Standing Orders of the House of Commons - Public Business 2002 (2) Contents

 
STANDING ORDERS 2002(2)

Select Committees



  121.—(1) Any Member intending to propose that certain Members be members of a select committee, or be discharged from a select committee, shall give notice of the names of Members whom he intends so to propose, shall endeavour to ascertain previously whether each such Member will give his attendance on the committee, and shall endeavour to give notice to any Member whom he proposes to be discharged from the committee. Nomination of select committees.
  
  (2) No motion shall be made for the nomination of members of select committees appointed under Standing Order No. 152 (Select committees related to government departments) or under Standing Order No. 142 (Domestic Committees), or for their discharge, unless—
  
    (a) notice of the motion has been given at least two sitting days previously, and

    (b) the motion is made on behalf of the Committee of Selection by the

    chairman or another member of the committee.

  
  122. Lists shall be fixed in some conspicuous place in the Committee Office and in the lobby of the House of all Members serving on each select committee. Lists of Members serving on select committees.
  
  122A. Unless the House otherwise orders, no select committee may choose as its chairman any Member who has served as chairman of that committee for the two previous Parliaments or a continuous period of eight years, whichever is the greater period.  
 
  123. All committees, other than committees of the whole House, shall have leave to sit at any time on any day on which the House sits, but may not otherwise sit during any adjournment of the House, without the leave of the House, and such leave shall not be moved for without notice. Sittings of committees.
  
  124.—(1) Except as otherwise provided, the quorum of a select committee shall be three or a quarter of the number of its members, whichever is the greater; and in calculating the quorum fractions shall be counted as one. Quorum of select committees.
  
  (2) Where more than two select committees or sub­committees thereof meet concurrently for the purpose of deliberating or taking evidence, pursuant to Standing Order No. 137A (Select committees: power to work with other committees), the quorum of each shall be two.
  
  (3) A select committee may not proceed to business unless a quorum be present; and if at any time during the sitting of a select committee a quorum shall not be present, the clerk of the committee shall bring this fact to the notice of the chairman, who shall thereupon suspend the proceedings of the committee until a quorum be present, or adjourn the committee.
  
  (4) In determining whether the requisite number of Members is present to form the quorum the chairman shall be counted.
  
  125.—(1) A select committee shall have power, if it so orders, to admit strangers during the examination of witnesses. Strangers (select committees).
  
  (2) A sub­committee appointed by such a select committee shall have a like power except as that committee otherwise orders.
  
  126. If any select committee, or sub­committee thereof, considers that the presence at a meeting, or part of a meeting, of that committee to which the public are not admitted of any specified Member of the House not nominated to that committee would obstruct the business of the committee, it shall have power to direct such Member to withdraw forthwith; and the Serjeant at Arms shall act on such instructions as he may receive from the chairman of the committee in pursuance of this order. Withdrawal of Members from meetings of select committees.
  
  127. No document received by the clerk of a select committee shall be withdrawn or altered without the knowledge and approval of the committee. Withdrawal of documents before select committee.
  
  128. The names of the Members present at each sitting of a select committee and, if a division takes place, the name of the proposer of the motion or amendment, the question put, and the respective votes thereupon of the Members present shall be entered on the minutes of the proceedings of the committee. Entry on minutes of proceedings of select committee.
  
  129. The minutes of the proceedings of a select committee shall be laid on the Table of the House during the session to which they relate, unless the committee proposes to bring them up with a report in a following session of the same Parliament. Minutes of proceedings to be laid on the Table.
  
  130. The names of Members present at each sitting of a select committee shall be entered on the minutes of evidence, if any. Entry on minutes of evidence of select committee.
  
  131. To every question or series of questions asked of a witness under examination in the proceedings of a select committee, and at the beginning of each page of the minutes of evidence, there shall be prefixed the name of the inquiring Member. Entry of questions asked.
  
  132. Any oath taken or affirmation made by any witness before a select committee may be administered by the chairman, or by the clerk attending such committee. Administration of oath in select committee.
  
  133. Every select committee shall have leave to report to the House its opinion and observations upon any matters referred to it for its consideration, together with the minutes of the evidence taken before it, and also to make a special report of any matters which it may think fit to bring to the notice of the House. Power to report opinion and observations.
  
  134. All select committees shall have power to authorise the Clerk of the House to supply copies of their reports to officers of government departments, to such witnesses who have given evidence to committees or to their sub­committees as those committees consider appropriate, to lobby journalists, and to such other press representatives as the committee thinks fit, after those reports have been laid upon the Table but not more than forty­eight hours before the intended time of publication of such reports. Select committees (reports).
  
  135.—(1) All select committees having power to send for persons, papers and records shall have power to publish the names of persons who have appeared as witnesses before them, and to authorise the publication by the witnesses concerned or otherwise of memoranda of evidence submitted by them. Witnesses and evidence (select committees).
  
