Cabinet committee

Cabinet committee
   Cabinet committees existed in an unsystematic form in the nineteenth century but it was the impact of two world wars and the rapid expansion of governmental activity in the post-1945 era that created the present committee structure. Up until the 1970s, their existence was officially denied, but within a decade academics and journalists had probed to find out more. Ministers are now willing to identify them. There are two types. Standing committees are named, permanent committees responsible for a particular policy area such as Northern Ireland, the European Union and local government. Ad hoc committees vary in number according to the preferences and style of the Prime Minister and are concerned with particular policy areas. An early Blairite one dealt with the celebration of the millennium. Once the crisis has passed or the event ceases to be relevant, ad hoc committees are disbanded.
   Important deliberativeworkis done in committees which can consider issues in detail. Decisions are often made in committees and not referred to the whole Cabinet, which only gets involved if there are major differences of opinion between ministers and departments. Other decisions are ‘reported back’ to the Cabinet which can revise or veto committee proposals. But as the Prime Minister chairs several important committees, disagreement is not common.

Glossary of UK Government and Politics . 2013.

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