Scrutiny of the government

The Federal Chancellery in Berlin

The Federal Chancellery in Berlin (© German Bundestag/Sylvia Bohn)

Core responsibility of the Bundestag

As a directly elected parliament, the Bundestag has another very important responsibility in addition to its function as a legislative organ: the scrutiny of the Federal Government.

If they are to be able to perform this oversight function, the Members of the German Bundestag must be in a position to inform themselves about the work and intentions of the government. To this end, they have a series of rights and instruments available to them – such as minor and major interpellations and debates on matters of topical interest.

Furthermore, each electoral term the Bundestag also establishes a range of bodies with remits that encompass the scrutiny of the government. The permanent committees, whose main task is to participate in the legislative process, are the prime example of such bodies. They also include special bodies, such as committees of inquiry, which are almost always set up to scrutinise the work of the government.