1. Introduction

At its first meeting of the 45th Parliament on 13 October 2016, the Procedure Committee resolved to adopt the wide ranging reference ‘the maintenance of the standing and sessional orders’. This reference is usually adopted each parliament and enables the Committee to identify and examine irregularities and problems in the sessional and standing orders which arise from time to time during a parliament and also to propose necessary adjustments and possible improvements. There are no sessional orders in place for the 45th Parliament.
As a result of issues identified during the 45th Parliament to date, the Committee resolved to prepare this interim report so that those issues might be addressed by the House in an expedient manner. The report recommends mostly technical amendments to ensure the continued effective operation of the standing orders.
These technical amendments may be made through a resolution of the House. Some have been identified as appropriate for Clerk’s amendments, as per the authority of the resolution of the House from 1 December 2004:

That the Clerk be authorised to correct clerical errors or inconsistencies in wording in the standing orders, but not so as to cause a change to the meaning of any standing order.1
The Committee intends to deliver a more substantive final report towards the end of this Parliament, addressing more complex issues in relation to the maintenance of the standing orders.

Scope of the inquiry

The inquiry reviews procedural issues identified in the late 44th Parliament and throughout the 45th Parliament to date. It also examines a number of minor, technical irregularities within the standing orders that have come to the Committee’s attention.
The Committee did not consult widely for this inquiry but did receive briefings and investigate options for proposed amendments to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the standing orders.

Structure of the report

Chapter 2 outlines the technical matters raised in the Committee’s examination of the standing orders, identifying minor technical irregularities within the standing orders that can be addressed in the shorter term, as well as a number of potential Clerk’s amendments to be made administratively.
Appendix A lists the draft proposed amendments in detail.

  • 1
    Votes and Proceedings No. 6, 41st Parliament, 1 December 2004, 57.

 |  Contents  |