Legislative Actors’ Resources


Are parliamentary committees able to summon ministers for hearings?

Parliamentary committees may summon ministers. Ministers regularly follow invitations and are obliged to answer questions.
Committees have the legal right to summon ministers to appear before committee inquiries, but in practice compulsion to appear is uncommon. Under the principle of comity, a house of parliament does not seek to compel the attendance of members of that house or another house. It is common, however, for members, including ministers, to appear by invitation or by request before committees, to assist with committee inquiries.
Ministers are regularly summoned to parliamentary committees. The rights of committees are in practice not restricted. This is reinforced by the fact that most members of parliament (majority and opposition alike) have little chance of seeing their individual proposals pass in parliament. Therefore, they concentrate much of their time on written questions (which must be answered by the minister in charge), which can improve a member’s media visibility. However, when the media attention on a topic is intense, one frequently sees prominent ministers replaced by (less prominent) state secretaries (i.e., junior ministers) during questioning.

Parliament also has the ability to establish investigative committee with the power to take all the investigative measures provided for in the Code of Criminal Procedure. These commissions have extensive investigatory powers, including the ability to summon ministers. Such commissions were set up by the federal and regional parliaments to investigate the management of the COVID-19 crisis.
Ministers and the top personnel of major state institutions are obliged to attend committee meetings and answer questions when asked. According to the rules, ministers are also required to present draft bills to appropriate committees. If the ministers send officials below the rank of deputy minister, committees may, and often do, refuse to discuss a legislative proposal. If the Chamber of Deputies believes that there has been serious misconduct and a minister’s explanation is regarded as insufficient, it may establish a parliamentary inquiry committee.
Committees regularly summon ministers for meetings, called consultations (samråd). These meetings are key elements of how the Danish parliamentary system works. Consultations play an important role in the legislative process for members of parliament. At the same time, the meetings are where the parliament exercises control over the government.
Henrik Zahle, Dansk forfatningsret 1: Institutioner og Regulering, 2005.

Henrik Zahle, Dansk forfatningsret 2: Regering, forvaltning og dom, 2004.
Permanent committees have the right to request participation of ministers in committee meetings in order to obtain information. However, no information on how regularly committees use this ability is available.

In addition, members of parliament can individually forward written questions and interpellations to the ministers. These must be answered publicly at one of the national parliament’s plenary sessions within 20 days.
Committees are able to summon ministers to hearings and do so regularly. Committee meetings usually begin with a presentation by a ministry representative. Ministers can take part in committee meetings and debates but cannot be regular members of the committee. Furthermore, when deemed necessary, committees invite the Ombudsman, the Deputy Ombudsman or their representatives to a formal hearing as experts on questions of legislative drafting.
Parliamentary committees’ right to summon ministers is established by the Basic Law. Ministers (or their state secretaries) typically attend meetings to which they have been invited. The Basic Law also gives members of the federal government or the Bundesrat the right to be heard in front of the plenum or any committee.
Members of parliament have the right to pose questions to ministers and summon them to answer questions before parliament. At least five signatories are required for such a request. Ministers generally comply with parliamentary requests.

