Lords recommend establishment of unit to support public inquiries

The Lords’ Select Committee on the Inquiries Act 2005 urges the government to set up a specialist unit to handle public inquiries, in a report published this week.

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By Winnie.Agbonlahor

13 Mar 2014

The report, entitled ‘The Inquiries Act 2005: post-legislative scrutiny’, calls on the government to fund a new unit within HM Courts and Tribunals Service and to oversee practical details including premises, infrastructure, IT and staffing.

The new unit should also, according to the report, review and amend the Cabinet Office guidance on inquiries, which it describes as “wholly inadequate”.

The report criticises the Cabinet Office for failing to enforce one of the guidance’s requirements – that secretaries to inquiries should write ‘lessons-learned’ papers.

Justice minister Simon Hughes said he welcomes the report, and added that the coalition will “carefully consider its recommendations”.

The Cabinet Office said it has nothing to add.

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