PART M
COMMITTEES

71.Finance Committee

(1)There shall be a standing committee, to be called the Finance Committee, the members of which shall be all the Members other than the President.

(2)The chairman and deputy chairman of the committee shall be elected by and from among its members and shall hold office until the chairman and deputy chairman of the committee for the next session are respectively elected in that next session or, in case that election is held before that next session commences, until that commencement. In the event of the temporary absence of the chairman and deputy chairman, the committee may elect a chairman to act during such absence. (L.N. 126 of 2002; L.N. 214 of 2005)

(2A)The election of the chairman and deputy chairman of the committee for the first session of a term shall take place at the first meeting of the committee in the session. For the second or each subsequent session of the term, the election may take place at a meeting held before that session commences. (L.N. 126 of 2002)

(3)(Repealed L.N. 107 of 1999)

(4)The functions of the Finance Committee shall be such as are conferred upon the committee by the Public Finance Ordinance (Cap. 2), any other law and these Rules of Procedure, and such as may from time to time be referred to the committee by the Council.

(5)The committee may appoint subcommittees for the purpose of assisting the committee in the performance of such functions of the committee as the committee may determine.

(5A)The chairman and 8 other members shall form a quorum of the committee. (L.N. 214 of 2005)

(5B)All matters before the committee or its subcommittees shall be decided by a majority of the members voting. Neither the chairman of, nor any other member presiding at, the committee or its subcommittees shall vote, unless the votes of the other members are equally divided, in which case he shall give a casting vote.
(L.N. 214 of 2005)

(5C)Notwithstanding the provision in subrule (5B), the chairman or the member presiding, as the case may be, shall have an original vote in addition to his casting vote in the election of the chairman or deputy chairman of the committee or its subcommittees.
(L.N. 214 of 2005)

(6)The committee shall meet at the time and the place determined by the chairman. Written notice of every meeting shall be given to the members at least 5 clear days before the day of the meeting but shorter notice may be given in any case where the chairman so directs.

(7)Meetings shall be held in public unless the chairman otherwise orders in accordance with any decision of the committee.

(8)(Repealed L.N. 214 of 2005)

(9)Where the chairman so orders, any matter for the decision of the committee may be considered by circulation of papers to the members of the committee and each member may signify his approval in writing submitted to the chairman. If a majority of the members so signify before the expiry of the period specified by the chairman for the purpose, and if upon expiry of that period no member has (in writing submitted to the chairman) signified disapproval of the matter or requested that the matter be referred for decision at a meeting of the committee, it shall be deemed to be approved by the committee.

(10)The clerk to the committee appointed under Rule 6(7) (Duties of the Clerk) shall attend the meetings of the committee. He shall keep the minutes of the proceedings of the committee in a manner determined by the committee.

(11)The Estimates presented in accordance with the provisions of Rule 67 (Presentation and Second Reading of Appropriation Bill) may be referred by the President to the Finance Committee for their examination before consideration of the Appropriation Bill in committee of the whole Council.

(12)The chairman or the committee may invite any public officer, or, in the case of a head of the Estimates relating to a non-government body or organization, any member or employee of that body or organization to give information or any explanation or to produce any records or documents which the committee may require in the performance of its duties; and the committee may also invite any other person to assist the committee in relation to any such information, explanation, records or documents.

(13)Subject to these Rules of Procedure, the practice and procedure of the committee and its subcommittees shall be determined by the committee.

72.Public Accounts Committee

(1)There shall be a standing committee, to be called the Public Accounts Committee, to consider reports of the Director of Audit -

(a)on the accounts of the Government;

(b)on such other accounts required to be laid before the Council as the committee may think fit; and

(c)on any matter incidental to the performance of his duties or the exercise of his powers as the committee may think fit.

(2)The committee shall also consider any report of the Director of Audit laid on the Table of the Council which deals with examinations (value for money audit) carried out by the Director relating to the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of any Government department or public body or any organization to which his functions as Director of Audit extend by virtue of any Ordinance or which receives public moneys by way of subvention.

