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Committee Inquiries in the Australian Parliament and their Influence on Government: Government Acceptance of Recommendations as a Measure of Parliamentary Performance

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Committees in the Australian parliament often make recommendations to government and attempt to persuade the government to accept them. Using a sample of committee reports tabled between the 2001 and 2004 elections, this paper measures the government acceptance of committee recommendations as a proxy for committees' influence. On average, the government stated it accepted three majority recommendations out of 11 per report, although this figure drops to two and a half when viewed as recommendations implemented and not merely promised. The government accepted virtually no minority recommendations. The most important report characteristic is the extent to which it affects the government's reputation, but the breadth of political support that it can muster is also relevant.

Keywords: Australia; committees; government response; parliament; recommendations

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Research School of Social Sciences,Australian National University, Canberra,

Publication date: June 1, 2012


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