​Other kinds of evidence

Published 01/08/2020   |   Last Updated 27/01/2023   |   Reading Time minutes

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As well as asking for written evidence, and hearing oral evidence, a committee might find out information in other ways. It could produce a survey or questionnaire to gather views, or arrange visits to gather information in a specific place, for example. Clerking teams are happy to discuss different ways of taking evidence that you think may be more appropriate to you or your organisation.

In the past, committees have gathered evidence in a variety of ways, including:

Informal committee meetings
These can take place inside or away from the Senedd, and are not recorded word for word (or 'verbatim'). Informal committee meetings are usually based around a more relaxed discussion where witnesses feel comfortable asking questions to the committee members or to each other. Notes of informal discussions can be taken if the witnesses agree to this. These notes can then be used for more formal committee 'business' (such as a committee report). Witnesses can remain anonymous in the notes if they prefer. Meetings that take place outside the Senedd can be based in settings that witnesses are more familiar with, which can make discussions less intimidating for people taking part.

Committee visits can involve one or more members of a committee visiting a specific place or project to learn more about it.

Alternatively, a visit could involve meeting with witnesses on an informal basis, usually in a familiar setting for witnesses, to gather evidence and report back to the committee. Notes of discussions are sometimes taken, and these notes can then be agreed and used for more formal committee business (again, like reports).

Use of technology
Online voting systems or surveys can help committees to engage with a wider audience in a more informal way.