Agreement Specialist In Bangladesh


A committee system mainly made up with a small number of parliamentary members

appointed to deal with particular areas or issues originating in the parliamentary democracy.

Select committees exist in the British Parliament, as well as in other parliaments based on

the Westminster model, such as those in Australia and New Zealand.

The committee system first introduced in the United Kingdom parliamentary system. The

departmental committee system came into being in 1979, following the recommendations of a

procedure to select Committee, set up in 1976, which reported in 1978. It recommended the

appointment of a series of select committees covering all the main departments of state, with

wide terms of reference, and with power to appoint special advisers as the committees

deemed appropriate. It also suggested that committee members should be selected

independently of the party whips, as chosen by the Select Committee of Selection. The 14

new committees finally start working effectively in 1980.

Committees play an important role in the work of the Parliament – taking evidence from

witnesses, scrutinizing legislation and conducting inquiries. Most committees meet weekly or

fortnightly (it depends on country to country parliament system). According to SCOTISH

PARLIAMENT SYSTEM the Committees usually have between 7 and 11 MPs as members

and Members are selected so that the balance of political parties in Parliament is retained.

According to Bangladesh Parliament system there are seven members of parliaments are the

members of committee system.

Mandatory committees (According to Scottish Parliament System):

Some key committees are required by the Standing Orders (rules of the Parliament). These


? Procedures Committee

? Standards Committee

? Finance Committee

? Audit Committee

? European Committee

? Public Petitions Committee

? Equal Opportunities Committee

? Subordinate Legislation



Subject committees (According to Scottish Parliament System):

The Parliament can create other committees to deal with a particular subject or area. These

are known as Subject Committees. Subject Committees set up after the 2007 election:

? Economy, Energy & Tourism

? Education, Lifelong Learning & Culture

? Health & Sport

? Justice

? Local Government & Communities

? Rural Affairs & Environment

? Transport, Infrastructure & Climate Change

How does the Committee Work in Scottish Parliament System?

Each committee appoints one MSP to be the Convenor who chairs the meeting and will call

Members and witnesses to speak. Proceedings are relatively informal and the MSPs normally

address each other by first names. MSPs who are not members of the committee are free to

attend and may speak at the meeting with the Convenor’s agreement, however they cannot

vote. Each committee has at least two clerks. The clerks will sit next to the Convenor during

the meeting and advise on procedure. You will also see two Official Reporters sitting at the

table. The Official Reporters prepare a report of the meeting which is published within a few

days of each meeting. A committee can appoint one of its members to be its reporter on a

specific matter and advisers, who are not MSPs, can be appointed also. A committee can

invite any person to attend a meeting as a witness. This means giving evidence or producing

documents relating to the business of the committee. [1]

Select or special committee system in United States of America:

A select or special committee of the United States Congress is a congressional committee

appointed to perform a special function that is beyond the authority or capacity of a standing

committee. A select committee is usually created by a resolution that outlines its duties and

powers and the procedures for appointing members. Select and special committees are often

investigative in nature, rather than legislative, though some select and special committees

have the authority to draft and report legislation.

A select committee generally expires on completion of its assigned duties, though they can

be renewed. Several select committees are treated as standing committees by House and

Senate rules, and are permanent fixtures in both bodies continuing from one congress to the

next. Examples of this are the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in the House and

the Select Committee on Intelligence in the Senate. The Senate Indian Affairs Committee is

also a select committee, though the name select is no longer a part of its title. [2]

Some 20th-century select committees are called special committees, such as the Senate

Special Committee on Aging. However, they do not differ in any substantive way from the

others. Prior to the advent of permanent standing committees in the early 19th century; the

House of Representatives relied almost exclusively on select committees to carry out much of

its legislative work. The committee system has grown and evolved over the years. During the

earliest Congresses, select committees, created to perform a specific function and terminated

when the task was completed, performed the overwhelming majority of the committee work.


