2.2 Parliament: Committees

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  • committees of the whole house
    • Committees
      • legislative committees of either house
        • grants power to MPs and peers but not free from party discipline
          • party loyalty is expected to apply in committee
          • not a popular job
            • MPs with specific interests will be put into certain committees
              • Pressure groups are very active at this stage.
        • governing party is always granted a majority
          • positions are allocated (roughly) in proportion to party membership in the two houses
        • members of the governing party are only required  to vote for amendments approved by the government
          • governing party members normally vote against amendments the government doesn't approve of
        • any changes proposed in the HOL must be approved by HOC
          • any unwanted amendments from the HOC legislative committees can be overturned at the 'Report Stage'
        • Both Houses refer legislation to committees for detailed discussion and approval. These committees are part of the process of making laws
      • other select committees of the house
        • Pubic Accounts Committee (PAC)
          • chair person is from the opposition party
      • departmental select committees
        • 19 deparmental select committees
        • Both Houses establish select committees, from.
          • their job is to conduct inquiries and to produce reports on a range of matters
            • this can range from the conduct of Government to specialist subject areas
        • concerned with a specific area of government responsibility
          • examples:
            • culture, media, sport
              • health
                • home affairs
    • In the HOL often the amendment stage of a bill is considered by plenary session of the whole house
      • This is rare in the commons
    • when a bill is of special significance a committee of the whole HOC will be called

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