Work across committees to consider collaborative inquiries

Work across committees to consider collaborative inquiries

Themes and issues usually cut across committee remits, so potentially more inquiries could be more collaborative, in effect sharing resources across a broader inquiry - perhaps could be done with a lead committee model, so that there is a single report, but with evidence fed in from the various committee perspectives. the starting point could be a 'big tent', using SDIA tool. This process could/should include Members - say conveners and dep conveners? And at this point consider objectives/aims


Cross-committee working is one of the Conveners Group (CG) strategic priorities. Case studies on different approaches to cross-committee working and coordination (e.g. on climate change, post-EU, budget scrutiny), and on different mechanisms (e.g. lead committee, joint consideration, reporters, correspondence, CG) could aid consideration. This could be supported by structured opportunities for horizon scanning, enabling intra- and inter-team collaboration and reflection, and external engagement.

Could we ask members which areas are of particular interest to them, and be more specific about the role they might be able to play in, for example, being a rapporteur on that issue to the work of another committee - or being asked to lead on that issue through the variety of committee work.

I agree that the Sustainable Development Impact Assessment Tool can be used to frame topics - either ahead of pieces of inquiry work, or in advance of a bill. The tool could be used by all those supporting scrutiny in committees to have a shared sense of the issues under consideration - and to generate new angles. The parliament has capacity to facilitate such sessions, and this could be a regular offering.

It's worth remembering we do have some good practice examples of cross-committee working as described (eg last National Performance Framework, Climate Change Plans). Sometimes each committee having their 'own' area of focus can help wider scrutiny across government (eg by bringing in more ministers) but it is important that whole picture is captured somewhere too.

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