Tuesday, 19 June 2007
Committee Administrative Practice
Following questions raised in the House last December concerning committee practice, I asked the Deputy Speaker for advice on whether action was required to clarify any issues of committee practice and procedure. As part of that advice, a discussion paper on committee administrative practice was prepared. This was tabled in the House on 8 February and comments were sought from members and others.
The discussion paper proposed the development of general principles for the administration of parliamentary committees. A set of principles was developed following receipt of comments on the proposal. The liaison committee of chairs and deputy chairs met on 22 May 2007 and endorsed the principles. For the guidance of members, I present a copy of the general principles for the administration of parliamentary committees.
The liaison committee also supported a proposal contained in the discussion paper to provide additional assistance when a disagreement arises among members of a particular committee or when members feel aggrieved about the way a committee is being administered which cannot be resolved within the committee itself. In such circumstances, committee members could choose to approach the Deputy Speaker or the Second Deputy Speaker as a first point of contact to discuss their concerns. The Deputy Speaker and the Second Deputy Speaker would confer to develop a suggested approach to resolving the issue. These initiatives will be reflected in future editions of appropriate publications containing advice or information for members about the operation of parliamentary committees.