  (2) The Speaker shall have power to authorise such publication in the case of any such select committee which is no longer in existence.
  
  136. When evidence has been given before a select committee meeting in public, no complaint of privilege will be entertained on the ground that it has been published before having been reported to the House. Publication of evidence (select committees).
  
  137. Whenever the House stands adjourned for more than two days, and any select committee having power to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House shall have agreed to a report, or shall have resolved that its minutes of proceedings should be printed or that the minutes of evidence taken before it or before any sub­committee appointed by it or any papers laid before it should be reported to the House and printed, it shall have power to direct the printing of such report, minutes or papers, and such printing shall be under the authority of the House; and any such reports, minutes or papers shall be deemed to have been reported to the House and shall be laid upon the Table when the House next sits. Select committees (adjournment of the House).
  
  137A.—(1) Any select committee or sub­committee with power to send for persons, papers and records shall have power— Select committees: power to work with other committees.
  
    (a) to communicate its evidence to any other select committee or sub­committee of either House of Parliament; provided that evidence from the National Audit Office shall first have been agreed between that Office and the government department or departments concerned;

    (b) to meet concurrently with any such committee or sub­committee for the purpose of deliberating or taking evidence; and

    (c) to meet concurrently with any other select committee of this House for the purpose of considering a draft report.

    (d) to agree in teh choice of a chairman for any concurrent meetings.

  
  (2) Where two or more select committees have agreed reports to the House in identical terms, those reports may be published as a joint report.
  
  138. Any Member requested by a committee appointed by the Lords to attend as a witness before it or before any sub­committee appointed by it shall have the leave of this House so to attend, if the Member think fit. Members (attendance at Lords select committees).
  
  139.—(1) There shall be a select committee with power to give directions and to perform other duties, relating to the broadcasting of proceedings of the House and matters ancillary thereto. Select Committee on Broadcasting.
  
  (2) The committee shall consist of eleven Members.
  
  (3) The committee shall have powers—
  
    (a) to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, to adjourn from place to place, and to report from time to time;

    (b) to appoint specialist advisers either to supply information which is not readily available or to elucidate matters of complexity within the committee's order of reference; and

    (c) to communicate its evidence to the House of Commons Commission.

  
  (4) The committee shall have power to make recommendations to the House of Commons Commission or to the Speaker; but any such recommendation whose implementation would incur additional expenditure from the Votes for House of Commons (Administration) or (Works) shall also be considered by the Finance and Services Committee.
  
  (5) The committee shall have power to make rules and give directions to Officers of the House in respect only of such administrative matters as may from time to time be determined by the Speaker or by the House of Commons Commission.
  
  (6) Unless the House otherwise orders, all Members nominated to the committee shall continue to be members of the committee for the remainder of the Parliament.
  
  140.—(1) There shall be a select committee, to consist of twelve Members, to join with the committee appointed by the Lords as the Joint Committee on Consolidation, &c., Bills to consider— Joint Committee on Consolidation, &c., Bills.
  
    (a) consolidation bills, whether public or private;

    (b) Statute Law Revision Bills;

    (c) bills prepared pursuant to the Consolidation of Enactments (Procedure) Act 1949, together with any memoranda laid pursuant to that Act and any representations made with respect thereto;

    (d) bills to consolidate any enactments with amendments to give effect to recommendations made by one or both of the Law Commissions, together with any report containing such recommendations;

    (e) bills prepared by one or both of the Law Commissions to promote the reform of the statute law by the repeal, in accordance with Law Commission recommendations, of certain enactments which (except in so far as their effect is preserved) are no longer of practical utility, whether or not they make other provision in connection with the repeal of those enactments, together with any Law Commission report on any such bill; and

    (f) any Order in Council laid or laid in draft before the House where an affirmative resolution is required before it is made, or is a condition of its continuance in operation, and which but for the provisions of the Northern Ireland Act 1974 would, in the opinion of the committee, have been enacted by a consolidation bill, whether public or private, or by a Statute Law Revision Bill.

  
  (2) The committee shall have power to send for persons, papers and records; and to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House.
  
  (3) Two shall be the quorum of the committee.
  
  (4) Unless the House otherwise orders, each Member nominated to the committee shall continue to be a member of it for the remainder of the Parliament.
  
  141.—(1) There shall be a select committee, called the Deregulation and Regulatory Reform Committee, to examine— Deregulation and Regulatory Reform Committee.
  
    (i) every document containing proposals laid before the House under section 3 of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 (the 1994 Act) or under section 6 of the Regulatory Reform Act 2001 (the 2001 Act);

    (ii) every draft order proposed to be made under section 1 of the 1994 Act or section 1 of the 2001 Act; and

    (iii) every subordinate provisions order or draft of such an order made or proposed to be made under sections 1 and 4 of the 2001 Act.