1. See Shaping Scotland’s Parliament- 1999 report.

2. See The Committee System in the U.S. Congress by J Schneider.


The first committee to be established by Congress was on April 2, 1789, during the First

Congress. It was a select committee assigned to prepare and report standing rules and

orders for House proceedings, and it lasted just five days, dissolving after submitting its

report to the full House. Since that time, Congress has always relied on committees as the

best means to accomplish its work in an orderly, efficient, and expeditious manner.

Committee system of House of Commons (UK):

Much of the detailed work of the House of Commons is carried out by committees.

Committees may be of three kinds – committees of the whole house, special committees and

standing committees. At one time all bills were referred to committee of the whole House, but

since the reform of the standing committee system in 1968 most of them are now referred to

standing committees. Special committees are appointed on an ad hoc basis and consist of

not more than 15 members. The standing committees are the essence of the present

committee system and they have three distinct functions which may be described as

legislative, financial and investigative. [3]

The Standing Orders provide for 18 standing committees, most of them covering a specific

subject area. In addition there are three standing joint committees composed of members of

both Houses, one of which is concerned with the scrutiny of delegated legislation – that is,

regulations made by the government under the authority of an Act of Parliament.

Bills, the estimates of government departments and subjects of inquiry are referred to the

standing committees in accordance with their various subject areas. In dealing with bills and

estimates the standing committees remove a great deal of detailed work from the floor of the

House. In undertaking special investigations they are pursuing their more traditional function

of inquiry. Standing committees are empowered to call witnesses and appoint subcommittees,

and they are sometimes authorized by the House to travel and hire expert

assistance. All committees report directly to the House, their ultimate power being one of

recommendation only.

Such control over finance as the House is now able to exercise is due in large measure to the

committee system. The Standing Committees have the opportunity of scrutinizing the details

of proposed departmental spending and reporting to the House before the money is voted.

The Standing Committee on Pubic Accounts, whose chairman is by custom a member of the

opposition, has the special function of examining public expenditure after it has been

incurred. In carrying out its investigation it is assisted by the Auditor General who makes an

annual report top parliament. The Committee examines witnesses from the departments of

government and draws the attention of the House to any irregularities it might discover.


3. See Michael A. Jogerst – 1993 – Political Science – 242 pages

R.S. 1985, c. S-20, s. 19(3) and c. S-22, s. 19.


The committee system of Australian Parliament:

There are three committee systems in Australian parliament system. Parliamentary institutions have

undergone a revival internationally during the last twenty years. As a starting point for our inquiry

into parliamentary change, we have focused on the one dimension that has been universally

acknowledged as having had transformative effects on world Parliaments (Longley and Davidson

1998). The Australian Parliament over the past two decades has already changed to the point

where almost all non-executive members (i.e. excluding the Ministry and shadow cabinet) are

preoccupied for much of their time with parliamentary committees. Those who are most attentive to

committee work (one quarter of the members) are now devoting at least a quarter of their time to

this work. In equivalent full-time terms, this means that at least ten per cent of the time (a

conservative estimate) of the Members of the Parliament is now committed to committee work. The

number of parliamentary committee reports produced annually in the recent past has ranged

between 100 and 200. The Commonwealth Parliament is distinguished internationally by having

three committee systems; one located with in each house, the third set operating at the interface

between the two and composed of members from both. [4]

The Australian Parliament has passed through several developmental stages during its first

century. The development of committee systems has been a central feature of the modern

Parliament. In institutional terms this has meant a transformation of the operations of both Houses

of Parliament. From a time earlier this century when most members were not actively engaged in

committee work, the two houses now have systems which require the participation of most

Members of Parliament. For the first two-thirds of its century-long existence, the Australian

Parliament possessed a relatively weak committee system. Unlike the majority of other national

Parliaments, the Australian legislature did not use specialist committees to appraise proposed

legislation (rather, in each House, bills were examined in committees-of-the-whole, a stage

normally placed between the Second and Third Readings of proposed legislation). Again, unlike the

majority of national Parliaments in Australia, committees played little role in settling disputes

between the Houses.