(3)The committee shall consist of a chairman, deputy chairman and 5 members who shall be Members appointed by the President in accordance with an election procedure determined by the House Committee. (L.N. 214 of 2005)

(3A)The chairman and 2 other members shall constitute a quorum of the committee. (L.N. 214 of 2005)

(3B)In the event of the temporary absence of the chairman and deputy chairman, the committee may elect a chairman to act during such absence. (L.N. 214 of 2005)

(3C)All matters before the committee shall be decided by a majority of the members voting. Neither the chairman nor any other member presiding shall vote, unless the votes of the other members are equally divided, in which case he shall give a casting vote.
(L.N. 214 of 2005)

(4)A report mentioned in subrules (1) and (2) shall be deemed to have been referred by the Council to the committee when it is laid on the Table of the Council.

(5)Unless the chairman otherwise orders, members of the press and of the public shall be admitted as spectators at meetings of the committee attended by any person invited by the committee under subrule (8).

(6)The committee shall meet at the time and the place determined by the chairman. Written notice of every meeting shall be given to the members and to any person invited to attend a meeting at least 5 clear days before the day of the meeting but shorter notice may be given in any case where the chairman so directs.

(7)(Repealed L.N. 214 of 2005)

(8)The chairman or the committee may invite any public officer, or, in the case of a report on the accounts of or relating to a non-government body or organization, any member or employee of that body or organization, to give information or any explanation or to produce any records or documents which the committee may require in the performance of its duties; and the committee may also invite any other person to assist the committee in relation to any such information, explanation, records or documents.

(9)The committee shall make their report upon the report of the Director of Audit on the accounts of the Government within 3 months (or such longer period as may be determined under section 12 of the Audit Ordinance (Cap. 122)) of the date on which the Director's report is laid on the Table of the Council.

(10)The committee shall make their report upon the report of the Director of Audit mentioned in subrule (2) within 3 months (or such longer period as may be determined by the Council) of the date on which the Director's report is laid on the Table of the Council.

(11)Subject to these Rules of Procedure, the practice and procedure of the committee shall be determined by the committee.

73.Committee on Members' Interests

(1)There shall be a standing committee to be called the Committee on Members' Interests -

(a)to examine the arrangements made for the compilation, maintenance and accessibility of the Register of Members' Interests;

(b)to consider any proposals made by Members or others as to the form and contents of the Register;

(c)to consider any complaint made in relation to the registration and declaration of Members' interests or any complaint of a failure to do so and, if it thinks fit after consideration, investigate such complaint;
(L.N. 174 of 2006)

(ca)to consider any complaint made in relation to the conduct of Members referred to in Rule 83AA (Claims for Reimbursement of Operating Expenses or Applications for Advance of Operating Funds) and, if it thinks fit after consideration, investigate such complaint;
(L.N. 174 of 2006)

(d)to consider matters of ethics in relation to the conduct of Members in their capacity as such, and to give advice and issue guidelines on such matters;

(e)to report to the Council and make recommendations, including a recommendation as to a sanction under Rule 85 (Sanctions relating to Interests, Operating Expenses or Operating Funds). (L.N. 174 of 2006)

(1A)In considering or investigating a complaint referred to in subrule (1)(ca), the committee shall, in addition to any other matter that the committee may consider relevant, have regard to the provisions of A Guide for Reimbursement of Operating Expenses for Members of the Legislative Council. (L.N. 174 of 2006)

(2)The committee shall consist of a chairman, deputy chairman and 5 members who shall be Members appointed by the President in accordance with an election procedure determined by the House Committee.
(L.N. 214 of 2005)

(2A)The chairman and 2 other members shall constitute a quorum of the committee. (L.N. 214 of 2005)

(2B)In the event of the temporary absence of the chairman and deputy chairman, the committee may elect a chairman to act during such absence. (L.N. 214 of 2005)

(2C)All matters before the committee shall be decided by a majority of the members voting. Neither the chairman nor any other member presiding shall vote, unless the votes of the other members are equally divided, in which case he shall give a casting vote.
(L.N. 214 of 2005)

(3)The committee shall meet at the time and the place determined by the chairman. Written notice of every meeting shall be given to the members at least 5 clear days before the day of the meeting but shorter notice may be given in any case where the chairman so directs.

(4)Meetings shall be held in public unless the chairman otherwise orders in accordance with any decision of the committee.