Parliamentary committees have the right to request information from ministries as well as to summon ministers to committee meetings.
Parliamentary committees may summon ministers for appearances. Ministers regularly respond to invitations and answer questions. In addition, there is a weekly session in parliament where legislators can ask questions directly to the ministers. If a minister is found to have misinformed parliament, he or she cannot expect to continue as a minister for long. Parliament is also increasingly exercising its right to call various hearings.
The right of parliamentary committees to summon ministers is enshrined in the Rules of Procedure of the Slovenian parliament. Ministers regularly follow invitations; if they are unable to attend in person, they can also authorize state secretaries to represent them. Ministers are also obliged to answer questions from members of parliament, either in oral or written form, and this obligation is largely respected in practice. Moreover, the prime minister must personally answer four questions from members of parliament in every parliamentary session. In 2020, members of parliament submitted a total of 1,857 questions to the government generally or to individual ministers specifically (1,425 more than in 2018 and 251 less than in 2019), with 71.5% of questions submitted by opposition parties. None of the questions remained unanswered.
National Assembly (2021): Report on the Work of the National Assembly in 2020. Ljubljana (https://fotogalerija.dz-rs.si/datoteke/Publikacije/PorocilaDZ/Mandat_2018%E2%80%932022/Porocilo_o_delu_Drzavnega_zbora_v_letu_2020.pdf).
Parliamentary committees can summon ministers for hearings. Formally, this request is not binding. However, for political reasons, ministers typically respond to these requests, and answer the committees’ questions.
In August 2005, a constitutional reform (Law No. 20,050) established the process of ministerial interpellation. Committees in the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate have the right to summon ministers for questioning about matters concerning their area. The ministers are obliged to attend. This political instrument has been used on various occasions. The effectiveness of this instrument of congressional oversight depends on the quality and quantity of information accessible to the National Congress through other channels.
Ministers are regularly summoned to committees but they are obliged to appear in front of a committee only if two-fifths of the committee members require them to do so. There are a few restrictions with regard to information given to the committees by the Minister of Defense and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The former may restrict his or her comments only to armaments supplies, while the latter is not obliged to give information on any ongoing negotiations or talks in which Greece still participates.

Owing to tensions with neighboring countries, ministers are frequently summoned to parliament and engage in intense debates with the opposition. As might be expected in a polarized party system, debates sometimes create a spectacle rather than providing a setting for the exchange rational arguments (especially when they are televised). Sometimes ministers send alternate ministers or deputy ministers to attend parliamentary committee meetings in their place.
The summoning of ministers is regulated by article 41A of the Standing Orders of the Greek parliament.
Parliamentary committees can legally summon ministers for hearings, but seldom do so. The foreign minister is summoned and usually attends meetings of the Foreign Affairs Committee. The relative representation of each party across and within parliamentary committees reflects the relative representation of each party in parliament.

The Special Investigation Committee, appointed by the parliament in December 2008 to investigate the processes that led to the collapse of Iceland’s three main banks, summoned several ministers and ex-ministers during 2009 and 2010.

The most notable example of a prominent politician being held accountable was the 2010 indictment of Prime Minister Geir Haarde by parliament, which led to a trial in 2012 before the High Court of Impeachment. Haarde was found guilty on one count of negligence relating to his tenure as prime minister before the 2008 economic collapse. He was found guilty of neglecting to hold cabinet meetings, during the first months of 2008, on important issues relating to the economic collapse. This obligation is stated in paragraph 17 of the constitution. As a first-time offender, Haarde was not given a custodial sentence. He was Iceland’s ambassador to the United States until 2019, when he was appointed executive director representing the Nordic and Baltic countries at the World Bank.
World Bank. https://www.worldbank.org/en/about/people/g/geir-hilmar-haarde
Article 143 of the Chamber of Deputies’ rules of procedure enables parliamentary committees to summon ministers or undersecretaries for hearings. Similar rules apply for the Senate. Summoning ministers and undersecretaries is a regular practice, and they normally comply with such requests. From time to time, however, compliance is delayed.
Committees may request the attendance of the prime minister, ministers and lower – ranking top ministry personnel such as senior vice-ministers. When summoned, these ministers often attend the meetings to answer questions.
Parliamentary committees are able to summon ministers and the heads of most other state institutions (with the exception of court judges). Invited people, who also attend parliamentary commissions and other groups, typically answer questions posed by the members of the parliament and provide other relevant information. In some cases, vice-ministers or other authorized civil servants can serve as substitutes for ministers. However, rather than being used as a forward-looking mechanism, this instrument of parliamentary control is often restricted to the explanation of government activities on an ex post basis. In addition, during crises (e.g., during management of the pandemic), the frequent practice of vice-ministers substituting for ministers who were busy with crisis-management duties sometimes led to frictions between members of parliament and particular ministers.
Interaction between the government and the Chamber of Deputies is generally straightforward. Any deputy parliament can introduce a parliamentary question (written or oral). Questions are addressed to the parliamentary president. Within one month, the responsible minister(s) must respond and deliver detailed information about relevant policy decisions and departmental activities. Questions and answers are fully published on the Chamber of Deputies’ website. On Tuesdays, when the parliament convenes, there may be a lively question and answer session, covering a broad range of relevant issues posted by opposition parties.

