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Agencies of the Chamber

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

 

The Administrative structure is subdivided into two other branches: the General Secretary of the Board and the Directorate-General. The General Secretary 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 Assembly

The Plenary Assembly 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 exclusive for born Brazilians. Its main competence is to define the propositions agenda to be discussed by the Plenary Assembly. Among other duties, the President 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, formed by seven deputies elected among the members of parliament. 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 alterations to the Internal Regulations. The members of the Board have a term of office of two years.

Members of the Directing Board

 

General Secretary of the Board

The General Secretary of the Board (SGM) assists the Board in the legislative works and the Presidency in the performance of its regimental and constitutional duties, directs, 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

Aiming to support the legislative works, the functional structure of the Chamber of Secrets counts on the Directorate-General, which is responsible for planning, coordinating and controlling the administrative activities of the House. It is aided by three other Divisions: Administrative, Human Resources and Legislative.

 

College of Leaders

The Deputies, grouped in party representations or parliamentary groups, elect their Leaders, who, among other duties, forward the voting in the Committees and the Plenary Assembly, where they can take the floor, anytime during the session, to address nationally relevant issues or defend certain political lines. The Leaders also nominate deputies to compose the Technical Commissions 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 House.

  

Comittees

In the Committees, the proposals are analyzed by smaller groups, composed of Members of Parliament. There, the discussions of matters are deepened before they are submitted to analysis by the Plenary Assembly.

There are three types of Committees: StandingTemporary and Mixed. The Standing Committees have a permanent feature. 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.

Mixed 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 organs and members before society, due to the term of office or to institutional duties, the Parliamentary Attorneyship defends the House 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 President 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 disciplinary process, acts on the initiative of the Board.

 

The Parliamentary Ombudsman

Responsible for the defense of the Chamber, its bodies and members, due to the exercise of the mandate or institutional powers, the Parliamentary Ombudsman provides judicial and extrajudicial defense of the House, through counsel, prosecution or General Advocacy of the Union. It also promotes wide restorative publicity, 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 two-year term.