A key challenge that the concept of sustainability poses for political institutions is the fragmented nature of conventional administrative structures and lines of accountability. In 1997 a new cross-departmental select committee, the Environmental Audit Committee, was established in the UK Parliament as a new means of scrutineering the work of government across the board. The Committee's effectiveness is analysed by considering its form and powers and how it has interpreted these, and by reviewing the thirteen reports the Committee produced between 1997 and 1999. The Committee has had impact and is an important innovation. But its weakness area is its audit function, mainly because of a lack of targets against which to audit performance.