  
  (2) The committee shall report to the House, in relation to every proposals document referred to in paragraph (1)(i) of this order, either
  
    (a) that a draft order in the same terms as the proposals should be laid before the House; or

    (b) that the proposals should be amended before a draft order is laid before the House; or

    (c) that the order­making power should not be used in respect of the proposals.

  
  (3) The committee shall report to the House, in relation to every draft order referred to in paragraph (1)(ii) of this order, its recommendation whether the draft order should be approved.
  
  (4) The committee may draw the special attention of the House to any subordinate provisions order or draft order referred to in paragraph (1)(iii) of this order, and may report its opinion whether or not the order or draft order should be approved or, as the case may be, annulled.
  
  (5) The committee may report to the House on any matter arising from its consideration of the said proposals, draft orders or subordinate provisions orders.
  
  (6)(A) In its consideration of proposals the committee shall consider in each case whether the proposals—
  
    (a) appear to make an inappropriate use of delegated legislation;

    (b) remove or reduce a burden or the authorisation or requirement of a burden;

    (c) continue any necessary protection;

    (d) have been the subject of, and take appropriate account of, adequate consultation;

    (e) impose a charge on the public revenues or contain provisions requiring payments to be made to the Exchequer or any government department or to any local or public authority in consideration of any licence or consent or of any services to be rendered, or prescribe the amount of any such charge or payment;

    (f) purport to have retrospective effect;

    (g) give rise to doubts whether they are intra vires;

    (h) require elucidation, are not written in plain English or appear to be defectively drafted;

    (i) appear to be incompatible with any obligation resulting from membership of the European Union.

    (B) In the case of proposals presented under the 2001 Act, the committee shall also consider whether the proposals—

    (j) prevent any person from continuing to exercise any right or freedom which he might reasonably expect to continue to exercise;

    (k) satisfy the conditions of proportionality between burdens and benefits set out in sections 1 and 3 of the Act;

    (l) satisfy the test of desirability set out in section 3(2)(b) of the Act;

    (m) have been the subject of, and take appropriate account of, estimates of increases or reductions in costs or other benefits which may result from their implementation; or

    (n) include provisions to be designated in the draft order as subordinate provisions;

  
  and in the case of the latter consideration the committee shall report its opinion whether such a designation should be made, and to what parliamentary proceedings any subordinate provisions orders should be subject.
  
  (7) In its consideration of draft orders, the committee shall consider in each case all such matters set out in paragraph (6) of this order as are relevant and the extent to which the Minister concerned has had regard to any resolution or report of the committee or to any other representations made during the period for parliamentary consideration.
  
  (8) In its consideration of any subordinate provisions order the committee shall in each case consider whether the special attention of the House should be drawn to it on any of the grounds on which (in accordance with paragraph (1)(B) of Standing Order No. 151 (Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)) the Select Committee on Statutory Instruments may draw the attention of the House to a statutory instrument; and if the committee is of the opinion that any such order or draft order should be annulled, or, as the case may be, should not be approved, they shall report that opinion to the House.
  
  (9) The committee shall consist of eighteen members.
  
  (10) Unless the House otherwise orders, each Member nominated to the committee shall continue to be a member of it for the remainder of the Parliament.
  
  (11) The committee shall have power—
  
    (a) to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, to adjourn from place to place within the United Kingdom, and to report from time to time;

    (b) to appoint specialist advisers either to supply information which is not readily available or to elucidate matters of complexity within the committee's order of reference; and

    (c) to appoint a sub­committee, of which the quorum shall be two, which shall have power to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, and to adjourn from place to place within the United Kingdom.

  
  (12) The committee and the sub­committee shall have the assistance of the Counsel to the Speaker and, if their Lordships think fit, the Counsel to the Lord Chairman of Committees.
  
  (13) The committee and the sub­committee shall have power to invite Members of the House who are not members of the committee to attend meetings at which witnesses are being examined and such Members may, at the discretion of the chairman, ask questions of those witnesses; but no Member not being of the committee shall otherwise take part in the proceedings of the committee or sub­committee, or be counted in the quorum.
  
  (14) It shall be an instruction to the committee that before reporting either—
  
    (a) that any proposal should be amended before the draft order is laid before the House, or

    (b) that the order­making power should not be used in respect of any proposal, or

    (c) that any draft order should not be approved,

  
  it shall afford to any government department concerned an opportunity of furnishing orally or in writing to it or to the sub­committee appointed by it such explanations as the department think fit.
  
  (15) It shall be an instruction to the committee that it report on every draft order (not being a subordinate provisions order) not more than fifteen sitting days after the draft order was laid before the House, indicating in the case of draft orders which it recommends should be approved whether its recommendation was agreed without a division.
  
