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Stages of an Inquiry

Inquiry proposed

A committee inquiry is an investigation by a group of Assembly Members into a particular issue.

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.

Recieving evidence

The committee members may gather information (receive evidence) about an issue in different ways.

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.

Drafting report

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. 

Report published

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 Assembly Members from all political parties to comment on the committee's inquiry and the Welsh Government's response.

Complete

When a Committee has finished its investigation, published a report, and received the Welsh Government's response, the original inquiry is described as 'complete'.

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.

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