Departmental Joint Committees are typically established to consider matters of expenditure, administration and policy connected with each of the Departments of State and associated public bodies. They are often referred to simply as Departmental Committees or Sectoral Committees.

All Joint Committees comprise a Select Committee from each House and are therefore composed of members of both Houses of the Oireachtas. Joint Committees are usually established by order for the term of the Dáil.

The proceedings of Joint Committees (as with other types of Committees such as Select, Standing or Special Committees) are governed, with any necessary modifications, by the same rules that apply to the Dáil and, where appropriate, the Seanad. Rules that apply to Joint Committees also apply to their sub-Committees.

The powers and functions given to Departmental Joint Committees are contained in the Standing Orders of Dáil Éireann (DSO) and the Standing Orders of Seanad Éireann (SSO). The relevant Standing Orders of the Dáil (DSOs 94, 95 and 96) are included in the Report of the Committee on Standing Orders and Dáil Reform dated 22 July 2020 and were approved by Dáil Éireann on 28 July 2020. The equivalent Standing Orders of the Seanad (SSOs 70, 71 and 72) are included in the Second Report of the Seanad Committee on Procedure and Privileges dated 30 July 2020 and were approved by Seanad Éireann on 31 July 2020.

Links to relevant Standing Orders

A. Functions of Departmental Joint Committees
The functions of Committees are set out in DSO 95 and the equivalent SSO 71.

B. Powers of Departmental Joint Committees
The powers of Committees are set out in DSO 96 and the equivalent SSO 72.

C. Remit of Joint Committees
In addition to the powers and functions that are given to Committees when they are established, all Oireachtas Committees must operate within its remit, that is its scope and context of activities as set out in DSO 94  and the equivalent SSO 70.