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Structure of the Chamber of Deputies

The functional structure of the Chamber of Deputies is divided into two important segments: the Political, which is made up by the Plenary, the Committees and the College of Leaders; and the Administrative, which is in charge of the technical support.

Organograma

 

The Administrative structure is subdivided into two other branches: the Secretariat-General of the Board and the Directorate General. The Secretariat-General of the Board manages, commands and subsidizes the legislative activities, whilst the Directorate-General is responsible for planning, coordinating and controlling the administrative activities of the Chamber of Deputies.

 

Plenary 

The Plenary is the highest deliberative body in the House. Here, the representatives of the people, reunited in their totality, discuss and vote sovereignly the propositions in progress, fulfilling the constitutional function attributed to the Legislative Power to elaborate the legal system and to control finances and budget.

 

The Speaker

The Speaker is the representative of the Chamber of Deputies when it speaks collectively, and the supervisor of its works and order. The office is taken exclusively for  Brazilian borns. Its main competence is to define the propositions agenda to be discussed by the Plenary. Among other duties, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies replaces the President of the Republic and is part of the Council of the Republic and the National Defence Council.

 

Directing Board

The Directing Board has the duty to direct the legislative works and the administrative services of the House. It is a collegiate body, made up by seven Deputies elected among the members of the Chamber of Deputies. The Board has specific powers, such as, for instance, to promulgate, together with the Directing Board of the Federal Senate, the amendments to the Constitution, and to propose changes to the Internal Regulations. The members of the Board have a term of office of two years.

Members of the Directing Board

 

Secretariat-General of the Board

The Secretariat-General of the Board (SGM) assists the Board in the legislative work and the Presidency in the performance of its internal regulation and constitutional duties, steers, coordinates and guides the legislative activities in the Chamber of Deputies, as well as monitors and advises the plenary sessions and other technical-political events related to the legislative activities.

 

Directorate-General

The Directorate-General is responsible for planning, coordinating and controlling the administrative activities of the Chamber. It is aided by four other Divisions: Administrative, Legislative, Human Resources and Innovation and IT.

 

College of Leaders

The Deputies, grouped in Parties and  Political Groups, elect their Leaders, who, among other duties, forward the voting in the Committees and the Plenary, where they can take the floor, anytime during the session, to address nationally relevant issues or defend certain political ideas. The Leaders also nominate Deputies to compose the Technical Committees and register the candidates to run for seats in the Directing Board.

The College of Leaders is fundamental to the legislative process since it enables the conciliation among the different interests of the categories represented in the Chamber.

  

Committees

In the Committees, the proposals are analyzed by smaller groups, made up of Members of the Parliament. The discussions of matters are deepened before they are submitted to the analysis of the Plenary when required.

There are three types of Committees: StandingTemporary and Joint. The Standing Committees have permanent features. They have risen to a level of codification in the rules of the Chamber.

Temporary Committees are created with a specific purpose. They are extinguished after acting on the bill or after a previously assigned period. The Temporary Committees last no more than four years.

Joint Committees are formed by members of both Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.

 

The Committees may: 

  • Hold public hearings;
  • Call Ministers of State to render information on matters inherent to their duties;
  • Receive petitions, complaints and statements from any person against acts or omissions from government authorities or entities.
  • Determine the search, examinations, inspections and auditing on an accounting, financial, budgetary and operating nature in the administrative units of the three branches.

 

More about the Committees 

 

Parliamentary Attorneyship

Responsible for defending the Chamber, its units, and members before society, due to the term of office or to institutional duties, the Parliamentary Attorneyship defends the Chamber judicially and extrajudicially, through a lawyer, the Public Prosecution or the Advocate-General of the Union. It is composed by eleven members, nominated by the speaker of the Chamber, with a two-year term in office, and work in collaboration with the Board.

 

Council on Ethics and Parliamentary Behavior

The Council on Ethics and Parliamentary Behavior of the Chamber of Deputies is the body in charge of the disciplinary procedure destined to the application of penalties in cases of noncompliance with rules regarding parliamentary decorum. The works of the Council are ruled by its own regulation, which provides for the procedures to be observed in the parliamentary disciplinary procedure, according to what is provided in the Code of Ethics and Parliamentary Decorum and in the Internal Regulations of the Chamber of Deputies. The Council, in cases of a disciplinary process, acts on the initiative of the Board.

 

The Parliamentary Ombudsman

Responsible for the defense of the Chamber, its units and members, due to the term of office or institutional powers, the Parliamentary Ombudsman provides the judicial and extrajudicial defense to the Chamber, through counsel, prosecution or General Advocacy of the Union. It also promotes wide restorative publicity, the right of redress, right of compensation for moral or material damage in the case of offense to the Chamber or its members. It is composed of eleven members appointed by the President of Chamber, with a two-year term.