(5)(Repealed L.N. 214 of 2005)

(6)The committee may invite any person to attend before the committee and to give evidence or to produce any paper, book, record or document in the possession or under the control of such person.

(7)Subject to these Rules of Procedure, the practice and procedure of the committee shall be determined by the committee.

73A.Investigation Committee

(1)An investigation committee required to be established under Rule 49B(2A) (Disqualification of Member from Office) shall consist of a chairman, a deputy chairman and 5 members who shall be Members appointed by the President in accordance with an election procedure determined by the House Committee. The mover of the motion under Rule 49B(1A), the Members jointly signing the motion, and the Member who is the subject of the motion shall not be appointed to the committee.

(2)The committee shall be responsible for establishing the facts stated in the motion moved under Rule 49B(1A) (Disqualification of Member from Office), and giving its views on whether or not the facts as established constitute grounds for the censure.

(3)The quorum of the committee shall be 5 members including the chairman.

(4)Subject to subrule (5), all meetings of an investigation committee shall be held in camera.

(5)(a)Upon an election made by the Member who is the subject of the motion under Rule 49B(1A) (Disqualification of Member from Office), meetings at which a witness or witnesses appear shall be held in public, provided that such election is made before the first of such meetings.

(b)Notwithstanding an election made under paragraph (a), the committee may decide on sufficient reason, upon a request made by a member of the committee or an application made by a witness, to hold any such meetings or any part thereof in camera.

(6)In the event of the temporary absence of the chairman and deputy chairman, the committee may elect a chairman to act during such absence. (L.N. 214 of 2005)

(7)The clerk to the committee appointed under Rule 6(7) (Duties of the Clerk) shall attend meetings of the committee and shall keep the minutes of proceedings of the committee.

(8)Divisions in an investigation committee shall be taken by the clerk to the committee who shall ask each member of the committee separately how he wishes to vote and record the votes accordingly.

(9)Neither the chairman nor any other member presiding shall vote, unless the votes of the other members are equally divided in which case he shall give a casting vote. (L.N. 214 of 2005)

(10)(a)A member of an investigation committee may bring a report for the committee's consideration. When all the reports have been brought up the chairman shall propose the reports in order until one is accepted as a basis for discussion, beginning with his own report and proceeding with the remainder in the order in which they were brought up. The question to be proposed by the chairman on a report shall be that the chairman's (or Mr. .........'s) report be read a second time paragraph by paragraph. When this question has been agreed to, it shall not be proposed on further reports but portions thereof may be offered as amendments to the report under consideration if they are relevant to it.

(b)The committee shall then go through the report paragraph by paragraph and when concluded, the chairman shall put the question that this report be the report of the committee to the Council.

(11)The minutes of proceedings of the committee shall record all proceedings on consideration of a report with a note of divisions, if divisions were taken in the committee, showing the names of members voting in the division or declining to vote.

(12)An investigation committee shall, as soon as it has completed investigation of the matter referred to it, report to the Council thereon and the committee shall be dissolved accordingly. The investigation committee may be revived to deal with any further matters arising therefrom by resolution of the Council.

(13)Subject to these Rules of Procedure, the practice and procedure of the investigation committee shall be determined by the committee.
(L.N. 107 of 1999)


74.Committee on Rules of Procedure

(1)There shall be a committee to be called the Committee on Rules of Procedure to review the Rules of Procedure of the Council and the committee system, and to propose to the Council such amendments or changes as are considered necessary. The committee may examine matters of practice and procedure relating to the Council referred by the Council or its committees or the President, or raised by its own members.

(2)The committee shall consist of a chairman, a deputy chairman and 10 members who shall be Members appointed by the President in accordance with an election procedure determined by the House Committee. The President may be invited to attend its meeting to advise on matters of practice and procedure relating to the Council. (L.N. 214 of 2005)

(2A)The chairman and 3 other members shall constitute a quorum of the committee. (L.N. 214 of 2005)

(2B)In the event of the temporary absence of the chairman and deputy chairman, the committee may elect a chairman to act during such absence. (L.N. 214 of 2005)

(2C)All matters before the committee shall be decided by a majority of the members voting. Neither the chairman nor any other member presiding shall vote, unless the votes of the other members are equally divided, in which case he shall give a casting vote.
(L.N. 214 of 2005)

(3)The committee shall meet at the time and the place determined by the chairman. Written notice of every meeting shall be given to the members at least 5 clear days before the day of the meeting but shorter notice may be given in any case where the chairman so directs.