  142.—(1) There shall be four select committees to consider the services provided for the House in regard to the following matters: Domestic Committees.
  
  1. Accommodation and Works
  
  2. Administration
  
  3. Catering
  
  4. Information.
  
  (2) Each committee appointed under this order shall consist of nine Members.
  
  (3) Each committee appointed under this order shall have the assistance of the Officers of the House appropriate to the matters under consideration.
  
  (4) Each committee appointed under this order shall have power—
  
    (a) to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, to adjourn from place to place, and to report from time to time;

    (b) to appoint specialist advisers either to supply information which is not readily available or to elucidate matters of complexity within the committee's order of reference; and

    (c) to communicate its evidence to the House of Commons Commission.

  
  (5) Each committee appointed under this order shall have power to make recommendations to the House of Commons Commission or to the Speaker; but any such recommendation whose implementation would incur additional expenditure from the Votes for House of Commons (Administration) or (Works) shall also be considered by the Finance and Services Committee.
  
  (6) Each committee appointed under this order shall have power to make rules and give directions to Officers of the House in respect only of such administrative matters as may from time to time be determined by the Speaker or by the House of Commons Commission.
  
  (7) Unless the House otherwise orders, all Members nominated to a committee appointed under this order shall continue to be members of that committee for the remainder of the Parliament.
  
  143.—(1) There shall be a select committee, to be called the European Scrutiny Committee, to examine European Union documents and— European Scrutiny Committee.
  
    (a) to report its opinion on the legal and political importance of each such document and, where it considers appropriate, to report also on the reasons for its opinion and on any matters of principle, policy or law which may be affected;

    (b) to make recommendations for the further consideration of any such document pursuant to Standing Order No. 119 (European Standing Committees); and

    (c) to consider any issue arising upon any such document or group of documents, or related matters.

  
  The expression 'European Union document' in this order and in Standing Orders No. 16 (Proceedings under an Act or on European Union documents), No. 89 (Procedure in standing committees) and No. 119 (European Standing Committees) means—
  
    (i) any proposal under the Community Treaties for legislation by the Council or the Council acting jointly with the European Parliament;

    (ii) any document which is published for submission to the European Council, the Council or the European Central Bank;

    (iii) any proposal for a common strategy, a joint action or a common position under Title V of the Treaty on European Union which is prepared for submission to the Council or to the European Council;

    (iv) any proposal for a common position, framework decision, decision or a convention under Title VI of the Treaty on European Union which is prepared for submission to the Council;

    (v) any document (not falling within (ii), (iii) or (iv) above) which is published by one Union institution for or with a view to submission to another Union institution and which does not relate exclusively to consideration of any proposal for legislation;

    (vi) any other document relating to European Union matters deposited in the House by a Minister of the Crown.

  
  (2) The committee shall consist of sixteen Members.
  
  (3) The committee and any sub-committee appointed by it shall have the assistance of the Counsel to the Speaker.
  
  (4) The committee shall have power to appoint specialist advisers either to supply information which is not readily available or to elucidate matters of complexity within the committee's order of reference.
  
  (5) The committee shall have power to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, to adjourn from place to place, and to report from time to time.
  
  (6) The quorum of the committee shall be five.
  
  (7) The committee shall have power to appoint sub-committees and to refer to such sub-committees any of the matters referred to the committee.
  
  (8) Every such sub-committee shall have power to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, to adjourn from place to place, and to report to the committee from time to time.
  
  (9) The committee shall have power to report from time to time the minutes of evidence taken before such sub-committees.
  
  (10) The quorum of every such sub-committee shall be two.
  
  (11) The committee shall have power to seek from any committee specified in paragraph (12) of this order its opinion on any European Union document, and to require a reply to such a request within such time as it may specify.
  
  (12) The committees specified for the purposes of this order are those appointed under Standing Order No. 152 (Select committees related to government departments) including any sub-committees of such committees, the Select Committee on Public Administration, the Committee of Public Accounts, and the Environmental Audit Committee.
  
  (13) Unless the House otherwise orders, each Member nominated to the committee shall continue to be a member of it for the remainder of the Parliament.
  
  144.(1) There shall be a select committee, to be called the Finance and Services Committee, to consider expenditure on and the administration of services for the House and— Finance and Services Committee.
  
    (a) with the assistance of the Board of Management, to prepare the Estimates for the Votes for House of Commons (Administration) and (Works) for submission to the House of Commons Commission;

    (b) to monitor the financial performance of the Departments of the House; and

    (c) to report to the House of Commons Commission or the Speaker on the financial and administrative implications of recommendations made to them by any of the committees appointed under Standing Orders No. 142 (Domestic Committees) or No. 139 (Select Committee on Broadcasting).

