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The Business and Enterprise, Defence, Foreign Affairs and International Development Committees have announced that they are to conduct an inquiry into Government's 2007 Annual Report on Strategic Export Controls and the 2008 Quarterly reports on Strategic Export Controls.
The Committees on Arms Export Controls (formerly the Quadripartite Committee) consists of four Committees which meet together to consider the control of strategic exports, including weapons. The Committees involved are: Business and Enterprise, Defence, Foreign Affairs and International Development. Their main job is to review Government policy on licensing arms exports and licensing decisions. Each year the Government produces an annual report on Strategic Export Controls which the Committees scrutinise. The Chairman for these meetings is Roger Berry MP, who is a member of the Business and Enterprise Committee.
As well as taking written evidence the Committees will be taking oral evidence, starting with a session of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform on 21 January 2009. Press notices about the oral evidence sessions will be issued nearer the sessions. The Committees have asked for written submissions in accordance with the guidelines stated below by 14 January 2009.
The submission guidelines are:
- Each submission should be no more than 3,000 words in length, with numbered pages and a short summary in bullet point form.
- Each submission should be in Word format or a rich text format with as little use of colour or logos as possible.
- Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included.
- Memoranda submitted must be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless publication by the person or organization submitting it is specifically authorised.
- Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committees. The Committees normally, though not always, choose to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or by making it available through the Parliamentary Archives. Any sensitive information should be highlighted with an explanation of what harm would result from its disclosure. The Committees will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.
For Data Protection purposes, individuals submitting written evidence should send their contact details separately in a covering letter (including a postal address), stating clearly to which organisation or person the submission should be attributed. There may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Upon publication, those submitting evidence will receive a copy of the report.
A guide for written submissions to Select Committees may be found on the Parliamentary website.
The Committees Website is located here.