(4)Meetings need not be held in public and the committee shall report from time to time its deliberations and may make recommendations to the Council.

(5)(Repealed L.N. 214 of 2005)

(6)Subject to these Rules of Procedure, the practice and procedure of the committee shall be determined by the committee.

74A.Committee on Access to the Legislature's Documents and Records

(1)There shall be a committee to be called the Committee on Access to the Legislature's Documents and Records to -

(a)determine that a document or record of the Legislature (or its committee) should be made available for access earlier than the expiry of the closure period specified in paragraph (a) of the Policy on Access to the Legislature's Documents and Records in Schedule 2;

(b)set guidelines for implementing the Policy;

(c)consider any objection against the denial of access to such a document or record by the Clerk under Rule 6(5A)(b) (Duties of the Clerk); and

(d)consider any other matter relating to or arising from the Policy.

(2)The committee shall consist of -

(a)the President, who shall be the chairman;

(b)the chairman of the House Committee, who shall be the deputy chairman;

(c)the deputy chairman of the House Committee; and

(d)not more than 10 other members who shall be elected at a House Committee meeting in such manner as the House Committee may determine.

(3)The term of office of the elected members shall be one year or until the next House Committee meeting held for the election of members, whichever is the earlier.

(4)The chairman and three other members shall constitute a quorum of the committee.

(5)In the event of the temporary absence of the chairman and deputy chairman, the committee may elect a chairman to act during such absence.

(6)All matters before the committee shall be decided by a majority of the members voting. Neither the chairman nor any other member presiding shall vote, unless the votes of the other members are equally divided, in which case he shall give a casting vote.

(7)The committee shall meet at the time and the place determined by the chairman. Written notice of every meeting shall be given to the members at least three days before the day of the meeting but shorter notice may be given in any case where the chairman so directs.

(8)Meetings need not be held in public unless the chairman otherwise orders in accordance with any decision of the committee.

(9)Where the chairman so orders, any matter for the decision of the committee may be considered by circulation of papers to the members of the committee and each member may signify his approval in writing submitted to the chairman. If a majority of the members so signify before the expiry of the period specified by the chairman for the purpose, and if upon expiry of that period no member has (in writing submitted to the chairman) signified disapproval of the matter or requested that the matter be referred for decision at a meeting of the committee, it shall be deemed to be approved by the committee.

(10)The committee may make such reports as it considers appropriate to the Council.

(11)Subject to these Rules of Procedure, the practice and procedure of the committee shall be determined by the committee.
(L.N. 42 of 2014)

75.House Committee

(1)There shall be a committee, to be called the House Committee, the members of which shall be all the Members other than the President.

(2)The chairman and deputy chairman of the committee shall be elected by the committee from among its members and shall hold office until the chairman and deputy chairman of the committee for the next session are respectively elected in that next session or, in case that election is held before that next session commences, until that commencement. In the event of the temporary absence of the chairman and deputy chairman, the committee may elect a chairman to act during such absence. (L.N. 126 of 2002; L.N. 177 of 2005)

(2A)The election of the chairman and deputy chairman of the committee for the first session of a term shall take place at the first meeting of the committee in the session. For the second or each subsequent session of the term, the election may take place at a meeting held before that session commences. (L.N. 126 of 2002)

(3)(Repealed L.N. 107 of 1999)

(4)At any time after a bill has been referred to the committee under Rule 54(4) (Second Reading), the committee may allocate it to a Bills Committee for consideration, or may cause it to be considered in such other manner as the committee thinks fit.

(5)In deciding upon the timing and order of allocation of bills to a Bills Committee, the committee may take into account the number and relative priority of other bills currently referred to the committee under Rule 54(4) (Second Reading), and may at any time vary any decision as to the timing and order of allocation of any bill.

(6)Following allocation of a bill to a Bills Committee, the committee, after consultation with that Bills Committee, may decide the date for completion of consideration of the bill by the Bills Committee. Any such decision may be varied at any time, after consultation with the Bills Committee.

