Published September 2016
An important feature of the Legislature is the work carried out by the Committees of Tynwald and its Branches, the House of Keys and the Legislative Council.
Much of the detailed work of parliament is done in Committees, as matters before them can be explored to a level of detail that would not be possible during the normal business of a sitting.
Some of the procedures for the operation of a Committee are set out in Standing Orders. Beyond that, each Committee is master of its own procedure. Unless the Standing Orders provide who is to be Chairman of the Committee, the Committee itself chooses one of its members to take this role. A Clerk of the Committee is nominated by the Clerk of Tynwald and, with the assistance of other staff of the Clerk of Tynwald’s Office, he or she supports the Committee with administration, research and report writing.
Committees usually have the authority to call for papers, submissions, and witnesses for examination. They may hold private and public sittings to discuss the information they have gathered and question people who may have detailed knowledge about the matter being explored.  Isle of Man Government Ministers and civil servants often appear before those parliamentary committees whose remit includes scrutiny of government.
Committee reports are usually produced at the conclusion of an investigation. In the case of a lengthy investigation, reports might be written as the work progresses, or they may be intervals for reporting determined in the Committee remit. These reports, and any recommendations made therein, are usually laid before the Chamber by which they were appointed, where they may be debated and voted upon.
Committees of Tynwald Court and its Branches are of the following kinds:
are permanent committees constituted under the Standing Orders of Tynwald and its Branches and they have a continuing remit. A Standing Committee of Tynwald or the Legislative Council remains in being notwithstanding dissolution of the House of Keys; membership of Tynwald Standing Committees, however, ceases upon the dissolution.
The three Policy Review Committees are Standing Committees of Tynwald. They scrutinize the implemented policies, as deemed necessary by each Committee, of the Departments and Offices together with associated Statutory Boards and other bodies. Each Policy Review Committee is entitled to take evidence from witnesses, whether representing a Department, Office, Statutory Board or other organization within its remit or not, in cases where the subject matter cuts across different areas of responsibility of different Departments, Offices, Statutory Boards or other organizations. The Policy Review Committees may also hold joint sittings for deliberative purposes or to take evidence. The Chairmen of the Policy Review Committees agree on the scope of a Policy Review Committee's inquiry where the subject cuts across the respective boundaries of the Policy Review Committees' remits.
Select Committees may be established by Tynwald or the Branches if a motion on the Order Paper calling for a Committee to investigate a topic is approved. In the Branches they may also be set up to consider Bills in more detail. The members are elected when the Committee is formed, and they normally serve for the life of the Committee.
Joint Committees are Committees with members appointed by each of the Branches, the House of Keys and the Legislative Council, and not by Tynwald Court. They are appointed by the Council and Keys, by consent of both Branches, when sitting separately. Their reports are presented to the Branches separately. On rare occasions Tynwald may establish a Joint Committee to investigate a Bill.
All Members of Tynwald are eligible to serve on its Committees, except for the President of Tynwald. The President does, however, sit ex officio on the Tynwald Management Committee, the Tynwald Ceremony Arrangements Committee, and the Tynwald Honours Committee.
Members nominate fellow Members to serve on Committees whenever there is a vacancy. This always happens after a General Election, but also whenever a Select Committee is set up, or a vacancy in an already-established Committee arises for any other reason. Each nomination must be seconded. If there are more nominations than positions to fill, Members vote on those nominations as one body by ballot. Members must receive a majority of the votes cast to be elected to serve on a Committee.
In the event of any Member ceasing to be a Member of a Branch, vacancies occur in any Committees on which he or she was a Member. However, the existing Member continues until a successor is elected, and may be re-elected to the Committee through the usual nomination process if he or she becomes a member of either Branch before the vacancy has been filled.
All Members of the House of Keys except the Speaker are obliged to serve on Committees if elected.
After a General Election, whenever vacancies occur, and when temporary Select Committees are set up, Members nominate fellow Members, each nomination being seconded, to serve on the various committees detailed later in this chapter.
If there are more nominations than positions to fill, then an election is held by ballot. Members must receive a majority of the votes cast to be elected to serve on the Committee.
The process is also used to place Members on Committees where a vacancy occurs, or when a Member ceases to belong to the House of Keys.
All Members of the Legislative Council are eligible to serve on committees of the Council.
As the Legislative Council is in continuous existence it has vacancies in its Standing Orders Committee only when members cease to belong to that Branch. The Council has no other Standing Committees.
The Standing Orders of the Legislative Council do not lay down specific procedures for electing Members to Committees. Such elections are seldom contested.
Information about the Committees that operated between the General Election of 2011 and the dissolution of the House of Keys in 2016 is set out below. Click on the name of the Committee to find out more.
Information about current Committees is available here.
 References to Committees appear throughout the Standing Orders of Tynwald Court and the Branches but specifically: Standing Orders of Tynwald, 4.7-4.8 and V; Standing Orders of the House of Keys, VI
 Standing Orders of Tynwald, 5.10(1); Standing Orders of the House of Keys, 6.14.
 Standing Orders of Tynwald, 5.5(2)
 Standing Orders of Tynwald, 5.5(1)