About Committees

Watch our new animation explaining how Parliament's committees work.

Types of committees

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

  • 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.

Functions and powers of committees

The joint investigatory committees are established under the Parliamentary Committees Act 2003, which 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, which will also 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.

More Information

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 January 2015