Early in the life of a Parliament, the Procedure Committee has traditionally resolved to adopt terms of reference for an inquiry into the maintenance of the standing (and sessional) orders. This wide-ranging reference provides a formal mechanism for the Committee to consider various, often relatively minor, procedural issues arising from proceedings in the House which are brought to the Committee’s attention. The Committee resolved to adopt such a reference early in the current Parliament to consider the current state of the standing orders, reflecting on the history and development of their application and interpretation.
Through its deliberations, the Committee identified a number of issues that warrant further consideration which the Committee intends to address in a later report. However, the Committee also identified a number of minor, consequential and technical issues and inconsistencies, some of which have been identified by previous Procedure Committees and not acted upon, and others which have evolved as a result of recent changes in practice or procedure. The Committee has therefore resolved to produce this short interim report, to highlight some of those minor issues and inconsistencies which the House may wish to consider remedying in the short term.
I thank the Committee for their reasoned consideration of the standing orders to date and look forward to delivering the Committee’s final report later in this Parliament.