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Speaker and Other Presiding Officers

Board of Internal Economy

The Board of Internal Economy is the governing body of the House of Commons. Under the Parliament of Canada Act, the Board has the legal authority to "act on all financial and administrative matters respecting (a) House of Commons, its premises, its services and its staff; and (b) the Members of the House of Commons".

Membership and Quorum

The Board consists of the Speaker, who acts as Chair, two members of the Privy Council (appointed to the Board by the Government), the Leader of the Opposition or his or her representative, and additional Members appointed in numbers so that the total results in an overall equality of government and opposition representatives (apart from the Speaker).

All recognized parties (i.e., those holding at least 12 seats in the House) are given representation on the Board. Five members, including the Speaker, constitute a quorum.

The Clerk of the House is the Secretary to the Board of Internal Economy.

Mandate and Authority

The powers and authority of the Board flow from provisions of the Parliament of Canada Act, the Standing Ordersof the House of Commons, and the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act.

The Board:

When Parliament is prorogued or dissolved, members of the Board retain their functions until they are replaced.

By-laws

The Board is authorized by the Parliament of Canada Act to make by-laws governing Members' use of the funds, goods, services and premises made available to them. The by-laws regulate the use of parliamentary resources that are made available to Members to perform their parliamentary functions.

The by-laws are contained in a public document and are amended by the Board from time to time.

Meetings and Decisions

The Board meets in camera approximately every second week when the House is sitting. The Minutes of the Board's meetings are tabled in the House.

Spokespersons

The Board of Internal Economy designates two spokespersons from its membership: a member of the Government and a member of the Official Opposition. They respond during Question Period to questions relevant to the Board and deal with questions raised by the media.

 

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Modified: March 2006
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