About Committees

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There are three main types of parliamentary committees. They are:

  • Joint Investigatory Committees — appointed each Parliament to investigate issues in particular subject areas, and comprising of members of both Houses.
  • Select Committees — dealing with particular investigations, and comprising of members of one House.
  • Domestic Committees — focusing on the operations of Parliament.

In recent times, some Standing Committees, appointed by one House to conduct investigations for the duration of the Parliament, have also been established.

The joint investigatory committees are established under the Parliamentary Committees Act 2003, and the Act sets out the broad areas the committee’s inquiries may cover, as well as the committee’s functions.  The other types of committees are established by a decision of either House; the resolution to establish such a committee will set out its functions and powers.

Committees generally take evidence in public, but deliberate in private.  A key part of committee activity is public engagement, and consultation with the community.

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Last Updated on Friday, 28 September 2012