The Australian Parliament has passed several development stages during its first century. The

development of committee systems has been a central feature of the modern parliament. In

institutional terms this has meant a transformation of the operations of both Houses of Parliament.

From a time earlier this century when most members were not actively engaged in committee work,

the two houses now have systems which require the participation of most Members of Parliament.

The development of committees can be divided into two distinct periods: from federation (1901) to

the late 1960s, and from the late 1960s to the present. Neither the House nor the Senate displayed

much interest in committees for their first sixty or so years. The nucleus of a committee system

could be said to have first existed in the interface between the two Houses – the joint committee. [5]

It was not until 1987 (with its massive machinery of government changes) that the House moved to

establish a comprehensive system of legislative and general committees, which reflected the new

structure of government administration, but did not include the function of estimates. The last major

reform of this phase occurred in 1994, when the Senate leadership responded to a growing burden

of committee work – much greater than that of the House which enjoys a membership twice the size

of that of the Senate – with an attempted rationalization. Two parallel comprehensive and

isomorphic systems were created – legislation (and estimates) committees (to be chaired by

government members) and reference committees. [6]


4. The Three Committee Systems of the Australian Parliament – A Developmental Overview?

Written by John Halligan (page-111).

5. The Three Committee Systems of the Australian Parliament – A Developmental Overview?

Written by John Halligan (page-112).

6. The Three Committee Systems of the Australian Parliament – A Developmental Overview?

Written by John Halligan (page-114).


Using The Parliamentary Committee System for guiding human rights:

Parliamentary committees can enhance levels of human rights protection in-country. This unit

describes how committee systems in various countries have broadened their remit to ensure

adherence to international human rights standards and treaty commitments. In showing how a

range of parliaments have established committees to promote and protect human rights – several

with exclusive human rights mandates. This unit lists the different types of committees and the

impact they can have. As such, this unit is an easy reference for collecting various replicable

examples of good practice. Parliamentary committees are the workhorses of parliament.

Recognizing that it is not practical for parliament as a whole to undertake detailed oversight tasks,

much of the close examination and careful work of parliament is done in committees: reviewing

legislative proposals, scrutinizing budgets, examining the policies and programmes of departments,

and keeping an effective surveillance over government. Additionally, parliamentary committees are

usually empowered to recommend amendments to legislation as appropriate – including

improvements to make laws more human rights friendly. [7]

Parliament Committee System in Bangladesh:

The Jatiya Sangsad (JS), as the parliament is called in Bangladesh, has traditionally made some

use of committees. But, until recently, the committees did not experience balanced growth. Nor did

their work arouse any serious public or political interest, mainly because of the country’s lack of

continuity in constitutional rule, as we shall see later. However, in recent years, in particular since

the election of the Fifth Parliament in 1991, committees have received important, if not widespread,

recognition. These are now more visible and much talked-about institutions, and have a better

scope to assert themselves, although the extent to which they can live up to the expectations of

their sponsors is yet to be ascertained properly. This paper explores the factors that have

discouraged a steady growth of parliamentary committees in Bangladesh. It examines the reasons

that account for the differential performance of various parliaments in setting up committees and

making them work. The paper also seeks to identify the factors that may limit the growth of

committees as an important site of policy-making and a scrutineer of government policies. One of

the important problems confronting the modern democratic state is to identify the ways to balance

relations between the executive and the legislature. Everywhere, the executive has become

interventionist, assuming the responsibility for functions, especially law-making, traditionally

considered being the prerogative of the legislature. This trend, however, is more noticeable in

Westminster systems than in consensual democracies or congressional systems.[8]


7. See Zimbabwe Parliamentary Human Rights Mechanisms.

8. Parliament committees and parliamentary government in Bangladesh- Nizam Ahmed (page-13).


Roles of committee system in Parliament:

1. To provide Ministers/Deputy Ministers/Secretaries a forum to understand the role and

function and the mandate of Committees of Parliament.

