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Officers and Officials of Parliament Officers of Parliament

The offices that are traditionally referred to as the “Officers of Parliament” are

The Privy Council Office, and some governmental documents, refers to these officers as “Agents of Parliament,” thereby emphasizing that they carry out work for Parliament and are responsible to Parliament, and as a means of distinguishing them from other officers and officials of Parliament. It also emphasizes their independence from the government of the day. These “Officers of Parliament” carry out duties assigned by statute, and report to one or both of the Senate and House of Commons. The individuals appointed to these offices perform work on behalf of Parliament, and report to the chambers, usually through the Speakers.

The appointment of such Officers usually – although not necessarily – involves the House of Commons and/or the Senate. It is important to note, however, that the appointment procedures for such Officers of Parliament are not consistent.

In recent years, other offices have been established with some of the attributes of the Officers of Parliament – principally an element of independence from government and a right to report to Parliament, as well as some parliamentary involvement in the appointment process. These include: the Canadian Human Rights Commissioner and the Public Service Commissioner.

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Updated on: 2014.10.02

Revised on: 2014.10.02

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