The effectiveness and influence of the select committee system Contents

Annex 2: Standing Order changes

We set out these suggested changes to the House’s standing orders, following on from our recommendations in this report, for the convenience and better understanding of readers. We do not regard the form in which they are presented here as necessarily final form in which they might be put to the House for approval.

In Standing Order No. 152 (Select committees related to government departments) the following words shall be added at the end of paragraph (1) “; together with matters of public concern falling within the area of competence of those departments and bodies”. [Para 18]

In Standing Order No. 145 (Liaison Committee), paragraph (3) shall be replaced by the following paragraph:

“(3) The committee shall determine the business to be taken in the House on three of the days allotted under paragraph (4) of Standing Order No. 14 (Arrangement of public business) to backbench business.”

In Standing Order No. 152J (Backbench Business Committee) the following paragraph shall be added:

“(8) 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.”

In Standing Order No. 54 (Consideration of Estimates) the following amendments shall be made:

(a) in paragraph (1), the words “paragraph (3) of Standing Order No. 145 (Liaison Committee)” shall be replaced by the words “paragraph (8) of Standing Order No. 152J (Backbench Business Committee)”.

(b) in paragraphs (2) and (3), the word “Liaison” wherever it occurs shall be replaced with the words “Backbench Business”.

[Para 42]

That the following be a Standing Order of the House:

“Pre-appointment hearing reports

(1) This order applies where a committee of the House has made a report on a Minister’s preferred candidate for an appointment to a post listed as a significant appointment by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

(2) The conditions for this order to apply are that—

(a) a committee has held a pre-appointment hearing with a preferred candidate;

(b) the committee has reported that it does not recommend that the Minister proceed with the appointment; and

(c) the committee has given the relevant Minister an opportunity to respond in private to its proposed recommendation and any accompanying comments and questions provided to that Minister at least five working days before it made its report.

(3) If a committee has made a report to which paragraphs (1) and (2) of this order apply, a motion that the House agrees with the Committee in its recommendation may be made.

(4) The Speaker shall put the questions necessary to dispose of proceedings on any motion made under paragraph (3) of this order, including the questions on any amendments which may have been selected, not later than one and a half hours after the commencement of proceedings on the motion; and a motion made under this order may be proceeded with, though opposed, at any hour.

(5) If no motion under paragraph (3) of this order has been made and disposed of within five sitting days after the relevant report of the committee was made to the House, the Speaker, on the application of the Chair of the relevant committee made at the commencement of business of any subsequent sitting day, may determine that a debate on the motion shall be held on a subsequent day, naming the day and time at which it will be held.”

[Para 192]

In Standing Order No. 133 (Power to report opinions and observations), the word “leave” shall be replaced by the word “power” and the words “and observations upon any matters referred to it for its consideration” shall be replaced with the words “, observations, communications, findings or correspondence within its terms of reference and to publish these”. [Para 201]

In Standing Order No. 134 (Select committees (reports)), the words after “Table” are omitted. [Para 207]

In Standing Order No. 122B, there shall be added to the list of committees, in appropriate alphabetical position, the following committees:

The Administration Committee

The European Scrutiny Committee

The Finance Committee

The Regulatory Reform Committee

[Para 232]

The following amendments shall be made to Standing Order No. 145 (Liaison Committee):

(a) in sub-paragraph (1)(c), the words “report to the House its choice of select committee reports” shall be replaced by “notify the House of the matters it has determined”; and the words “Speaker in pursuance of paragraph (15)”shall be replaced by “Chairman of Ways and Means in pursuance of paragraph (7)”.

(b) in paragraph (2), after the words “Prime Minister” the words “and others” shall be inserted.

(c) after paragraph (4) the following paragraph shall be inserted:

“(4A) 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.”

[Paras 274, 275 and 276]

Published: 9 September 2019