2. To outline the specific manner on how Parliament exercises its oversight functions.

3. To enhance interaction between backbenchers and front benchers.

Section 32 of the Constitution provides that

1. The Legislative authority of the country is vested in the Legislature consisting

of the President and Parliament

2. In terms of section 33 of the Constitution, Parliament consists of two Houses, the Senate

and House of Assembly. [9]

Functions of Committee System in Parliament:

1. The function of Parliament is to legislate, to scrutinize the policies.

2. Activities of the Executive, to hold the Executive to account for its actions.

3. Act as a forum for democratic participation by all members of society.


9. See-The roles and function of parliament and mandate of committees of Parliament by A.M. Zvoma (page 3).


How the committee system be more effective:

A major strength of effective upper houses is the existence of a strong and vibrant committee

system. Although the major committees in the all house committees resourced from both the

legislative assembly and the legislative council, a number of specialist committees in the

council are formed from time to time.

There is a perception that the committees lack independence from the influence of the major

Parties, and that committee decisions are guided by the party political allegiances of their

members, rather than objective assessments in the best interests of the community. This

comes about from the method of appointment of committee members, reflecting the relative

position of the political parties in the two houses.

In view of those concerns the commissioners had discussions with local government

representatives, people who have conducted studies and inquiries, and members of the

public. Responses to the Commission’s survey in the consultation paper provided a number

of suggestions for improvement. As noted above, a large majority, 82 per cent, supported

greater use of committees by the council. Other suggestions for better links with the victorian

community were greater use of public meetings; more visits by ministers and more

parliamentary open days.

It is therefore recommended that each region should have a regional committee, comprising

all regional members of the legislative council. These would be official committees of the

legislative council and would report to it. Legislative assembly and federal members for the

region, representatives of its local governments and community representatives could be

invited to attend and participate in discussions. Only the legislative councilors would vote on

the committee. [10]


10. See- Sample Structure for an Executive Council and Committee system by Archon.



A committee system was preferred because it was felt that this was in line with the key of

principles. In particular, the committee system was designed to:

? Encourage significant public involvement in the Parliament’s activities.

For example, individuals as well as members of organizations and groups can

appear before committees or write to them to give evidence.

? Enable the parliament to hold the executive to account effectively. Part of a committee’s

work is to scrutinize the work of the executive. The ministers in the executive do not sit on

committees but can be asked to appear before the committee to answer questions.

? Encourage the sharing of power. Committees can investigate any item which falls within

their remit, hold inquiries and make recommendations to parliament and the executive.

Committees also have the power to initiate legislation themselves. [11]


11. See- Sample Structure for an Executive Council and Committee system by Archon.




2. Select committee in Webminister system

3. United States congressional committee

4. Longley, Lawrence, D. & Davidson, Roger H. (eds.) (1998) The New Roles of Parliamentary

Committees, Frank Cass, London.

Jaensch, Dean (1986). Getting our Houses in Order, Penguin, Melbourne, 1986.

Reid, G. S. & Forest, Martyn (1989). Australia’s Commonwealth Parliament 1901-1988: Ten

Perspectives. Melbourne University Press, Melbourne.


6. Philip Norton and David Olson, ‘Parliaments in adolescence’ in David Olson and Philip Norton (eds)

7. The New Parliaments of Central and Eastern Europe (London: Frank Cass, 1996), pp 231–243.

Anthony King, ‘How to strengthen legislatures—assuming that we want to’ in Norman Ornstein (ed), The

Role of the Legislature in Western Democracies (Washington: American Enterprise Institute for Public

Policy Research, 1981), pp 77–89.

8. The roles and function of parliament and mandate of committees of Parliament by A.M. Zvoma











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