When a committee carries out work on a particular topic or policy area, it’s known as an ‘inquiry’.
Committees choose to hold inquiries for many reasons, such as:
- responding to high profile events
- checking on progress in something that the Welsh Government or another agency has committed to do
- influencing policy or law
Most inquiries are picked by committees, but can also be picked by the Senedd.
How inquiries work
Terms of reference
At the start of an inquiry, a committee usually publishes an outline explaining what it will cover.
This outline is called the inquiry’s terms of reference.
Asking for your views and experiences
A committee often asks people to share their thoughts and experiences as part of an inquiry.
They usually do this by putting out a public consultation based on the terms of reference.
Whether you're an individual or part of an organisation, you're welcome to share your thoughts, experiences, and relevant details with the committee.
This is usually done in writing, but if you prefer to use other ways like videos or pictures, you can contact the team who support the committee. They will do their best to help you.
Committees often hold evidence sessions. Members collect evidence by asking experts, organisations and members of the public questions. They usually happen in public, meaning they’re broadcast online and are open to the public.
Committees often visit communities, organisations and businesses. This helps them to hear directly from people with real life experiences.
Finishing an inquiry
At the end of an inquiry, committees usually publish a report. Reports bring together all the evidence in one place. Committees make recommendations to the Welsh Government, and any other relevant body.
The Welsh Government is expected to respond to say if it agrees with the recommendations or not, why, and how it’ll act on them.
Committees will sometimes look back at the recommendations and any action the Welsh Government has taken. This is to make sure progress is monitored and their impact is measured.
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