Bernard Jenkin MP has been elected as the new chair of the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC), replacing Labour MP Tony Wright.
Only Conservative MPs were eligible to stand for the post, and there were three candidates who all received the 15 nominations required by members of their own party to stand. This is the first time that select committee chairs have been elected by a secret ballot of all MPs.
The PASC is tasked with scrutinising the mechanics of government and has dealt with a number of civil society issues in the past. Among its previous work of relevance to the sector was an inquiry into lobbying, which ended with a recommendation that the government set up a statutory register of lobbying activity; an inquiry into statutory commissioning of sector services; an examination of the public benefit test, and scrutiny of the Charity Commission’s recent work.
The Committee will begin work when its other members have been appointed, which is expected in the coming weeks.
However, its importance to the sector may soon diminish, as the Cabinet Office has this week announced that it plans to invite Parliament to set up a Select Committee for Civil Society by November this year.