- 3 -
At page 1048, the text also states:
First, it is useful to bear in mind that committees are creatures of the House. Thismeans that they have no independent existence and are not permitted to take actionunless they have been authorized/empowered to do so by the House....committees are free to organize their proceedings as they see fit provided that their studies and the motions and reports they adopt comply with the orders of reference and instructions issued by the House
.And at page 879 of
Procedure and Practice
, we find the consequences of reporting to theHouse on a matter outside a committee’s mandate:
Committees are entitled to report to the House only with respect to matters withintheir mandate. When reporting to the House, committees must indicate the authority under which the study was done (i.e., the Standing Order or the order of reference). If the committee’s report has exceeded or has been outside its order of reference, theSpeaker has judged such a report, or the offending section, to be out of order
.Speakers of the House have ruled on numerous occasions that committees may not studyand report on matters falling outside their specific mandates.
It should be noted that theSpeaker’s rulings of March 14 and May 15, 2008 both dealt with reports from the Access toInformation, Privacy and Ethics Committee—reports which were ruled out of order becausethe Committee had not respected the mandate given it by the House.It is perhaps worthwhile to quote the Speaker’s words from some of these rulings:
While it is true that the House has given its committees broad mandates and significant powers, with such power and authority comes the responsibility of committees to respect their mandates and not exceed the limits of their authority
.(April 2, 2009)
Inherent in the power the House grants to its committees is the basic principle that each committee will respect its mandate. Implicit in the flexibility that committeeshave traditionally enjoyed is the understanding that they will be judicious in theexercise of their powers.
(March 14, 2008)
See, for example,
for June 17, 2010; April 2, 2009; March 14, 2008; May 15, 2008; and June20, 1994