Committees (Wales)

The Assembly's powers to scrutinise the work of the Executive are similar to those of the UK Parliament. Most such work is carried out in committee.

There are three types of committees – standing committees, subject committees and regional committees.

The standing committees include the Audit and Legislation Committees, which are required by the Act, as well as the Business, Equality of Opportunity, European and External Affairs, Standards of Conduct and House Committees. They are made up of AMs elected by the Assembly and their party composition reflects that of the Assembly.

The subject committees must correspond to the portfolios of the Welsh Ministers. Each Minister is a member of the committee that reflects their portfolio. The other members are elected by the Assembly and again their party composition reflects that of the Assembly. Each subject committee normally has nine members.

The regional committees are North Wales, Mid Wales, South East Wales and South West Wales. They are made up of all the constituency and regional AMs for the areas covered by the committees.

A Planning Decision Committee, chaired by the relevant Minister, makes decisions on planning matters. Other committees can be set up according to the will of the Assembly. An example of such a committee is a committee set up to consider a piece of Wales-only UK legislation such as the Public Audit (Wales) Bill in 2003.

Committees normally sit in public, except for the Planning Decision, Business and House Committees. Committees normally meet on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays when the Assembly is sitting. They do not to sit when a plenary session is in progress.