Watch our animation explaining how Parliament's committees work.
What do Parliamentary Committees do?
Parliamentary committees are made up of Members of Parliament from different political parties. They investigate a particular issue and report their findings and recommendations to the Parliament.
The work of committees facilitates:
- public debate and awareness of issues
- direct public input into parliamentary and policy processes
- personal contact between parliamentarians and the public
- in-depth investigation of issues to assist with better legislative decisions
The inquiry process
- Terms of reference – the committee receives detailed instructions or terms of reference.
- Calling for submissions – the committee advertises for submissions and contacts those with specialist knowledge.
- Public hearings – committees may take evidence in public or private, exploring points of interest or concern.
- Research – research on specific aspects can be commissioned from expert sources.
- Reporting to the Parliament – Considering all gathered information, the committee releases its final report to the Parliament and the public.
- Government response – the Government has six months to respond to a committee’s final report, indicating whether it supports any recommendations made in the report.
Types of committees
There are four main types of parliamentary committees:
- Joint Investigatory Committees: appointed each parliament to investigate a number of different issues in particular subject areas. They are made up of members of both Houses.
- Standing Committees: appointed for the length of a parliamentary term to investigate a number of different issues in particular subject areas. They are made up of members of one House.
- Select Committees: investigate a particular issue and are dissolved when the issue is reported on. They are made up of members of one House.
- Domestic Committees: focusing on the operations of Parliament, such as parliamentary procedure and administration. They are made up of members of one House.
- Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 November 2018 11:57