Agreeing working practices

83. Some committees have found it useful to agree working practices. This helps clarify the expectation of members in relation to how items of business will be handled.

84. This has proved to be a useful exercise in relation to a number of aspects of committee business where Standing Orders leave committees with freedom to develop their own practices. For example, some committees have agreed working practices in relation to:

  • agreeing and reviewing work programmes
  • media relations
  • the selection and questioning of witnesses
  • the administrative arrangements for considering petitions referred by the Public Petitions Committee
  • the administrative arrangements for handling SSIs.

85. If a committee can agree working practices, then conveners are less exposed to criticism in relation to the discharge of their functions.