In the aftermath of the Court of Auditors report in 2020, the Chamber of Deputies summoned Economy Minister Franz Fayot (LSAP) and Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna (DP) to a hearing in May 2021 concerning the deal between the government and the Greek dairy company Fage. The auditors pointed out irregularities in the sale of the land (negotiations weren’t documented). The transaction was realized by former Economy Minister Étienne Schneider (LSAP). The Chamber also requested explanation from Schneider, who could only be invited and not summoned to attend a hearing. This invitation was the second for Schneider since he left government in early 2020. He was previously called to justify the budget of a military Earth observation satellite, which ended up costing €139 million more than foreseen under plans presented by Schneider in his role as defense minister (2018).
“Réglement de la Chambre des Députés.” Chambre des Députés du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg (16 décembre 2021). https://www.chd.lu/wps/wcm/connect/public/dadc958b-a532-4acb-ae85-5f7b20ed05a2/R eglement+CHD16122021.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&ContentCache=NONE&CACHE=NONE&CVID=nUw4CwA. Accessed 14 January 2022.

“Parliament wants Schneider hearing over failed Fage project.” Delano (11 May 2021). https://delano.lu/article/delano_parliament-wants-schneider-hearing-over-failed-fage-project. Accessed 14 January 2022.

Schroen, Michael (2008): Parlament, Regierung und Gesetzgebung, in: Wolfgang H. Lorig/Mario Hirsch (eds.), Das politische System Luxemburgs. Springer VS, Wiesbaden, pp. 106-129.
Under Article 93 of the constitution, parliamentary committees have the right to summon ministers, which happens quite a lot in practice.

Regarding the resources of legislators to monitor the government, it is worth noting that – through legislative committees – they can (and frequently do) conduct hearings where they summon ministers as well as other public officials, who have an obligation to attend. It is often the case that hearings are held right after Annual Presidential Reports to go over evidence and documents supporting the president’s claims on their respective offices (similar to the State of the Union Address in the United States). While these resources are relevant and useful for monitoring, they very rarely have meaningful consequences for public officials (positive or negative).
In reality, the majority of MORENA and its allies in Congress support President López Obrador. This has led to a unified government with power concentrated in the executive, which has in turn undermined the legislature’s oversight function. In the midterm elections of 2021, the governing coalition lost the supermajority needed to change the constitution, but retained a simple majority in Congress.
Ministers must be heard at least four times per legislative session in their corresponding committee. Additionally, committees can request ministers to be present for additional hearings. A committee request requires interparty consensus. However, each parliamentary group may also unilaterally request ministerial hearings. These vary from one to five per session, depending on the size of the parliamentary group. Ministers accede to requests for their attendance at hearings.
According to Article 54(1) of the Chamber of Deputies Regulations, ministers are permitted to attend committee meetings, and “if their attendance has been requested, their presence in the meeting shall be mandatory.” Furthermore, ministers are requested to present a work report and strategy of their ministry before committees once per session. Sometimes ministers send deputies who are not always able to respond to queries raised by parliamentarians. Notably, the frequency with which ministers attend committee meetings is not documented.
South Korea
The parliament has the constitutional right to summon ministers to appear before parliamentary hearings, and indeed frequently exercises this right. Regular investigation of government affairs by parliament is an effective means of monitoring ministers. Almost every minister has been summoned to answer parliamentarians’ questions in the context of a National Assembly inspection. However, the role of the minister in the South Korean system is relatively weak, with the professional bureaucracy trained to be loyal to the president. In addition, the ruling party and ministers can agree not to invite ministers or to cancel hearings on politically controversial issues. In many cases, opposition parties summon irrelevant ministers simply as a means of furthering political confrontation with the president.

