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Business Bulletin No. 106/2002

Wednesday 26 June 2002




Today's Proceedings

The Presiding Officer wishes to draw members’ attention to revised Business Motion S1M-3252, which proposes changes to this week’s business. The motion will be moved and a decision taken on this motion after Time for Reflection today.

Committee Conveners Speaking in Debates

The Presiding Officers have considered the position of those Members who, as the Convener of the relevant Committee, request to speak in debates in the Chamber.

The Presiding Officers recognise the importance of the work of Committees in this Parliament. They also recognise that in meetings of the Parliament it is important to maintain a balance of speakers in debate consistent with the party political balance in the Parliament.

In debates on Committee business, Conveners will continue to be called and to be given appropriate speaking times consistent with leading the business under consideration. In other debates, if Conveners are to be called independent of the party balance, it follows that they must speak on behalf of their Committee and not their party or themselves. It further follows that to be able to speak on behalf of their Committee, the Committee must previously have given consideration to the matter under debate.

If a Convener wishes to be called in a debate that has not been initiated by his or her Committee, he or she should write in advance to the Presiding Officer setting out the case as described above. The Presiding Officer's choice of speakers in a debate will be final. When the Presiding Officer calls a Convener to speak as a Convener it will be as an additional speaker who does not impact on the party balance of the debate.