Sector Commons committee plan

The NCVO has written to Jack Straw, leader of the House of Commons, asking him to create a special third sector sub-group to the Public Administration Select Committee.

The committee is the parliamentary body responsible for scrutinising government policies that fall under the remit of the Cabinet Office. It recently opened an enquiry into third sector provision of public services (Third Sector, 31 January).

However, the NCVO argues the committee is too busy to devote enough attention to third sector policies.

"With third sector activity cutting across all government departments, we believe that the coverage of select committee scrutiny should be wider than simply the sector's role in delivering public services," Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the NCVO, wrote in a letter to Straw. "We are concerned that, without a sub-committee, the potential for parliamentary scrutiny will be limited."

The NCVO said other select committees had sub-groups, so it would not be an unprecedented move.

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