(7)Upon the allocation of a bill to a Bills Committee, the members of that Bills Committee shall be those Members (other than the President) who signify membership in accordance with procedural rules (which shall provide only for the manner and timing of such signification) decided by the committee.

(8)The committee may provide guidelines relating to the procedure of the Bills Committees, subcommittees constituted under subrule (12) and Panels constituted under Rule 77 (Panels).

(9)The committee may discuss any deliberations of a Bills Committee for the purpose of assisting members in preparation for resumption of second reading debate in the Council.

(10)The committee shall decide the manner of consideration of the following matters -

(a)any subsidiary legislation, whether or not such subsidiary legislation is subject to the provisions of sections 34 and 35 of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap. 1);

(b)any other instrument made under any Ordinance; (L.N. 187 of 2017)

(c)any draft of subsidiary legislation or instrument referred to in paragraph (a) or (b); or
(L.N. 187 of 2017)

(d)a petition referred to it under Rule 20(6) (Presentation of Petitions). (L.N. 187 of 2017)
(L.N. 214 of 2005)

(10A)After the consideration of the subsidiary legislation, other instruments and petitions referred to in subrule (10), the committee may present a report to the Council.
(L.N. 245 of 2009; L.N. 187 of 2017)

(11)The committee may consider, in such manner as it thinks fit, any other item relating to the business of the Council.

(12)The committee may appoint subcommittees for the purpose of assisting the committee in the performance of its functions under subrules (10) and (11).

(12A)20 members, including the chairman, shall form a quorum of the committee. (L.N. 177 of 2005; L.N. 214 of 2005)

(12AA)All matters for the decision of the committee or its subcommittees shall be decided by a majority of the members voting.
(L.N. 214 of 2005)

(12B)The chairman of, or any other member presiding at, the committee or its subcommittees (other than those appointed under subrule (12) for the purpose of assisting the committee in the consideration of a matter referred to in subrule (10)) shall not vote, unless the votes of the other members are equally divided, in which case he shall give a casting vote. (L.N. 177 of 2005; L.N. 214 of 2005)

(12C)The chairman of, or any other member presiding at, a subcommittee appointed under subrule (12) for the purpose of assisting the committee in the consideration of a matter referred to in subrule (10) shall have an original vote but not a casting vote.
(L.N. 177 of 2005; L.N. 214 of 2005)

(12D)(Repealed L.N. 214 of 2005)

(12E)Notwithstanding the provisions in subrules (12B) and (12C), the chairman or the member presiding, as the case may be, shall have both an original vote and a casting vote in the election of the chairman or deputy chairman of the committee or its subcommittees. In the event that two or more nominees receive the same highest number of valid votes in such election, the chairman or the member presiding, as the case may be, shall give his casting vote.
(L.N. 177 of 2005; L.N. 214 of 2005)

(13)The committee may refer any policy matter relating to the business of the Council to a Panel constituted under Rule 77 (Panels), may make recommendation on the terms of reference for the consideration of such matter after consultation with the Panel and may request and receive report on the policy matter from the Panel and then report further to the Council as appropriate.

(14)The committee shall meet at the time and the place determined by the chairman. Written notice of the place, day and time of every meeting shall be given to the members at least 3 days before the day of the meeting but shorter notice may be given in any case where the chairman so directs.

(15)Meetings of the committee shall be held in public unless the chairman otherwise orders in accordance with any decision of the committee.

(16)(Repealed L.N. 177 of 2005)

(17)Where the chairman so orders, any matter for the decision of the committee may be considered by circulation of papers to the members of the committee and each member may signify his approval in writing submitted to the chairman. If a majority of the members so signify before the expiry of the period specified by the chairman for the purpose, and if upon expiry of that period no member has (in writing submitted to the chairman) signified disapproval of the matter or requested that the matter be referred for decision at a meeting of the committee, it shall be deemed to be approved by the committee.

(18)Subject to these Rules of Procedure, the practice and procedure of the committee and its subcommittees shall be determined by the committee.

76.Bills Committees

(1)There shall be such number of committees, to be called Bills Committees, as the House Committee considers appropriate.

