An Inquiry is a piece of scrutiny work undertaken by a Senedd Committee on a particular policy area or topic. A committee will normally produce a report of its inquiry, including recommendations to the Welsh Government.
Organisations and individuals can suggest issues that they think a committee should investigate.
‘Inquiry proposed’ means that the members of a committee have decided to investigate a particular issue, but have not yet started to actively gather information (evidence) about it.
The committee members may also still be deciding exactly how they will gather information, and what the terms of reference of their inquiry will be.
When a committee starts investigating an issue, they may ask people to write to them, setting out what they think about a particular issue. This is called a 'call for evidence'. Anyone can respond to a call for evidence, in writing, through videos or in an audio form (giving written and digital information to a committee).
A committee may also ask people to come to one of its meetings, and answer
questions about the issue they are investigating. This will be done at a committee meeting and is called giving oral evidence.
A committee may also gather other kinds of evidence. For example, it could produce a survey or questionnaire to gather people views, or visit particular projects related the issue they are investigating.
Once a committee has gathered evidence, its members will review the information they have gathered, discuss what recommendations they want to make (typically to the Welsh Government) and agree a report of their inquiry.
After a committee has agreed a report of its inquiry, the report will typically be published, and made available on the committee's web pages.
The report will typically be sent electronically to the Welsh Government and everyone who provided evidence to the committee in its investigation.
After the report has been published the Welsh Government will produce a written response, including answers to any recommendations that have been made by the committee. This usually happens within six weeks of a report first being published.
A committee can also request a debate in Plenary on any report it has produced. Debating a report in Plenary allows Members of the Senedd from all political parties to comment on the committee's inquiry and the Welsh Government's response.
However, a committee can conduct future inquiries on subjects it has already investigated. For example, a committee may want to scrutinise whether the Welsh Government is implementing the recommendations it previously made on a particular issue.