The inability to override witnesses’ refusal to answer questions remains an issue that must be addressed. Under current law, the National Assembly can ask prosecutors to charge those who refuse to take the witness stand with contempt of parliament. However, this carries only light penalties, such as fines. The National Assembly should work to reform the hearing system to make it a more effective tool in probing cases of national importance. Under the Moon government, government institutions became more cooperative in response to parliamentary committees’ document requests.
According to Article 110 of the constitution, the committees of either the Congress of Deputies or the Senate “may summon members of the government” to ask them questions. At least 70 deputies or one-fifth of the members of a committee need to make the request. The request is subject to a vote in the Bureau of Congress and the Board of Spokespersons. The party supporting the government may try to reject some of the requirements made by the opposition, but after 2016, minority governments have been in a weak parliamentary position, rendering this veto much more difficult to sustain. If the initiatives are approved, ministers are obliged to answer questions raised in these sessions. Ministers are regularly summoned by the committees overseeing their policy areas (see “Task Area Congruence”) and it is quite common for ministers themselves to request to be allowed to report on matters relating to their respective departments.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a substantial impact on the work of Spain’s parliament. During the coronavirus crisis, both chambers demonstrated a remarkable ability to continue their legislative business thanks to a largely digital working environment that was already in place. However, from 26 February until 25 April 2020, no question-and-answer governmental oversight sessions were held in the Congress’ plenary. However, the minister of public health did appear several times in front of the Congress’s Commission of Public Health.
However, following frequent debates in parliament during the state of alarm, from June 2020 through the end of the review period the president appeared before parliament to provide a briefing only once every two months, and the minister of health once every month. This has reduced the effectiveness of parliamentary oversight of government decision-making. In 2021 the parliament recovered its constitutional functions, both regarding the legislative process and in monitoring the actions of the government.
García-Escudero Márquez, P. (2020), Actividad y funcionamiento de las Cortes generales durante el estado de alarma por COVID-19, Cuadernos Manuel Giménez Abad, Junio.
Parliamentary committees summon ministers who appear and respond to questions. This is most frequently the case with the annual review conducted by the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Matters, but has been used by other committees, too. Except for very few cases, summoned ministers will appear in parliamentary committees. A few years ago, there was extensive media attention on a couple of instances when former cabinet ministers declined to appear before a parliamentary committee.

The hearings occur regularly and are often broadcasted by public service television. The results of the hearings are published and accessible to everyone.
Parliamentary committees may invite ministers to provide testimony or answer questions. Usually, such requests are duly obeyed. For example, in 2018 a minister for public health even canceled international commitments in favor of dealing with parliamentary issues concerning the bankruptcy of two local hospitals. Nevertheless, ministers often do not answer questions in a forthright manner. Sometimes ministers avoid public accountability and step down before being summoned to escape a censure or no-confidence motion. Every week, parliamentarians have the opportunity to summon ministers and pose questions.
R.B. Andeweg & G.A. Irwin (2014), Governance and Politics of the Netherlands. Houndmills, Basingstoke: 174-182.

NOS, Minister Bruins wil vinger in de pap bij keuze overnamekandidaat ziekenhuis Lelystad, 2 November

Parlement.com, Aftredende bewindslieden
The rights of parliamentary committees to summon ministers are slightly limited; ministers occasionally refuse to follow invitations or to answer questions.
Parliamentary committees may summon ministers. When summoned, ministers (or their state secretaries) do attend the respective meetings. The legal ability to summon ministers is in practice limited by the majority that the governing parties have in all committees. As the majority party groups tend to follow the policy defined by the cabinet, there typically is little interest in summoning cabinet members, at least against the minister’s will. While this de facto limitation can be seen as part of the logic of a parliamentary system in which the government and the parliamentary majority are essentially a single political entity, the high level of party discipline in Austria is an additional influence.