(1A)The members of a Bills Committee shall be those Members (other than the President) who signify membership in accordance with procedural rules (which shall provide only for the manner and timing of such signification) decided by the House Committee. (L.N. 107 of 1999)

(2)The chairman of a Bills Committee shall be elected by the committee from among its members. The committee may also elect a deputy chairman. In the event of the temporary absence of the chairman or any deputy chairman, the committee may elect a chairman to act during such absence.

(3)A Bills Committee shall consist of not less than 3 members including the chairman. The quorum of a Bills Committee shall be 3 members including the chairman, or one third of the members including the chairman (a fraction of the whole number being disregarded), whichever is the greater.

(4)A Bills Committee may appoint subcommittees for the purpose of assisting the committee in the performance of its functions.

(5)A Bills Committee shall meet at the time and the place determined by the chairman. Written notice of the place, day and time of every meeting shall be given to the members at least 3 days before the day of the meeting but shorter notice may be given in any case where the chairman so directs.

(6)Meetings shall be held in public unless the chairman otherwise orders in accordance with any decision of the committee.

(7)A Bills Committee shall consider the general merits and principles, and the detailed provisions, of the bill allocated to it; and may also consider any amendments relevant to the bill.

(8)All matters for the decision of a Bills Committee or its subcommittees shall be decided by a majority of the members voting. The chairman or any other member presiding shall have an original vote but not a casting vote. (L.N. 177 of 2005)

(8A)(Repealed L.N. 214 of 2005)

(8B)Notwithstanding the provision in subrule (8), the chairman or the member presiding, as the case may be, shall have a casting vote in addition to his original vote in the election of the chairman or deputy chairman of a Bills Committee or its subcommittees. In the event that two or more nominees receive the same highest number of valid votes in such election, the chairman or the member presiding, as the case may be, shall give his casting vote. (L.N. 177 of 2005; L.N. 214 of 2005 )

(9)A Bills Committee shall, as soon as it has completed consideration of the bill allocated to it, notify the House Committee and shall advise the committee in writing of its deliberations and then report further to the Council.

(10)The deliberations of a Bills Committee on a bill may be discussed by the House Committee for the purposes of informing Members in preparation for resumption of the second reading debate on the bill in Council. Such deliberations shall not be binding on any Member, whether in Council, in a committee of the whole Council or in the House Committee.

(11)Subject to these Rules of Procedure, the practice and procedure of a Bills Committee and its subcommittees shall be determined by that Bills Committee. In any such determination, a Bills Committee shall take into account any guidelines provided under Rule 75(8) (House Committee).

77.Panels

(1)There shall be such number of committees, to be called Panels, as the House Committee considers appropriate and as the Council may approve.

(2)The terms of reference of a Panel shall be recommended by the House Committee and approved by the Council.

(3)A Panel shall monitor and examine, to the extent it considers necessary, policy matters referred to it by a member of the Panel or by the House Committee.

(4)The members of a Panel shall be those Members (other than the President) who signify membership in accordance with procedural rules (which shall provide only for the manner and timing of such signification) decided by the House Committee.

(5)The chairman of a Panel shall be elected by the Panel from among its members. The Panel may also elect a deputy chairman. In the event of the temporary absence of the chairman or any deputy chairman, the Panel may elect a chairman to act during such absence. The chairman and deputy chairman of a Panel shall hold office until the election of the chairman and deputy chairman of the Panel in the session next following that for which they were elected. (L.N. 214 of 2005)

(6)A Member who is the chairman or deputy chairman of a Government advisory body in respect of matters which a Panel considers to be directly related to the terms of reference of the Panel shall not be the chairman or deputy chairman of the Panel.

(7)A Member shall not be chairman or deputy chairman of more than one Panel at the same time.

(8)A Panel shall consist of not less than 6 members including the chairman. The quorum of a Panel shall be 3 members including the chairman, or one third of the members including the chairman (a fraction of the whole number being disregarded), whichever is the greater.

(9)A Panel may, if it considers appropriate, appoint subcommittees to study specific issues and to report to the Panel.

(9A)Two or more Panels may, if they consider appropriate, appoint joint subcommittees to study any matter of common interest to the relevant Panels and to report to the Panels. (L.N. 176 of 2005)

(10)A Panel or its subcommittee may, if it considers appropriate, meet jointly with any other Panel or its subcommittee for the purpose of considering any matter of common interest to the Panels. The quorum of a joint meeting shall be one third of the members of all the relevant panels or subcommittees including the chairman (a fraction of the whole number being disregarded). (L.N. 177 of 2005)

(11)A Panel shall meet at the time and the place determined by the chairman of the Panel. Written notice of the place, day and time of every meeting shall be given to the members at least 3 days before the day of the meeting but shorter notice may be given in any case where the chairman so directs.

