The original role of the Committee of Selection - founded in 1840 - was to appoint committees on private bills.
In later years it was also given responsibility for selecting members to serve on public bill committees and since 1979 it has also been responsible for choosing the membership of all select committees.
Names are put forward to the committee by the party whips and the committee can either accept or reject these recommendations.
The committee's recommendations must be voted on by the whole House and are sometimes overturned.
In June 2001, the House rejected a bid by the government to oust two select committee chairmen - Donald Anderson and the late Gwyneth Dunwoody.