The purpose of this Sub-Committee inquiry is to make recommendations about how Government could welcome oversight of its developing approach to strategic thinking and strategy-making and about what capacity Committees have or need to develop in order to contribute to the Government’s approach to complex strategic issues through their scrutiny. The Committee is calling for written evidence by Friday 15 September 2023.

The Committee aims to make recommendations about;

  • how to improve strategic thinking in government;
  • how Committees can deliver effective scrutiny of strategic thinking;
  • how Committees can exercise ‘forward accountability’ (holding government to account for learning from experience and planning better for the future);
  • how Committees can encourage positive engagement between Ministers and Committees in this area.


To facilitate this inquiry, the Committee is calling for evidence on a range of areas relating to; strategic leadership, decision making, accountability, assurance, leadership governance, transparency, integrated policy making and strategic risk management. All of which are key issues raised in leading reports such as; the Independent Review of the Civil Contingencies Act (2004) and raised by Expert witnesses during the Covid-19 Inquiry.


The Call of evidence asks for submissions on;

  • Examples of best practice of strategic thinking in Government, including:
  • How well Government identifies strategic opportunities as well as strategic risks and threats;
  • How effectively Government uses internal and external challenge; how feedback loops are used to ensure that lessons from delivery are fully considered when developing future strategic plans.
  • How No. 10 and the Cabinet Office should best lead on these issues across government;
  • What government should publish or explain about its overall strategic concept.
  • What additional machinery of Government, knowledge and skills are necessary to support strategic thinking and effective strategy and delivery, both within individual departments, and across two or more departments, and how strategy and strategic thinking can be sustained by building consensus between the main parties;
  • Which governments around the world demonstrate best practice in strategic thinking;
  • How Select Committees consider strategic questions, including any recent examples of scrutiny of Government strategic plans and/or their delivery; and elements of Government strategy- and delivery that are repeatedly identified by Select Committees as effective or as deficient;
  • The engagement of individual departments, and Whitehall as a whole, with Select Committees on strategic challenges, including through the provision of information necessary for effective scrutiny.
  • What additional resources, parliamentary procedure, knowledge and skills are necessary to support effective Select Committee scrutiny of strategic thinking and effective strategy-making, as well as monitoring implementation of any Government action in response;
  • How other parliaments around the world are engaging with the strategic thinking of their respective governments.


The full press release is available from the UK Parliament website alongside the Call for Evidence 

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