  
  (2) The committee shall consist of not more than eleven Members.
  
  (3) The committee shall be assisted by the Accounting Officer and by other Officers of the House appropriate to the matters under consideration.
  
  (4) The committee shall have power—
  
    (a) to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, to adjourn from place to place, and to report from time to time; and

    (b) to communicate its evidence to the House of Commons Commission.

  
  (5) Unless the House otherwise orders, all Members nominated to the committee shall continue to be members of the committee for the remainder of the Parliament.
  
  145.—(1) A select committee shall be appointed, to be called the Liaison Committee— Liaison Committee.
  
    (a) to consider general matters relating to the work of select committees,

    (b) to give such advice relating to the work of select committees as may be sought by the House of Commons Commission, and

    (c) to report to the House its choice of select committee reports to be debated on such Wednesdays as may be appointed by the Speaker in pursuance of paragraph (4) of Standing Order No. 10 (Wednesday sittings).

  
  (2) The committee may also hear evidence from the Prime Minister on matters of public policy.
  
  (3) The committee shall report its recommendations as to the allocation of time for consideration by the House of the estimates on any day or half day which may be allotted for that purpose; and upon a motion being made that the House do agree with any such report the question shall be put forthwith and, if that question is agreed to, the recommendations shall have effect as if they were orders of the House:
  
  Proceedings in pursuance of this paragraph, though opposed, may be decided after the expiration of the time for opposed business.
  
  (4) The committee shall have power to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, and to report from time to time.
  
  (5) Unless the House otherwise orders, each Member nominated to the committee shall continue to be a member of it for the remainder of the Parliament.
  
  (6) The committee shall have power to appoint a sub-committee, which shall have power to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, and to report to the Committee from time to time.
  
  (7) The committee shall have power to report from time to time the minutes of evidence taken before the sub-committee.
  
  (8) The quorum of the sub-committee shall be three.
  
  146.—(1) There shall be a select committee to examine the reports of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration, of the Health Service Commissioners for England, Scotland and Wales and of the Parliamentary Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, which are laid before this House, and matters in connection therewith, and to consider matters relating to the quality and standards of administration provided by civil service departments, and other matters relating to the civil service; and the committee shall consist of eleven Members. Select Committee on Public Administration.
  
  (2) The committee shall have power—
  
    (a) to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, to adjourn from place to place, and to report from time to time; and

    (b) to appoint specialist advisers to supply information which is not readily available or to elucidate matters of complexity within the committee's order of reference.

  
  (3) Unless the House otherwise orders, each Member nominated to the committee shall continue to be a member of it for the remainder of the Parliament.
  
  (4) The committee shall have power to appoint a sub­committee, which shall have power to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, to adjourn from place to place, and to report to the committee from time to time.
  
  (5) The committee shall have power to report from time to time the minutes of evidence taken before the sub­committee.
  
  (6) The quorum of the sub­committee shall be three.
  
  147.—(1) There shall be a select committee, to be called the Procedure Committee, to consider the practice and procedure of the House in the conduct of public business, and to make recommendations. Procedure Committee.
  
  (2) The committee shall consist of not more than seventeen Members.
  
  (3) The committee shall have power to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, to adjourn from place to place and to report from time to time, and to appoint specialist advisers either to supply information which is not readily available, or to elucidate matters of complexity within the committee's order of reference.
  
  (4) Unless the House otherwise orders, each Member nominated to the committee shall continue to be a member of it for the remainder of the Parliament.
  
  148.—(1) There shall be a select committee to be called the Committee of Public Accounts for the examination of the accounts showing the appropriation of the sums granted by Parliament to meet the public expenditure, and of such other accounts laid before Parliament as the committee may think fit, to consist of not more than sixteen members. The committee shall have power to send for persons, papers and records, to report from time to time, and to adjourn from place to place. Committee of Public Accounts.
  
  (2) Unless the House otherwise orders, each Member nominated to the committee shall continue to be a member of it for the remainder of the Parliament.
  
  149.—(1) There shall be a select committee, called the Committee on Standards and Privileges— Committee on Standards and Privileges.
  
    (a) to consider specific matters relating to privileges referred to it by the House;

    (b) to oversee the work of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards; to examine the arrangements proposed by the Commissioner for the compilation, maintenance and accessibility of the Register of Members' Interests and any other registers of interest established by the House; to review from time to time the form and content of those registers; and to consider any specific complaints made in relation to the registering or declaring of interests referred to it by the Commissioner; and

    (c) to consider any matter relating to the conduct of Members, including specific complaints in relation to alleged breaches in any code of conduct to which the House has agreed and which have been drawn to the committee's attention by the Commissioner; and to recommend any modifications to such code of conduct as may from time to time appear to be necessary.

