28 March 2022

On 16 March 2022, DeHavilland UK hosted an event with two experts from the House of Commons and House of Lords about the most effective ways to engage with Select Committees. Responding to audience questions throughout, this unique event provided attendees the opportunity to learn more about: 

  • The process of interacting with Select Committees 

  • How to submit impactful written evidence 

  • The most impactful ways to deliver oral evidence 

 

Judith Boyce - Head of Digital Chamber and Committees, House of Commons 

For the most part, Select Committees operate separately across the two houses. With Select Committees in the Commons, work is done through inquiries that take in written evidence, oral evidence, and end with the delivery of a report. Following the report, the Government is provided two months to respond. The length of inquiries depend on subject and three oral evidence sessions is the average per inquiry. 

Judith Boyce advised organisations on the importance of reading the questions laid out by Committee inquiries, as well as the rules and terms of reference when submitting written evidence. Following this, Boyce emphasised the importance of providing the specialist perspective of your organisation, explaining what is and isn’t working according to your analysis of the issue, and detailing changes should be expected from the Government. 

 

Christopher Clarke – Clerk of the Select Committees (Special Inquiries), House of Lords 

In the House of Lords, there are two separate types of Select Committees. Special inquiry Committees concentrate on topical issues, whereas Permanent Committees are set up across Parliament to cover various issues, such as the Built Environment Committee, the Communications and Digital Committee, the Environment and Climate Change Committee and the Public Services Committee. House of Lords clerk Christopher Clarke recommended that introducing yourself and your organisation is a priority as you want to establish your position.  

When submitting written evidence, Clarke gave his top tips:

  • keep submissions short;
  • include sections;
  • pick up on what uniquely can be contributed;
  • introduce yourself at the start;
  • write in plain English;
  • highlight clear recommendations;
  • avoid saying any defamatory statements;
  • address the questions posed and make clear which are being answered;
  • do not submit anything which has been published elsewhere;
  • and do not publish evidence before it has been accepted by the Committee. 

 

Interested in staying updated with DeHavilland UK events and learning more about how to engage with Westminster? Follow our LinkedIn here  

 

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