|Title||Ch18 Parliamentary committees / MEETING PROCEDURES / Visitors
|Source||House of Reps
|Chapter No.||Chapter 18
House of Representatives Ch 18 p 695
Standing order 240 provides:
(a) A committee or subcommittee may admit visitors when it is examining a witness or gathering information in other proceedings.
(b) All visitors must leave if:
(i) the Chair asks them to;
(ii) the committee or subcommittee resolves that they leave; or
(iii)the committee or subcommittee is conducting a private meeting.
The question of whether committee membersâ personal staff may attend private meetings of committees has arisen. In 1976 the Speaker wrote to all chairs of committees discouraging the attendance of membersâ staff at other than public meetings of a committee or at committee inspections. The Speaker indicated that the provisions of the standing orders concerning the confidentiality of committee proceedings militated against any person, other than a member of a committee or an employee of the House, being involved in committee proceedings which are not open to the public. More recently, the practice of excluding such staff members from private meetings has been mentioned at the first meeting of a committee in each Parliament.
Senate standing order 36, which is relevant to joint committees, states that persons other than members and officers of a committee may attend a public meeting of a committee, but such persons shall not attend a private meeting except by express invitation of the committee and they must be excluded when the committee is deliberating.