Inside Politics

Board of Internal Economy posts minutes of closed-door meetings

Hot off the parliamentary presses comes word that the secretive all-party committee responsible for overseeing all House of Commons-related business has agreed to allow a shaft of sunlight to permeate its otherwise scrupulously cloistered confines by posting the minutes, if not the nitty-gritty details, of its bi-weekly meetings:

The Board of Internal Economy is now posting the minutes of its meetings on parl.gc.ca. The minutes are the record of decision of each meeting. 

The Board has taken this step to facilitate access to this information. The minutes from all Board meetings of the 41st Parliament are now posted. Board minutes will continue to be tabled in the Chamber, a practice that has been in place since the 35th Parliament. 

The Board of Internal Economy is the governing body of the House of Commons. The Board is created by the Parliament of Canada Act and has equal representation from the governing party and the officially recognized parties (i.e. those holding at least 12 seats in the House). It is chaired by the Speaker of the House. 

The Board of Internal Economy is responsible for establishing by-laws, policies and guidelines relating to expenditures and resources provided to Members in order to carry out their parliamentary functions. This authority is given to the Board by the Parliament of Canada Act. 

For more information about the management of public resources and public disclosure at the House of Commons, please consult the backgrounder

Although frustratingly light on specifics, the minutes do provide a rare glimpse at the variety of issues that come before the committee, which run the gamut from the logistical -- for example, the May 29th report reveals that only a 'limited number' of Hill denizens will be permitted to test drive the new BlackBerry 10 devices over the next six months -- to more potentially questions of security, access and legal assistance for MPs facing claims.

In any case, feel free to dig into the archives -- and kudos to the House of Commons for finally making these documents available to the public. Next up: liberating the blues! 


Tags: blackberry jungle, board of internal economy, house of commons

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