Senate Bureau. Election and functions
The Bureau is made up of the Speaker, two Deputy Speakers and four Secretaries. Elections for each legislature take place in the constitutional session of the House (section 4 et seq. of the Senate Standing Orders). All its members are elected by means of a secret ballot, with a system that ensures plural composition.
It is the governing body of the Senate (section 35 of the Senate Standing Orders) and meets regularly, every week, normally on Tuesdays.
Its most relevant competences are parliamentary in nature and pertain to the internal governance of the House.
PARLIAMENTARY FUNCTIONS: it assess parliamentary writings and documents, declares their admission or inadmission and decides the process by which different initiatives should be handled; furthermore, it programmes the general lines of action of the House, establishes the schedule of meetings of the Plenary Sitting for each period of sessions and coordinates the work of the different bodies of the Senate, having previously met with the Board of Spokespersons (section 36 of the Senate Standing Orders). Furthermore, in accordance with the Speaker, and having heard from the Board of Spokespersons, the Bureau establishes the agenda for plenary sittings.
INTERNAL GOVERNANCE FUNCTIONS: the Bureau takes any decisions and measures required to organise the work and internal regime of the House, as well as any action required with regarding to recruitment and employment, and approves the Senate's proposed budget for each financial year, oversees its implementation and orders expenditure.
Furthermore, members of the Bureau perform functions derived from their individual posts:
- The Speaker, as the most senior figure of authority within the Senate, performs the functions outlined in sections 37 et seq. of the Senate Standing Orders.
- The Deputy Speakers will stand in for the Speaker when necessary (article 40 of the Senate Standing Orders).
- The Secretaries draft and authorise the minutes from the plenary sittings and report on any documents submitted to the Senate or which are issued by the Secretariat (article 41 of the Senate Standing Orders).