Committees are groups formed from a set number of members of parliament. Their principle task is to discuss the items of business assigned to them before these are debated in the chamber. They also keep abreast of the changes in society and politics affecting their domain, and draw up responses to these developments.
The National Council has 12 standing committees (9 specialist committees, 2 supervisory committees and the Immunity Committee), and the Council of States has 11 (9 specialist committees and 2 supervisory committees). The Offices of the Council may also order special committees to be set up in addition to the standing committees to debate a specific item of business.
The two chambers of parliament also have joint committees (the Drafting Committee and the delegations dealing with international parliamentary relations). The United Federal Assembly also has its own committees (the Pardons Committee and the Judicial Committee).