The Clerk, Chief Clerk, or Secretary of a chamber or house in a legislature is the senior administrative officer responsible for ensuring that its business runs smoothly. This may encompass keeping custody of documents received and produced, making records of proceedings, allocating office space, enrolling of members, administering an oath of office. The Clerk in some cases has a ceremonial role. A Clerk may also advise the speaker or members on parliamentary procedure, acting in American parlance as a "parliamentarian".
In the Westminster system, the Clerk is usually an apolitical civil servant, and typically attains the position through promotion and retains it till retirement.
In the United States, while clerks are usually nonpartisan, they are often elected by the assembly members at the beginning of each term. At the federal level, and typically at state level, the lower House has a "(Chief) Clerk" while the Senate has a "Secretary".
Legislature Clerk of sole or lower house Clerk of upper house Notes Parliament of Australia Clerk Clerk Parliament of Canada Clerk Clerk Legislative Council of Hong Kong Clerk N/A Unicameral Parliament of the United Kingdom Clerk Clerk of the Parliaments —National Assembly for Wales Chief Executive and Clerk N/A Unicameral —Tynwald (Isle of Man) Clerk N/A Unicameral United States Congress Clerk Secretary Elected every two years. —California State Legislature Chief Clerk Secretary Elected every two years.
- American Society of Legislative Clerks & Secretaries (ASLCS) National Conference of State Legislatures
- Society of Clerks-at-the-Table in Commonwealth Parliaments
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