  
  (2) The committee shall consist of eleven Members, of whom five shall be a quorum.
  
  (3) Unless the House otherwise orders, each Member nominated to the committee shall continue to be a member of it for the remainder of the Parliament.
  
  (4) The committee shall have power to appoint sub­committees consisting of no more than seven Members, of whom three shall be a quorum, and to refer to such sub­committees any of the matters referred to the committee; and shall appoint one such sub­committee to receive reports from the Commissioner relating to investigations into specific complaints.
  
  (5) The committee and any sub­committee shall have power to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, to adjourn from place to place, to report from time to time and to appoint specialist advisers either to supply information which is not readily available or to elucidate matters of complexity within the committee's order of reference.
  
  (6) The committee shall have power to order the attendance of any Member before the committee or any sub­committee and to require that specific documents or records in the possession of a Member relating to its inquiries, or to the inquiries of a sub­committee or of the Commissioner, be laid before the committee or any sub­committee.
  
  (7) The committee, or any sub­committee, shall have power to refer to unreported evidence of former Committees of Privileges or of former Select Committees on Members' Interests and to any documents circulated to any such committee.
  
  (8) The committee shall have power to refuse to allow proceedings to which strangers are admitted to be broadcast.
  
  (9) Mr Attorney General, the Advocate General and Mr Solicitor General, being Members of the House, may attend the committee or any sub­committee, may take part in deliberations, may receive committee or sub­committee papers and may give such other assistance to the committee or sub­committee as may be appropriate, but shall not vote or make any motion or move any amendment or be counted in the quorum.
  
  150.—(1) There shall be an officer of this House, called the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, who shall be appointed by the House. Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.
  
  (2) The principal duties of the Commissioner shall be—
  
    (a) to maintain the Register of Members' Interests and any other registers of interest established by the House, and to make such arrangements for the compilation, maintenance and accessibility of those registers as are approved by the Committee on Standards and Privileges or an appropriate sub­committee thereof;

    (b) to provide advice confidentially to Members and other persons or bodies subject to registration on matters relating to the registration of individual interests;

    (c) to advise the Committee on Standards and Privileges, its sub­committees and individual Members on the interpretation of any code of conduct to which the House has agreed and on questions of propriety;

    (d) to monitor the operation of such code and registers, and to make recommendations thereon to the Committee on Standards and Privileges or an appropriate sub­committee thereof; and

    (e) to receive and, if he thinks fit, investigate specific complaints from Members and from members of the public in respect of—

      (i) the registration or declaration of interests, or

      (ii) other aspects of the propriety of a Member's conduct,

    and to report to the Committee on Standards and Privileges or to an appropriate sub­committee thereof.

  
  (3) The Commissioner may be dismissed by resolution of the House.
  
  151.—(1) A select committee shall be appointed to join with a committee appointed by the Lords to consider— Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee).
  
  (A) every instrument which is laid before each House of Parliament and upon which proceedings may be or might have been taken in either House of Parliament, in pursuance of an Act of Parliament, being—
  
    (a) a statutory instrument, or a draft statutory instrument;

    (b) a scheme, or an amendment of a scheme, or a draft thereof, requiring approval by statutory instrument;

    (c) any other instrument (whether or not in draft), where the proceedings in pursuance of an Act of Parliament are proceedings by way of an affirmative resolution; or

    (d) an order subject to special parliamentary procedure;

  
  but excluding any Order in Council or draft Order in Council made or proposed to be made under paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to the Northern Ireland Act 1974 and any draft order proposed to be made under section 1 of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 or under section 1 of the Regulatory Reform Act 2001, or any subordinate provisions order made or proposed to be made under that Act;
  
  (B) every general statutory instrument not within the foregoing classes, and not within paragraph (10) of this order, but not including any statutory instrument made by a member of the Scottish Executive or by the National Assembly for Wales unless it is required to be laid before Parliament or either House of Parliament and not including measures under the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act 1919 and instruments made under such measures:
  
  with a view to determining whether the special attention of the House should be drawn to it on any of the following grounds:
  
    (i) that it imposes a charge on the public revenues or contains provisions requiring payments to be made to the Exchequer or any government department or to any local or public authority in consideration of any licence or consent or of any services to be rendered, or prescribes the amount of any such charge or payment;

    (ii) that it is made in pursuance of any enactment containing specific provisions excluding it from challenge in the courts, either at all times or after the expiration of a specific period;

    (iii) that it purports to have retrospective effect where the parent statute confers no express authority so to provide;

    (iv) that there appears to have been unjustifiable delay in the publication or in the laying of it before Parliament;

    (v) that there appears to have been unjustifiable delay in sending a notification under the proviso to section 4(1) of the Statutory Instruments Act 1946, where an instrument has come into operation before it has been laid before Parliament;

    (vi) that there appears to be a doubt whether it is intra vires or that it appears to make some unusual or unexpected use of the powers conferred by the statute under which it is made;

    (vii) that for any special reason its form or purport calls for elucidation;

    (viii) that its drafting appears to be defective;

  
  or on any other ground which does not impinge on its merits or on the policy behind it; and to report its decision with the reasons thereof in any particular case.
  
