In the eye of the beholder? A framework for testing the effectiveness of parliamentary committees

Parliament Democracy Policy Australia

Most efforts to assess the performance of parliamentary committees have focused on anecdotal reporting, which is unreliable. This paper argues that it is both possible and valuable to assess their impact quantitatively.

The few studies that have collected quantitative information have been small in scale and have not used recognised sampling methods. The approach suggested here is to assess the level of approval of committee reports by different political sectors or relevant groups, by surveying voters and other stakeholders and analysing the government response to reports. For a committee report to achieve a minimum level of effectiveness, at least one group must rate it as effective. The more groups that consider a report to be effective, and the higher the rating, the greater that report’s effectiveness would be.

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