The House of Representatives, as part of the Legislative Branch, was created under Article 40 of the Constitution of Villa del Rosario de Cúcuta in 1821. From then on, its organizational structure has undergone countless reforms.
The first code of regulations adopted by the Senate and the House of Representatives was issued in 1821, it was called “Code of Regulations of the General Congress of Colombia” (Reglamento del Congreso General de Colombia), It lays the duties and responsibilities of its members, the passing of laws, the standard of operation, the work methodology, and the rules for disclosure of the legislative exercise. From this time on the Congress is internally organized and regulated.
With the issuance of the Constitution of 1991, a new code of regulations for Congress is necessary, which is materialized in Law 5 of 1992, where both chambers have legislative and administrative structures for the fulfillment of its mission.
The organizational structure is defined in four basic areas: Board of Directors and its offices; General Secretary’s Office including General Undersecretary’s Office and departments; legal and special constitutional commissions and the Unit of Internal Auditing that serves under the Legal Commission of Accounts; and the Administrative Direction with its sections and divisions.
This same Law also regulates the Units of Legislative Work, as modified by Law 186 of 1995. The ULWs provides the logistic support to the work carried out by congressmen.
The Law 186 also creates the staff of the Special Commission for Monitoring in charge of the Decentralization Process and Territorial Planning of the Senate and the House of Representatives. This Law also restructures the staff of the Ethics Committee and Congressmen Statute of the Senate.
In 1998, through Law 475, and pursuant to Law 87 of 1993 the Organizational Office of Internal Control is created.
Decree 0859 of 1996 creates the Right of Petition and Customer Service Offices. It also creates the Complaints, Claims, and Suggestions Office according to Article 53 of Law 190, repealed by Article 96 of Law 617.
The advisory entities of the Board of Directors and the Administration are: Board of Tendering, created by Law 5 of 1992; Purchase Committee and Staff Committee, through Decree 0975 of 1995; Archives Committee through Decree 238 of 1996; Coordinating Committee of the Internal Control System through Decree 1347 of 1999; Conciliation Committee through Decree 0025 of 2005 and Parity Committee. Decree 1040 0f 1998 creates the Ad-Hoc Commission for the National Conciliation, Peace and Public Order.