Remit of the Business Committee
The Business Committee exists to facilitate the effective organisation of Senedd proceedings.
The Committee is made up of a Member from each of the political groups represented in the Senedd and is chaired by the Presiding Officer (or in his/her absence, the Deputy Presiding Officer).
The Head of the Chamber Secretariat within the Senedd Commission is Clerk to the Committee. Other officials from the Senedd Commission and Welsh Government also attend the weekly meetings to offer advice and guidance to Members.
Business Committee is required to meet at least once every two weeks although, in practice, they meet on a weekly basis every Tuesday morning.
Proceedings are usually conducted in private and are therefore closed to the public. However, when discussing the Senedd's procedures (for example during the review of Standing Orders which took place in preparation for the Fourth Assembly), a series of meetings were held in public.
The minutes of each meeting are published within 1 week of their being agreed by the Committee.
Roles and responsibilities of the Business Committee
Organisation of Senedd business
At each meeting, the Business Committee determines the organisation of Senedd business and comments on the organisation of Government business.
These combine to form the basis of the Business Statement and Announcement which is then announced in Plenary by the Minister responsible for government business setting out all business for the following three weeks.
Formalising the Senedd timetable
The Business Committee must publish a timetable every six months that: outlines timetables for Plenary meetings;
- establishes times available for other committee meetings within the Senedd;
- establishes times for meetings of political groups;
- outlines dates for oral questions to be taken in Plenary meetings.
Determining committee structures and membership
The Business Committee is responsible for determining the titles, roles and memberships of all other committees within the Senedd.
In doing so, they must ensure that every area of responsibility of the government and any associated public body are subject to scrutiny by a committee or committees;all matters relating to the legislative competence of the Senedd and functions of the Ministers are subject to the scrutiny of a committee or committees; andwhere possible, ensure that there is broad balance between holding the government to account and making laws for Wales.
Assisting the legislation process
When a Bill is introduced, the Business Committee must establish a timetable for its consideration and may refer it to a committee who must report on the general principles.
The Business Committee may also refer any legislative consent memorandum to a committee for consideration.
The Business Committee is also responsible for:
- appointing one Member from each of the Senedd's four largest political groups as Senedd Commissioners at the beginning of each Senedd term;
- establishing a date by which the government’s budget is to be reported on and debated in Plenary; and
- considering and reporting on any proposals to revise or remake Standing Orders.
For more information about the Business Committee, contact Chamber Secretariat (Aled.Jones@Senedd.cymru, 0300 200 6384)