The policy-making process is not confined to generating, discussing and approving law. Parliament also fulfils the function identified by Packenham (1970) (see Chapter 1) as ‘administrative oversight’. This encompasses scrutinizing decisions taken by government that do not require legislative sanction, as well as the conduct — the actual administration — of departments. Much administration carried out is routine, but ministers have to act within their powers. They may act under the royal prerogative — that is, carrying out powers that still reside in the Crown, but are exercised by ministers in the name of the monarch — or under powers granted by statute. The royal prerogative remains important, since it encompasses powers such as that of declaring war. As we have seen, powers granted by statute usually take the form of delegated legislation.
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