The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith MP, has again declined to attend the Welfare Reform Committee.
The committee had invited him to attend in order to provide information about the implementation of the Welfare Reform Act 2012.
After Mr Duncan Smith declined the first invitation, the committee asked him to reconsider. However, the invitation was again declined and instead it was suggested that Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Minister for Welfare Reform) Lord Freud briefed the Committee informally.
Committee convener Michael McMahon MSP said: "It is beyond disappointing that the Secretary of State has once again refused to give public evidence to our Committee.
"Questions for his department have continued to mount. It is our duty on behalf of the people we represent to keep raising them with those responsible.
"We are still pursuing his attendance at our Committee but have accepted the offer of an informal briefing from Lord Freud, hopefully next week."
See invitation letters and responses