In a parliament in which three opposition parties, as in the Nationalrat elected in 2019, governments generally tend to face greater criticism regarding their willingness to answer critical questions in parliament as extensively as possible.

The particular political importance of summoning ministers and the chancellor became clear in 2021 when Chancellor Kurz’s alleged false testimony to the Ibiza Investigative Committee became the source of a major judicial inquiry, which eventually led to Kurz’s resignation.
Ministers are normally expected to appear before parliamentary committees. Ministers may decline a committee invitation, but they have to appear, or send a representative, when receiving a formal summons approved through a committee motion. A deputy minister may appear instead of a minister for questions linked to departmental operations. The parliamentary secretary may stand in for the minister if the matter at hand is legislative in nature.
Committees can summon ministers for hearings, and frequently make use of this right. Ministers can refuse to attend but this is rather exceptional. Given the supremacy and the discipline of the majority party in parliament during the Fifth Republic, such a refusal does not result in serious consequences.
The powers and scope of Oireachtas committees of inquiry are set out in the Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Act 2013, which was signed into law in July 2013. The act provides for Oireachtas inquiries, consistent with the Supreme Court’s judgment on the scope of such inquiries. The scope of legitimate parliamentary inquiries that can now be carried out is broad. The legislation expands the scope of evidence that civil servants may give, thus enabling committees to develop a full narrative of events for the purpose of establishing facts.

Cabinet ministers regularly attend committees and assist them with their work. Oireachtas (parliamentary) committees play an increasingly important role in parliamentary business. They can receive submissions and hear evidence from interested groups, discuss and draft legislative proposals, publish minutes of evidence and related documents, and demand the attendance of government ministers.
For a discussion of how a constitutional provision for cabinet confidentiality might impinge on the work of the Banking Inquiry, see the July 2014 post by Dr. Conor O’Mahony on the Constitution Project @ UCC website: “Cabinet Confidentiality and the Banking Inquiry” http://constitutionproject.ie/?p=342 However, the committee’s work was not unduly hampered by these considerations. For the Supreme Court judgment on the powers of Oirechtas Inquiries see: https://www.google.ie/search?q=abbeylara+case&oq=abbeylara+case&aqs=chrome..69i57.8950j1j7&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=122&ie=UTF-8
New Zealand
It is common practice that ministers follow invitations to visit select committee meetings, but occasionally they refuse to do so. This follows a guideline that committees can request, but not require, that a minister appear before them. Only the House of Representatives itself can compel members to attend a committee if they do not do so voluntarily.
Officials and Select Committees – Guidelines (Wellington: States Services Commission 2007).
Ministers can be summoned to parliamentary committee hearings, but they cannot be forced to attend, because ministers have to be members of parliament or members of the House of Lords, and members of parliament cannot be forced to attend any meeting. However, the Osmotherly Rules recommend that ministers accept invitations to a hearing as an act of respectful courtesy, and thus ministers will usually accept an invitation to a hearing in a select committee. It would be headline news and damaging to the minister in question if they refused to appear before a committee on anything remotely controversial, although the answers given to committees can be bland. Sessions in the House of Commons can become quite confrontational, whereas those in the House of Lords are usually more restrained. Ministerial questions in plenary sessions of parliament complement the work of committees and can also be quite sharp in tone. The prime minister and key aides traditionally refuse to appear before select committees, but have appeared before the Liaison Committee, which is composed of the chairs of all the other committees.
Executive officials do not appear on the House or Senate floor. However, department secretaries and other high-level officials of the executive branch appear with great frequency and regularity, essentially on request, before legislative committees and subcommittees. In the context of an investigation, committees sometimes subpoena executive branch members to make an appearance. Most appearances are voluntary, however, motivated by the desire to maintain strong relationships with the congressional committee.

