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Liaison Committee Guidance on the Use of Electronic Devices in Select Committees

24 October 2011

  1. In accordance with the resolution of the House of 13 October 2011, Members of Select Committees may make use of electronic devices, including laptops, in committee meetings, providing that they are used with due decorum, without unnecessary noise and without disturbance to others.
  2. There is no prohibition on Committee Members sending or receiving communications during public sessions, but Members should, out of courtesy, refrain from making public comments on the evidence being taken by a committee whilst the session is in progress.
  3. Tweeting etc should not take place when a committee is sitting in private. Disclosing private proceedings of a committee on twitter or by any other means of communication would be a breach of privilege.
  4. Members of the public and the media attending select committee meetings, may use electronic devices, including laptops, as long as this is not obtrusive.  This may include using electronic equipment to record proceedings in committee, provided no public use is made of any recordings.
  5. Subject to the discretion of the Chair, witnesses should normally be permitted to use electronic devices, including laptops, in place of paper speaking notes, provided their use is not obtrusive.
  6. Particular arrangements may be made, with the agreement of the Committee Chair, to accommodate the needs of Members, witnesses or others who require additional technical support because of a disability.

October 2011

These Guidelines were agreed by the Liaison Committee on 20 October 2011 and endorsed by the Speaker on 24 October 2011.