Standing Orders of the House of Commons - Public Business 2001 - continued        House of Commons

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Select committees related to government departments.     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.
 
      (2) The committees appointed under paragraph (1) of this order, the principal departments of government with which they are concerned, the maximum numbers of each committee and the quorum in each case shall be as follows:
 
 

Name of CommitteePrincipal government department concernedMaximum membersQuorum

 
1 Agriculture
 
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
 
11
 
3
 
2 Culture, Media and Sport
 
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
 
11
 
3
 
3 Defence
 
Ministry of Defence
 
11
 
3
 
4 Education and Employment
 
Department for Education and Employment
 
17
 
5
 
5 Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs
 
Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions
 
17
 
5
 
6 Foreign Affairs
 
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
 
11
 
3
 
7 Health
 
Department of Health
 
11
 
3
 
8 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
 
3
 
9 International Development
 
Department for International Development
 
11
 
3
 
10 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
 
4
 
11 Science and Technology
 
Office of Science and Technology
 
11
 
3
 
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
 
3
 
13 Social Security
 
Department of Social Security
 
11
 
3
 
14 Trade and Industry
 
Department of Trade and Industry (but excluding the Office of Science and Technology)
 
11
 
3
 
15 Treasury
 
Treasury, Board of Inland Revenue, Board of Customs & Excise
 
11
 
3
 
16 Welsh Affairs
 
Welsh Office (Office of the Secretary of State for Wales (including relations with the National Assembly for Wales)).
 
11
 
3

      (3) The Education and Employment Committee and the Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Committee shall each have the power to appoint two sub-committees; and the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Home Affairs Committee and the Treasury Committee shall each have the power to appoint one sub-committee.
 
      (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;
 
    (c) to report from time to time the minutes of evidence taken before sub-committees, and to lay upon the Table of the House the minutes of the proceedings of sub-committees;
 
    (d) to communicate to any other such committee and to the European Scrutiny Committee, to the Committee of Public Accounts, to the Deregulation Committee and to the Environmental Audit Committee their evidence and any other documents relating to matters of common interest; and
 
    (e) to meet concurrently with any other such committee for the purposes of deliberating, taking evidence, or considering draft reports; or with the European Scrutiny Committee or any Sub-Committee thereof, for the purposes of deliberating or taking evidence;
  and the sub-committees 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 to meet concurrently with any committee appointed under this order or any sub-committee thereof or with the European Scrutiny Committee or any sub-committee thereof, for the purposes of deliberating or taking evidence and shall have a quorum of three.
      (5) Notwithstanding paragraphs (2) and (4) above, where more than two committees or sub-committees appointed under this order meet concurrently in accordance with paragraph (4) (e) above, the quorum of each such committee or sub-committee shall be two.
      (6) 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.
 
Environmental Audit Committee.     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 non-departmental 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.
 
      (2) The committee shall consist of sixteen members, of whom four 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-
 
 
    (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 to supply information which is not readily available or to elucidate matters of complexity within the committee's order of reference;
 
    (c) to communicate its evidence and any other documents relating to matters of common interest to any committee appointed by this House or by the Lords; and
 
    (d) to meet concurrently with any committee appointed under Standing Order No. 152 (Select committees related to government departments), or any sub-committee thereof, or with the European Scrutiny Committee or any sub-committee thereof, or with any committee appointed by the Lords, or any sub-committee thereof, for the purposes of deliberating or examining witnesses.
Human rights (Joint Committee).     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.
 
      (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.
 
      (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 within the United Kingdom, to adjourn to institutions of the Council of Europe outside the United Kingdom no more than four times in any calendar year, 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.
Tax simplification (Joint Committee).     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.
 
      (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 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).
 
Public Petitions
Presentation of petitions.     153. Every Member offering to present a petition to the House, not being a petition for a private bill, or relating to a private bill before the House, shall confine himself to a statement of the parties from whom it comes, the number of signatures attached to it, and the material allegations contained in it, and to reading the prayer of such petition.
 
