The Business of the House and its Committees: a short guide is one of the must-have items for all Members’ offices as the guide throws much needed light on many of the still (despite ‘modernisation’) weird and wonderful practices at Westminster. In particular, the Procedure and Practice section includes lots of helpful descriptions of terminology and practices whose names don’t give a clue as to their real meaning.
It’s on the Intranet here: http://intranet.parliament.uk/Documents/intranet/offices-departments/assets/business-of-the-house-and-its-cttees.pdf and hard copies are available from the Vote Offices and the Table Office.
The original guide was published in May 2010, and the foreword by the then Clerk of the House, Malcolm Jack included the following text:
“This guide is written by staff in the Department of Chamber and Committee Services with the needs of new Members primarily in mind but it will be useful to others who want to know how the House and its committees work.
“The guide is also intended to indicate opportunities available to Members to participate in, and influence, the business of the House and its committees in an effective way. Where necessary, sources of further detail are given, but procedure and practice are constantly evolving and often there is no substitute for discussion with the staff responsible for particular day-to-day operations.”
Have a look at our list of other sources of help and guidance on those parliamentary procedures, practices, rules etc. It’s at: How the Place Works: Parliamentary Procedure.