The Steering Committee is formed to monitor the progress and direction of a specific project and to represent the User and IS communities during the decision making process.
Prince2 formalises this further by requiring that “Supplier”, “User” and “Business” are represented on the committee. The distinction between “User” and “Business” is important with the “Business” representative having a value for money accountability.
As a Project Manager you want the Steering Committee to overcome obstacles as they present themselves such as insufficient resources or purchase order approvals. As such the members of the committee need to be sufficiently qualified to overcome such issues in order that the Project Manager can use the leverage that they offer.
In my experience committee members are only too willing to help, providing the Project Manager has articulated the issue in appropriate (often non technical) language.