The Committee of Privileges has published a report on select committee powers. setting out preliminary proposals to ensure the committee powers to call for persons, papers and records can be enforced and that witnesses before committees are treated fairly.
The report considers how the House can address the issue of the enforcement of select committee powers and recommends legislation to confirm its historic powers in statute. The report also includes for consultation a draft bill that would make failure to comply with a summons issued by a select committee a criminal offence, with the person ultimately liable to a fine or imprisonment as determined by the courts.
The publication includes recommendations to ensure safeguards and protections for select committee witnesses, and to ensure Parliament’s practices comply with modern standards of fairness.