in UK International Development Policy