The House of Commons publishes a number of documents relating to the work of its committees. The House of Commons website has become the primary source of information about committees. Except in the case of certain reports, committee documents are available only electronically.
The principal documents pertaining to the work of committees are:
Committee clerks send out notices of committee meetings to Members based on instructions from and under the direction of the committee Chair. Notices include information about the subject matter to be examined by the committee and date, time and place of the meeting, as well as a list of any witnesses scheduled to appear.
(See Committee Notices of Meetings on the House of Commons website.)
The Minutes of Proceedings are prepared by the committee clerk, and are the official record of the business conducted by the committee at a sitting, the equivalent of the Journals of the House.
The Minutes of Proceedings show the following information:
(See the Committee Minutes of Proceedings on the House of Commons website.)
The Evidence is the edited and revised transcript of what is said before a committee and includes both remarks made by members of the committee and those made by witnesses. It is the committee version of the Debates of the House.
Evidence is published only for public meetings, or for those parts of a meeting that are held in public. Committee proceedings are recorded electronically directly from the microphones in the committee room and the transcripts of the proceedings are published on the House of Commons website.
Those documents presented at a meeting that are considered to be of sufficient importance may be appended to the Evidence of that meeting as an appendix or recorded in the Minutes as an exhibit. However, these documents may not be available on the House of Commons website.
The Parliamentary Publications Reporting Service is responsible for the production of the Evidence.
(See Committee Evidence on the House of Commons website.)
The observations and recommendations of committees are made known to the House through reports presented to the House. These reports cite the authority under which the study was conducted, refer to the relevant Minutes of meetings held on the topic, and include the signature of the Chair. Committee reports on the study of bills state whether or not the committee adopted amendments to the bill. If amendments were adopted, the report provides details of each amendment.
Reports for each committee are numbered sequentially as they are presented to the House over the course of a session. They are considered confidential and are not available until they have been presented to the House.
(See Committee “Reports and responses” on the House of Commons website.)
Summary indexes to Committee Evidence are kept up to date throughout the session and are available on the House of Commons website. The Publication Search tool can be used to perform searches relating to committee members, witnesses and organizations as well as all subjects of a social, economic or political nature that form the basis of the discussions and activities of committees. The tool also provides an additional filter that can be used to search information in one or more specific committees within a chosen parliamentary session.
For more information on the indexes to Committee Evidence, please contact the Information Management Unit (Parliamentary Publications) at the following coordinates:
(See the List of Committees on the House of Commons website.)