As with respect to documents, the Trump administration maintained an unprecedented, blanket refusal to allow executive branch officials to testify before House committees investigating presidential misconduct. Numerous lawsuits were underway, but the House also approved an article of impeachment alleging the obstruction of Congress. President Biden has promised much greater transparency than his predecessor, a pledge illustrated by the testimonies of key officials from his administration in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee in the aftermath of the fall of Kabul in August 2021.
Legally, parliamentary committees have the power to summon ministers and the prime minister, and under the Rules of Organization and Procedure of the Bulgarian parliament, these executive-branch figures are obliged to comply. When a minister or the prime minister is asked a parliamentary question, he or she has to respond in person in the National Assembly in due time. There is no penalty for non-compliance except the possible loss of reputation and political image. Members of the executive most often comply with summons from the parliament, but can afford to ignore such summons indefinitely.

Since the newly elected parliament has amended the rules, ministers are now summoned more often than before.
Parliamentary committees can and do summon ministers for hearings. However, these hearings are not always taken seriously by ministers. Ministers occasionally refuse to answer questions. Although the work of investigative commissions that summon ministers or former ministers to testify at parliamentary hearings is generally of great public interest, the impact of such initiatives is relatively limited. For that reason, ministers occasionally refuse to answer questions.
Staničić, F., Čačija, M. (2016): Kontrola koju provode istražna povjerenstva
Hrvatskog sabora – učinkovit oblik kontrole? (The Control Implemented by the Inquiry Commissions of the Croatian Parliament – An effective Form of Control?). Zbornik radova Pravnog fakulteta u Splitu/Collected Papers of the Law Faculty of the University of Split, 53(2): 439-466.
Parliamentary committees are able to summon ministers. According to the basic law’s provisions on the Knesset, every committee may require a minister to appear before it, and the minister is obliged either to attend the meeting or send a representative to provide the required information. Officials invited by committees generally attend meetings as requested. However, ministers and other public figures do occasionally refuse requests or provide insufficient information, causing conflicts between the Knesset and the government. Committees have no real power to enforce sanctions in these cases. Moreover, they are not authorized to force a minister to provide information at a set date in order to better prepare for a meeting.

One exception to the rule detailed above is the Knesset’s State Audit Committee. Since 1990, the audit committee is able to warrant the attendance of officials, and fine officials who failed to show up to the committee or sufficiently justify their lack of compliance (though the size of the fine is not specified).
Ataeli, Amichai, “The Evasion and its Punishment,” Yedioth Aharonot, 07.07.2016, http://www.yediot.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4825644,00.html (Hebrew)

Lis, Jonathan, “Instead of an investigation committee, a decoration committee: In the Knesset they are jealous of American congress,” Haaretz 7.9.2014: http://www.haaretz.co.il/news/politi/.premium-1.2426295 (Hebrew)

Plesner, Yohanan, “There is Still Hope for Knesset Reform,” IDI Website, 10.8.2017, https://en.idi.org.il/articles/18582