(12)Meetings shall be held in public unless the chairman otherwise orders in accordance with any decision of the Panel.

(13)All matters for the decision of a Panel, a subcommittee appointed under subrule (9) or a joint subcommittee appointed under subrule (9A), and all matters for decision at a joint meeting referred to in subrule (10) shall be decided by a majority of the members voting. The chairman or any other member presiding shall have an original vote but not a casting vote. Such voting shall not be binding on any Member, whether in Council, in a committee of the whole Council or in the House Committee. (L.N. 177 of 2005)

(13A)(Repealed L.N. 214 of 2005)

(13B)Notwithstanding the provision in subrule (13), the chairman of, or the member presiding at, a Panel, a subcommittee appointed under subrule (9), a joint subcommittee appointed under subrule (9A) or a joint meeting referred to in subrule (10), as the case may be, shall have a casting vote in addition to his original vote in the election of its chairman or deputy chairman. In the event that two or more nominees receive the same highest number of valid votes in such election, the chairman or the member presiding, as the case may be, shall give his casting vote. (L.N. 177 of 2005; L.N. 214 of 2005)

(14)A Panel may make such reports as it considers appropriate to the Council provided that there shall be at least one report during a session and where requested by the House Committee or on its own motion, make a report in writing to the House Committee on a particular matter.

(15)Subject to these Rules of Procedure, the practice and procedure of a Panel or its subcommittee shall be determined by that Panel. The practice and procedure of a joint subcommittee appointed by two or more Panels shall, subject to these Rules of Procedure, be determined by the relevant Panels. In any such determination, a Panel or, in the case of a joint subcommittee appointed by two or more Panels, the relevant Panels shall take into account any guidelines provided under Rule 75(8) (House Committee). (L.N. 176 of 2005)

78.Select Committees

(1)The Council may appoint one or more select committees to consider matters or bills which the Council may refer to the committee.
(L.N. 107 of 1999)

(2)The President shall decide the size of every select committee and shall appoint the chairman, deputy chairman and members thereof, taking into account the recommendations of the House Committee.

(3)The quorum of a select committee shall be one third of the members excluding the chairman, a fraction of a whole number being disregarded.

(4)A select committee shall, as soon as it has completed consideration of the matter or bill referred to it, report to the Council thereon and the committee shall thereupon be dissolved. If the committee is of the opinion that it will not be able to complete consideration of the matter or bill before the end of a term, it shall so report to the Council. (L.N. 107 of 1999)

(5)At the end of a term every select committee of the Council shall be dissolved. (L.N. 107 of 1999)

79.Procedure of Select Committees

(1)The deliberations of a select committee shall be confined to the matter or matters referred to it by the Council, and in the case of a select committee on a bill shall be confined to the bill committed to it and relevant amendments.

(2)A select committee shall meet at the time and the place determined by the chairman. The meetings of a select committee shall be held in public unless the chairman otherwise orders in accordance with any decision of the committee. (L.N. 227 of 2006)

(3)In the event of the temporary absence of the chairman and deputy chairman, the committee may elect a chairman to act during such absence. (L.N. 214 of 2005)

(4)The clerk to the committee appointed under Rule 6(7) (Duties of the Clerk) shall attend meetings of the committee and shall keep the minutes of proceedings of the committee.

(5)Divisions in a select committee shall be taken by the clerk to the committee who shall ask each member of the committee separately how he wishes to vote and record the votes accordingly.

(6)Neither the chairman nor any other member presiding shall vote, unless the votes of the other members are equally divided in which case he shall give a casting vote. (L.N. 214 of 2005)

(7)(a)A member of a select committee may bring a report for their consideration. When all the reports have been brought up the chairman shall propose the reports in order until one is accepted as a basis for discussion, beginning with his own report and proceeding with the remainder in the order in which they were brought up. The question to be proposed by the chairman on a report shall be that the chairman's (or Mr. .........'s) report be read a second time paragraph by paragraph. When this question has been agreed to, it shall not be proposed on further reports but portions thereof may be offered as amendments to the report under consideration if they are relevant to it.

