Cabinet committees provide the forum for more detailed consideration and discussion of issues before reference to Cabinet.
Most Cabinet committees are standing committees of Cabinet, and meet regularly. Unlike Cabinet, officials may be invited to attend the meeting to assist Ministers if the committee wishes. Cabinet also may establish from time to time ad hoc Cabinet committees to undertake particular tasks or to consider proposals on a specific issue.
The structure, terms of reference, chair and membership of each Cabinet committee are decided by the Prime Minister, in consultation with the leader of the coalition partner, if there is one. The Cabinet Office issues a circular from time to time setting out the current terms of reference and membership of Cabinet committees.
Cabinet committees are chaired by the designated chair, or the next most senior committee member present.