The Committee is established by a standing order of the House of Representatives to inquire into and report on the practices and procedures of the House. The Committee was first established in 1985 to replace the Standing Orders Committee. (See History of the Procedure Committee for more information.)
The Committee consists of 7 Members of the House (4 government and 3 non-government) and is able to determine its own inquiries within the broad framework of its overall terms of reference. The Committee is established by standing order 221. The Committee operates under the standing orders applying to committees generally (standing orders 228-247).
As a result of reports of the Procedure Committee a number of initiatives have been taken relating to the business of the House, including significant developments relating to private Members' business. Major changes in the procedures for the consideration of legislation, including the establishment of the Federation Chamber (originally the Main Committee), also followed recommendations of the Procedure Committee. The Committee also initiated a complete rewrite and reorganisation of the standing orders in 2004 to make them easier to understand for Members and the public. The Committee was also instrumental in the establishment of new arrangements for responding to petitions, including the establishment of a Petitions Committee, as well as making recommendations that led to a more family-friendly Chamber and the introduction of electronic recording of votes during divisions.