Programming committees

28.87Standing Order No 83B makes provision for programming committees.

Where proceedings on a bill in committee of the whole House or at subsequent stages are subject to a programme order, a programming committee may be established for the bill, to consider the allocation of time to proceedings on the relevant stages and to report to the House any resolution to which it comes. Since the introduction of standing orders on programming in 2004, this provision has been routinely disapplied in the original programme orders made relating to each bill.1

Under Standing Order No 83B, a programming committee consists of the Chairman of Ways and Means (who is Chair ex officio ) and not more than eight other Members nominated by the Speaker. The quorum is four.

Proceedings in a programming committee must be brought to a conclusion not later than two hours after they start; and for the purposes of bringing them to a conclusion the Chair must first put forthwith any question which has been proposed from the Chair and not yet decided, then put successively questions on any motions made by a Minister. Resolutions of the programming committee may be reported from time to time and, subject to the Speaker's (or Chairman's) powers of selection, may include alterations in the order in which specified proceedings on the bill are to be taken.

A motion in the House relating to a resolution of the programming committee is exempted business, and any question necessary to dispose of proceedings on the motion must be put not later than three-quarters of an hour after their commencement. The provisions of the motion, if agreed to, have effect as if they had been included in the programme order for the bill.


  1. 1. No programming committee has been appointed since 8 May 2003 (CJ (2002–03) 383).