(b)The committee shall then go through the report paragraph by paragraph and the provisions of Rule 58 (Procedure in Committee of the Whole Council on a Bill) shall apply as if the report were a bill and the paragraphs were the clauses of the bill.

(c)When consideration of the report paragraph by paragraph is concluded and when all proposed new paragraphs have been considered the chairman shall put the question that this report be the report of the committee to the Council.

(8)A select committee may make a special report relating to the powers, functions and proceedings of the committee on matters which it thinks fit to bring to the notice of the Council.

(9)The minutes of proceedings of the committee shall record all proceedings on consideration of a report or bill in the committee and on every amendment proposed to the report or bill, with a note of divisions, if divisions were taken in the committee, showing the names of members voting in the division or declining to vote.

(10)A report or special report, with the minutes of proceedings of a select committee and the minutes of evidence, if evidence was taken, shall be laid on the Table of the Council by the chairman of the committee.

79A.Exercise of Voting Rights of Chairmen of Committees

(1)Where the Rules of this Part provide that the chairman of, or any other member presiding at, a committee shall give a casting vote, the chairman or the member presiding, in exercising his casting vote on a matter before the committee (other than exercising the vote in the election of the chairman or deputy chairman, as the case may be), shall not exercise the vote in such a way as to produce a majority vote in favour of the question put.

(2)Where two or more nominees receive the same highest number of valid votes in the election of the chairman or deputy chairman of a committee, as the case may be, lots will be drawn in respect of these nominees, and the chairman or the member presiding, as the case may be, shall exercise his casting vote in accordance with the lot drawn by him.

(3)Where the Rules of this Part provide that the chairman of, or any other member presiding at, a committee shall have an original vote, and if the chairman or the member presiding wishes to exercise his original vote on a matter before the committee, the vote shall only be exercised at the same time as other members of the committee exercise their votes; otherwise, he shall be regarded as having given up his right to vote on the relevant matter.

(4)Notwithstanding the definition of "committee" in Rule 93(e) (Interpretation), in this Rule, "committee" includes a joint meeting referred to in Rule 77(10) (Panels). (L.N. 227 of 2006)
(L.N. 214 of 2005)

79B.Determining the time and the place of a meeting of a committee by the deputy chairman of the committee

Where a Rule of this Part provides that a committee shall meet at the time and the place determined by the chairman of the committee, if a member of the committee makes a request for a meeting to discuss a specific issue of urgent importance for consideration by the chairman and within 48 hours of the request being made, the chairman cannot be contacted for making any such determination, the determination may be made by the deputy chairman (if any), who may also direct that a shorter notice of the meeting be given as provided in that Rule.
(L.N. 227 of 2006)

79C.Determining the Agenda of a Meeting of a Committee by Chairmen of Committees

The agenda of a meeting of any committee shall be determined by its chairman, except where its deputy chairman (if any) has made a determination in accordance with Rule 79B (Determining the Time and the Place of a Meeting of a Committee by the Deputy Chairman of the Committee).
(L.N. 187 of 2017)

80.Attendance of Witness

(a)Any standing committee may summon, as required when exercising its powers and functions, persons concerned to testify or give evidence; and (L.N. 26 of 2009)

(b)the House Committee or a Bills Committee, Panel, select committee, investigation committee or any other committee, where so authorised by the Legislative Council, may summon, as required when exercising the committee's powers and functions, persons concerned to testify or give evidence,
(L.N. 107 of 1999; L.N. 26 of 2009)

but the Chief Executive may decide, in the light of security and vital public interests, whether Government officials or other personnel in charge of Government affairs should testify or give evidence before the Legislative Council or its committees.

81.Premature Publication of Evidence

(1)The evidence taken before a committee under Rule 80 (Attendance of Witness) and documents presented to the committee shall not, except in the case of meetings of the committee held in public, be published by a member of the committee or by any other person before the committee has presented its report to the Council.
(L.N. 107 of 1999)

(2)Any member of the committee who fails to comply with subrule (1) may be admonished or reprimanded by the Council on a motion to that effect.