“The Legislature’s Authority to Inquire Information, and the Obligation to Provide True Information,” Knesset Research and Information Center (December 2002). (Hebrew)
A parliamentary committee may call any minister unless precluded from doing so by a vote within the committee. In 2012, the house speaker ruled that committees have the authority to devise their own rules and approved this method. Since 2013, with few exceptions, ministers have freely appeared before various committees to provide explanations or answer questions. In fact, the number of such committee meetings has increased. Konrad Mizzi, a former minister, in 2021, initially refused on a number of occasions to appear before the public accounts committee to testify on electro-gas.
Times of Malta 13/10/2021 Konrad Mizzi refuses to appear in parliament as witness for a second time
Ministers and heads of the supreme organs of state administration (or their representatives) are obliged to participate in committee meetings whenever issues are discussed that fall within their domain. Groups comprising at least 15 members of parliament and parliamentary party groups have the right to ask for up-to-date information from members of the government. The PiS government has taken the summoning of ministers less seriously than previous governments. Ministers have occasionally refused to follow invitations or to answer questions.
The right of parliamentary committees to summon ministers is enshrined in Article 85 of the Slovak constitution. In practice, committees make relatively little use of this right, as the majority of committee members are members of parliament belonging to a government coalition party and often block such proposals.
The rights of parliamentary committees to summon ministers are considerably limited; ministers frequently refuse to follow invitations or to answer questions.
The constitution (Art. 79) stipulates that the president “may address” or “transmit his views” to the House of Representatives or a committee “through the ministers.” Moreover, ministers “may follow the proceedings, […] make a statement to, or inform” the House of Representatives or a committee on issues within their sphere of responsibility. Thus, constitutionally, the parliament has no power to summon executive officials. Α law passed by the parliament in 1985 makes it mandatory for officials, though not ministers, to attend. Although, generally, ministers respond positively to invitations, there have been cases where ministers and other officials have failed or declined invitation to appear themselves or be represented. No attempt has ever been made to activate the law penalizing failures to appear. Thus, since attendance ultimately lies with the discretion of the executive, ministers feel comfortable ignoring invitations when the subject is related to a contentious matter or for other reasons.
1. The Constitution of Cyprus, http://www.parliament.cy/easyconsole.cfm/page/download/filename/SYNTAGMA_EN.pdf/foldername/articleFile/mime/pdf/
The standing orders of the Hungarian parliament stipulate that ministers have to report personally to the parliamentary committee(s) concerned with their issue area at least once a year. However, they do not guarantee parliamentary committees the right to summon ministers for other hearings as well. Moreover, ministerial hearings suffer from heavy time restrictions, with individual members of parliament having only two minutes to speak. Overall, the number of interpellations is sinking. In 2013, 267 interpellations took place, while there were 219 in 2017 and only 150 in 2021. The number is sinking both in governmental and opposition-induced cases, which shows that even the opposition is losing trust in the instrument.
Országgyülés Hivatala: Összehasonlító sztatisztikai adatok 2013, 2017, 2021 évek, p. 11; https://www.parlament.hu/documents/10181/56582/%C3%96sszehasonl%C3%ADt%C3%B3+adatok+az+Orsz%C3%A1ggy%C5%B1l%C3%A9s+2013.%2C+2017.%2C+2021.+%C3%A9ves+munk%C3%A1j%C3%A1r%C3%B3l.pdf/8a9904c0-8aec-9371-95ed-063e451efed4?t=1640083243221
Ministers can attend committee meetings as a representative of the government without invitation and may talk on the subject matter at hand (Rules of Procedure, Article 29, 30, and 31). However, ministers may also delegate a senior civil servant to be his or her representative at a committee meeting. If relevant, the committee may ask a minister to explain a government position, but he or she is not required to comply with this invitation if there is no legal obligation (Article 62). While parliamentary committees are not able to summon ministers for hearings, the responsible minister may voluntarily decide to participate in a meeting. Normally, the committees are briefed by high-ranking ministerial bureaucrats. In the new presidential system, the ministers will always be present at the Planning and Budget Committee when the previous year’s final accounts and the following year’s draft budget are discussed. They also attend the budgetary debates in the plenary. An inquiry by one of the opposition deputies revealed that written questions are one of the most important elements of the current oversight mechanism, but almost no question was answered within the legal time limit.

During the review period, corruption scandals, mayoral resignations, economic instability, and regional affairs (e.g., Turkey’s involvement in the war in Syria, the massive movement of refugees from neighboring countries into Turkey, and Kurdish developments in and outside of Turkey) were highly visible. None of the government’s senior executives took responsibility for or allowed for an independent parliamentary investigation into these issues. Instead, the government – including the president as both head of the executive and chairman of the governing party – demonstrated a lack of accountability vis-à-vis parliament.
Gazeteduvar. “17 bakana soru: Kimi link verdi, kimi adres gösterdi,” October 18, 2021. https://www.gazeteduvar.com.tr/17-bakana-soru-kimi-link-verdi-kimi-adres-gosterdi-haber-1538759
Parliamentary committees may not summon ministers.
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