Thursday, July 23, 2009

Update re CSF Inquiry into Badman Review

Full details now available on the DCSF website here.

UPDATE: Now that you've probably already sent your submission in, be careful not to blow it by showing it publicly. Details here.

I am sure that HE groups and individuals will get onto this soon. Am off to draft something now based on the information on how to do it, available here:

"Submitting written evidence to a select committee

This section provides guidance on preparing written evidence to a committee and submitting that evidence. It also discusses what happens to your written evidence once it has been submitted.

What information to include

As a general guideline, written evidence should consist of a self-contained memorandum
accompanied by a covering letter. Evidence should be presented as concisely as possible—
some committees ask that submitters observe a word or page limit.

The covering letter should contain the following :

• the name and contact details of the persons or organisation submitting the evidence
• any request to give oral evidence
• any request that the committee treat the whole, or part, of the written evidence as confidential, with reasons for the request. It will then be up to the committee to decide whether to agree to such a request.

The memorandum should contain the following information:

• an executive summary of the main points made in the submission
• a brief introduction to the submitter, perhaps explaining their area of expertise
• any factual information the submitter has to offer from which the committee might be able to draw conclusions, or which could be put to other witnesses for their reactions
• any recommendations for action by the Government or others which the submitter would like the committee to consider for inclusion in its report to the House.

You should be careful not to comment on matters currently before a court of law, or matters in respect of which court proceedings are imminent. If you anticipate such issues arising, you should discuss with the clerk of the committee how this might affect the written evidence you can submit.

How to format your evidence

Some points to note:

• Paragraphs should be numbered, to assist the committee in referring to the submission during oral evidence.
• If you wish to include supplementary material with your memorandum—for example, leaflets, or articles from periodicals—ensure your memorandum is nevertheless selfcontained, as committees are unlikely to publish such supplementary material.
• The committee will receive a photocopy of your memorandum. Consequently, even if your submission uses colour, it should still make sense when reproduced in black and white.
• If you are submitting your evidence electronically, your memorandum should be in Microsoft Word or rich text format.
• If you are submitting your evidence in hard copy avoid using any complicated binding.

How to submit your evidence

Evidence should be submitted to the committee secretariat prior to the deadline stated in
the press notice.

Committees prefer to receive evidence in electronic form. Attach your memorandum to an e-mail and send it to the committee’s mailbox—the address will be in the press notice announcing the inquiry, and is shown on the committee’s website.

Your memorandum can also be sent in hard copy. Send it to the committee secretariat, at the address given in the press notice. A committee is not obliged to accept your memorandum once it has been submitted as evidence, nor to publish any or all of the memorandum if it has been accepted.

What happens to your evidence, once submitted

Submitting evidence to Parliament is generally a public process. Your written evidence will become public either when the committee publishes it or at such time as you give oral evidence to a committee—whichever takes place first. If you wish to distribute or publish your evidence earlier, you will need the committee’s permission, for which purpose you should contact the Clerk of the committee. If you are given permission by the committee to publish your evidence separately, you should nonetheless be aware that you do so at your own risk.

Committees print much of the written evidence which they receive, although material published elsewhere is not usually reprinted. Most committees print the written evidence received at the same time as any report from the committee to the House is published, although some committees publish written evidence prior to hearing oral evidence, either on the internet or in hard copy.

Although a committee will generally publish most or all of the written evidence it receives, a committee may exercise its discretion not to publish evidence where a submission is very long or contains material to which it is inappropriate to give the protection of parliamentary privilege (see ‘Committees and the operation of parliamentaryprivilege (see ‘Committees and the operation of parliamentary privilege’, below)."

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