Time and manner of presenting petitions.     154. - (1) Every petition presented under Standing Order No. 153 (Presentation of petitions) not containing matter in breach of the privileges of this House, and which according to the rules or usual practice of this House can be received, shall be brought to the Table-
 
 
    (a) on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, after a member of the government shall have signified his intention to move 'That this House do now adjourn', for the purpose of bringing the sitting to a conclusion, and
 
    (b) on Fridays, at the commencement of public business, provided that petitions remaining to be presented at ten o'clock on a Friday on which private Members' bills have precedence under Standing Order No. 14 (Arrangement of public business) shall stand over and may be brought to the Table after a member of the government shall have signified his intention to move 'That this House do now adjourn', for the purpose of bringing the sitting to a conclusion.
      (2) Proceedings under paragraph (1)(a) and (1)(b) of this order shall not be interrupted at ten o'clock or at half past two o'clock respectively.
 
      (3) The Speaker shall not allow any debate, or any Member to speak upon, or in relation to, such petition; but it may be read by the Clerk if required.
 
Petition as to present personal grievance.     155. In the case of a petition presented under Standing Order No. 153 (Presentation of petitions) and complaining of some present personal grievance, for which there may be an urgent necessity for providing an immediate remedy, the matter contained in such petition may be brought into discussion on the presentation thereof and proceedings under this order shall not be interrupted at ten o'clock and may be proceeded with, though opposed, until any hour.
 
Printing of petitions and of ministerial replies.     156. All petitions presented under Standing Order No. 153 (Presentation of petitions), and not proceeded with under Standing Order No. 155 (Petition as to present personal grievance), shall be ordered to lie upon the Table and to be printed, and the Clerk of the House shall transmit all such petitions to a Minister of the Crown and any observations made by a Minister or Ministers in reply to such petitions shall be laid upon the Table by the Clerk of the House and shall be ordered to be printed.
 
Petitions against imposition of tax.     157. Petitions against any resolution or bill imposing a tax or duty for the current service of the year shall be henceforth received, and the usage under which the House has refused to entertain such petitions shall be discontinued.
 
 
Parliamentary Papers
Presentation of command papers.     158. If, during the existence of a Parliament, papers are commanded by Her Majesty to be presented to this House at any time, the delivery of such papers to the Votes and Proceedings Office shall be deemed to be for all purposes the presentation of them to this House.
 
Presentation of statutory instruments.     159. Where, under any Act of Parliament, a statutory instrument is required to be laid before Parliament, or before this House, the delivery of a copy of such instrument to the Votes and Proceedings Office on any day during the existence of a Parliament shall be deemed to be for all purposes the laying of it before the House:

Provided that nothing in this order shall apply to any statutory instrument being an order which is subject to special parliamentary procedure or to any other instrument which is required to be laid before Parliament, or before this House, for any period before it comes into operation.
 
Notification in respect of certain statutory instruments.     160. When any communication has been received by the Speaker, drawing attention to the fact that copies of any statutory instrument have yet to be laid before Parliament, and explaining why such copies have not been so laid before the instrument came into operation, the Speaker shall thereupon lay such communication upon the Table of the House.
 
 
Strangers
Duties of Serjeant at Arms with respect to strangers.     161. - (1) The Serjeant at Arms attending this House shall take into his custody any stranger whom he may see, or who may be reported to him to be, in any part of the House or gallery appropriated to the Members of this House, and also any stranger who, having been admitted into any other part of the House or gallery, shall misconduct himself, or shall not withdraw when strangers are directed to withdraw, while the House, or any committee of the whole House, is sitting.
 
      (2) The power conferred upon the Serjeant at Arms by paragraph (1) of this order may, if the chairman so directs, be exercised in respect of strangers present at sittings of select and standing committees.
 
Places to which strangers are not admitted.     162. No Member of this House shall presume to bring any stranger into any part of the House or gallery appropriated to the Members of this House while the House, or a committee of the whole House, is sitting.
 
Motions to sit in private.     163. - (1) If at any sitting of the House, or in a committee of the whole House, any Member moves "That the House sit in private" the Speaker or the Chairman shall forthwith put the question "That the House sit in private", and such question, though opposed, may be decided after the expiration of the time for opposed business, but such a Motion may be made no more than once in any sitting:

  Provided that the Speaker or the chairman may, whenever he thinks fit, order the withdrawal of those other than Members or officers from any part of the House.
 
      (2) An order under paragraph (1) of this order shall not apply to members of the House of Lords.


Examined

Clerk of the House of Commons.



Clerk of the Journals.

23rd January 2001
 
 
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Updated 12 June 2001