Role and function of Conveners

5. Rule 12.1 of Standing Orders deals with the appointment of conveners and their role and functions.

6. Each committee must have a convener and the convener's duties are to convene and chair the meetings of the committees.

7. It is important to note that, unlike the Presiding Officer, conveners are not required to be impartial and that it is normal practice for conveners to participate in the committee meetings by, for example, asking questions of witnesses, in addition to their duties in chairing the meeting. However in purely practical terms, it may be difficult for a convener to participate fully due to his or her role in keeping order and calling speakers. (For more information on the procedures to be followed in committee meetings see paragraphs 36-47 below). It is the role of the convener to facilitate debate and, where possible, allow the committee to reach a consensus view, whilst acknowledging that that there will be differences in the views of members