  (2) The quorum of the committee shall be two.
  
  (3) The committee shall have power to appoint one or more sub­committees severally to join with any sub­committee or sub­committees appointed by the committee appointed by the Lords; and to refer to such sub­committee or sub­committees any of the matters referred to the committee.
  
  (4) The committee and any sub­committee appointed by it shall have the assistance of the Counsel to the Speaker and, if their Lordships think fit, of the Counsel to the Lord Chairman of Committees.
  
  (5) The committee shall have power to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House and to report from time to time, and any sub­committee appointed by it shall have power to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House.
  
  (6) The committee and any sub­committee appointed by it shall have power to require any government department concerned to submit a memorandum explaining any instrument which may be under its consideration or to depute a representative to appear before it as a witness for the purpose of explaining any such instrument.
  
  (7) The committee and any sub­committee appointed by it shall have power to take evidence, written or oral, from Her Majesty's Stationery Office, relating to the printing and publication of any instrument.
  
  (8) The committee shall have power to report to the House from time to time any memorandum submitted to it or other evidence taken before it or any sub­committee appointed by it from any government department in explanation of any instruments.
  
  (9) It shall be an instruction to the committee that before reporting that the special attention of the House be drawn to any instrument the committee do afford to any government department concerned therewith an opportunity of furnishing orally or in writing to it or to any sub­committee appointed by it such explanations as the department think fit.
  
  (10) It shall be an instruction to the committee that it shall consider any instrument which is directed by Act of Parliament to be laid before and to be subject to proceedings in this House only, being—
  
    (a) a statutory instrument, or a draft of a statutory instrument;

    (b) a scheme, or an amendment to a scheme, or a draft thereof, requiring approval by statutory instrument; or

    (c) any other instrument (whether or not in draft), where the proceedings in pursuance of an Act of Parliament are proceedings by way of an affirmative resolution;

  
  and that it have power to draw such instruments to the special attention of the House on any of the grounds on which the Joint Committee is empowered so to draw the special attention of the House; and that in considering any such instrument the committee do not join with the committee appointed by the Lords.
  
  (11) Unless the House otherwise orders, each Member nominated to the committee shall continue to be a member of it for the remainder of the Parliament.
  
  152.—(1) Select committees shall be appointed to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the principal government departments as set out in paragraph (2) of this order and associated public bodies. Select committees related to government departments.
  
  (2) The committees appointed under paragraph (1) of this order, the principal departments of government with which they are concerned and the maximum numbers of each committee shall be as follows:
  
  

Name of Committee
Principal government departments concerned
Maximum members
1 Culture, Media and Sport Department for Culture, Media and Sport
11
2 DefenceMinistry of Defence
11
3 Education and Skills Department for Education and Skills
11
4 Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
17
5 Foreign Affairs Foreign and Commonwealth Office
11
6 HealthDepartment of Health
11
7 Home Affairs Home Office; policy, administration and expenditure of the Lord Chancellor's Department (including the work of staff provided for the administrative work of courts and tribunals, but excluding consideration of individual cases and appointments); and administration and expenditure of the Attorney General's Office, the Treasury Solicitor's Department, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Serious Fraud Office (but excluding individual cases and appointments and advice given within government by Law Officers)
11
8 International Development Department for International Development
11
9 Northern Ireland Affairs Northern Ireland Office; administration and expenditure of the Crown Solicitor's Office (but excluding individual cases and advice given by the Crown Solicitor); and other matters within the responsibilities of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (but excluding the expenditure, administration and policy of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Northern Ireland and the drafting of legislation by the Office of the Legislative Counsel)
13
10 Office of the Deputy Prime Minister: Housing, Planning, Local Government and the Regions Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
11
11 Science and Technology Office of Science and Technology
11
12 Scottish Affairs Scotland Office (including (i) relations with the Scottish Parliament and (ii) administration and expenditure of the offices of the Advocate General for Scotland (but excluding individual cases and advice given within government by the Advocate General))
11
13 Trade and Industry Department of Trade and Industry (but excluding the Office of Science and Technology)
11
14 TransportDepartment for Transport
11
15 TreasuryTreasury, Board of Inland Revenue, Board of Customs & Excise
11
16 Welsh Affairs Welsh Office (Office of the Secretary of State for Wales (including relations with the National Assembly for Wales))
11
17 Work and Pensions Department for Work and Pensions
11


  (3) Each select committee appointed under this order shall have the power to appoint a sub­committee, and the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee shall have power to appoint two sub­committees.
  
