Role of the Committee

History

Until 2005 Senators and Members provided advice to the Parliamentary Library through a Senate Committee on the Parliamentary Library and a House of Representatives Committee on the Parliamentary Library which met jointly. In December 2005 the first Joint Standing Committee on the Parliamentary Library was established.

The Joint Standing Committee on the Parliamentary Library for the 46th Parliament was established by motion by the House of Representatives and Senate on 4 July 2019 and 22 July 2019 respectively.

That:

(1) a Joint Standing Committee on the Parliamentary Library be appointed to:

(a) consider and report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on any matters relating to the Parliamentary Library referred to it by the President or the Speaker;

(b) provide advice to the President and the Speaker on matters relating to the Parliamentary Library;

(c) provide advice to the President and the Speaker on an annual resource agreement between the Parliamentary Librarian and the Secretary of the Department of Parliamentary Services; and

(d) receive advice and reports, including an annual report, directly from the Parliamentary Librarian on matters relating to the Parliamentary Library;

(2) the Committee consist of 13 members, 4 Members of the House of Representatives nominated by the Government Whip or Whips, 3 Members of the House of Representatives nominated by the Opposition Whip or Whips or by any minority group or independent Member, 3 Senators nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, 2 Senators nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate and 1 Senator nominated by any minority group or independent Senator;

(3) every nomination:

(a) of a member of the committee shall be notified in writing to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and

(b) from a minority group in the Senate or an independent Senator shall be determined by agreement between them, and, in the absence of agreement duly notified to the President, any question of the representation on the committee shall be determined by the Senate;

(4) the members of the committee hold office as a joint standing committee until the House of Representatives is dissolved or expires by effluxion of time;

(5) the committee elect two of its members to be joint chairs, one being a Senator or Member, on an alternating basis each Parliament, who is a member of the government parties and one being a Senator or Member, on an alternating basis each Parliament, who is a member of the non-government parties, provided that the joint chairs may not be members of the same House;

(6) the joint chair nominated by the government parties shall chair meetings of the committee, and the joint chair nominated by the non-government parties shall take the chair whenever the other joint chair is not present;

(7) each of the joint chairs shall have a deliberative vote only, regardless of who is chairing the meeting;

(8) when votes on a question before the committee are equally divided, the question shall be resolved in the negative;

(9) three members of the committee shall constitute a quorum of the committee, but in a deliberative meeting a quorum shall include one member of each House of the government parties and one member of either House of the non-government parties;

(10) the committee:

(a) have power to appoint subcommittees, consisting of three or more of its members, and to refer to any subcommittee any matter which the committee is empowered to consider; and

(b) appoint the chair of each subcommittee, who shall have a deliberative vote only;

(11) at any time when the chair of a subcommittee is not present at a meeting of the subcommittee, the members of the subcommittee present shall elect another member of that subcommittee to act as chair at that meeting;

(12) two members of a subcommittee constitute a quorum of that subcommittee;

(13) members of the committee who are not members of a subcommittee may participate in the proceedings of that subcommittee, but shall not vote, move any motion or be counted for the purpose of a quorum;

(14) the committee or any subcommittee have power to:

(a) sit in public or private;

(b) report from time to time; and

(c) adjourn from time to time and to sit during any adjournment of the Senate and the House of Representatives;

(15) the President and the Speaker may attend any meeting of the committee or a subcommittee as they see fit, but shall not be members of the committee or subcommittee and may not vote, move any motion or be counted for the purpose of a quorum;

(16) the committee or any subcommittee have power to consider and make use of the evidence and records of the former Joint Committees on the Parliamentary Library appointed during previous Parliaments;

(17) the provisions of this resolution, so far as they are inconsistent with the standing orders, have effect notwithstanding anything contained in the standing orders.

About this committee

The Joint Standing Committee on the Parliamentary Library for the 46th Parliament was established by motion by the House of Representatives and Senate on 4 July 2019 and 22 July 2019 respectively. The terms of reference of the committee are to:

  1. consider and report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on any matters relating to the Parliamentary Library referred to it by the President or the Speaker;
  2. provide advice to the President and the Speaker on matters relating to the Parliamentary Library;
  3. provide advice to the President and the Speaker on an annual resource agreement between the Parliamentary Librarian and the Secretary of the Department of Parliamentary Services; and
  4. receive advice and reports, including an annual report, directly from the Parliamentary Librarian on matters relating to the Parliamentary Library

Track Committee

Committee Secretariat contact:

Committee Secretary
Joint Standing Committee on the Parliamentary Library
PO Box 6000
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 7102
jscpl@aph.gov.au