  (4) Select committees appointed under this order shall have power—
  
    (a) to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, to adjourn from place to place, and to report from time to time;

    (b) to appoint specialist advisers either to supply information which is not readily available or to elucidate matters of complexity within the committee's order of reference; and

    (c) to report from time to time the minutes of evidence taken before sub­committees, and to lay upon the Table of the House the minutes of the proceedings of sub­committees;

  
  and the sub­committees appointed under this order shall have power to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, to adjourn from place to place, to report from time to time the minutes of their proceedings, and shall have a quorum of three.
  
  (5) Unless the House otherwise orders, all Members nominated to a committee appointed under this order shall continue to be members of that committee for the remainder of the Parliament.
  
  152A.—(1) There shall be a select committee, called the Environmental Audit Committee, to consider to what extent the policies and programmes of government departments and non­departmental public bodies contribute to environmental protection and sustainable development; to audit their performance against such targets as may be set for them by Her Majesty's Ministers; and to report thereon to the House. Environmental Audit Committee.
  
  (2) The committee shall consist of sixteen members.
  
  (3) Unless the House otherwise orders, each Member nominated to the committee shall continue to be a member of it for the remainder of the Parliament.
  
  (4) The committee shall have power—
  
    (a) to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, to adjourn from place to place, and to report from time to time; and

    (b) to appoint specialist advisers to supply information which is not readily available or to elucidate matters of complexity within the committee's order of reference.

  
  (5) The committee shall have power to appoint a sub-committee, which shall have power to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, to adjourn from place to place, and to report to the committee from time to time.
  
  (6) The committee shall have power to report from time to time the minutes of evidence taken before the sub-committee.
  
  (7) The quorum of the sub­committee shall be three.
  
  152B.—(1) There shall be a select committee, to consist of six Members, to join with the committee appointed by the Lords as the Joint Committee on Human Rights. Human rights (joint committee).
  
  (2) The committee shall consider—
  
    (a) matters relating to human rights in the United Kingdom (but excluding consideration of individual cases);

    (b) proposals for remedial orders, draft remedial orders and remedial orders made under Section 10 of and laid under Schedule 2 to the Human Rights Act 1998; and

    (c) in respect of draft remedial orders and remedial orders, whether the special attention of the House should be drawn to them on any of the grounds specified in Standing Order No. 151 (Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)).

  
  (3) The committee shall report to the House—
  
    (a) in relation to any document containing proposals laid before the House under paragraph 3 of the said Schedule 2, its recommendation whether a draft order in the same terms as the proposals should be laid before the House; or

    (b) in relation to any draft order laid under paragraph 2 of the said Schedule 2, its recommendation whether the draft order should be approved;

  
  and the committee may report to the House on any matter arising from its consideration of the said proposals or draft orders.
  
  (4) The committee shall report to the House in respect of any original order laid under paragraph 4 of the said Schedule 2, its recommendation whether—
  
    (a) the order should be approved in the form in which it was originally laid before Parliament; or

    (b) that the order should be replaced by a new order modifying the provisions of the original order; or

    (c) that the order should not be approved,

  
  and the committee may report to the House on any matter arising from its consideration of the said order or any replacement order.
  
  (5) The quorum of the committee shall be three, except that for the purposes of taking evidence, the quorum shall be two.
  
  (6) Unless the House otherwise orders, each Member nominated to the committee shall continue to be a member of it for the remainder of the Parliament.
  
  (7) The committee shall have power—
  
    (a) to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, to adjourn from place to place, and to report from time to time; and

    (b) to appoint specialist advisers either to supply information which is not readily available or to elucidate matters of complexity within the committee's order of reference.

  
  152C.—(1) There shall be a Select Committee, to consist of seven Members, to join with the committee appointed by the Lords as the Joint Committee on Tax Simplification Bills, to consider tax simplification bills, and in particular to consider whether each bill committed to it preserves the effect of the existing law, subject to any minor changes which may be desirable. Tax simplification (joint committee).
  
  (2) The committee shall have power to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, to report from time to time, and to appoint specialist advisers either to supply information which is not readily available or to elucidate matters of complexity within the committee's order of reference.
  
  (3) The quorum of the committee shall be two.
  
  (4) Unless the House otherwise orders, each Member nominated to the committee shall continue to be a member of it for the remainder of the Parliament.
  
  (5) The procedure of the Joint Committee shall follow the procedure of select committees of this House when such procedure differs from that of select committees of the House of Lords.
  
  (6) The chairman shall have the like powers of selection as are given to the chairman of a standing committee under paragraph (3)(a) of Standing Order No. 89 (Procedure in standing committees).
  
  



 
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