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committee vs. commission

English translation: depends

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16:26 Sep 15, 2006
English to English translations [PRO]
Linguistics / synonyms
English term or phrase: committee vs. commission
Would you please give me a hint on the difference between the meanings of these two? Thank you.
Ara Mkrtchyan
Armenia
Local time: 22:49
English translation:depends
Explanation:
The difference depends on the type of organization that creates them.

Committees are usually sub-groups of a larger organization while a commission (at least in the U.S.) implies a larger, more independent group.

Both of these are usually formed to complete a specific task. They may be temporary or permanent, large or small, having powers or just be advisory groups.

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Note added at 2 hrs (2006-09-15 19:19:56 GMT)
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National Olympic Committee Of Armenia
Armenian National Committee of America (Washington lobbying group)
Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission
Adoption Commission in Armenia
Securities Commissions of the Republic of Armenia
Armenian National Commission for UNESCO
American Committee on Armenian Atrocities
Armenian American Action Committee (ARAMAC)
Selected response from:

RHELLER
United States
Local time: 12:49
Grading comment
Thanks to all
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3 +8dependsRHELLER
5see
Maria Luisa Duarte
4 -1an elected group vs. an appointed groupJulia Bogdan Rollo


Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


34 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
see


Explanation:

commission= A group of people officially authorized to perform certain duties or functions:


committee= A group of people officially delegated to perform a function, such as investigating, considering, reporting, or acting on a matter.


    Reference: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Commission
    Reference: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/committee
Maria Luisa Duarte
Spain
Local time: 20:49
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in PortuguesePortuguese
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33 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -1
an elected group vs. an appointed group


Explanation:
A committee consists of members generally elected (or who have expressed an interest in serving), a commission is an appointed group (i.e. Federal Trade Commission members are appointed by the President of the US)

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Note added at 36 mins (2006-09-15 17:03:33 GMT)
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A committee is a type of small deliberative assembly that is usually subordinate to another, larger deliberative assembly. Committees often serve several different functions: Governance, Coordination, Research and Recommendations, Project Management (i.e. events)

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Note added at 1 hr (2006-09-15 17:42:28 GMT)
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That seems to be the case (i.e. the 9/11 Commission in the US). A Committee should be made up of elected officials who have in turn been elected by their peers within the main organization to be members of the Committee (i.e. Committee on Homeland Security). This is how things "technically" work in the US. I believe this also works in the UK.

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Note added at 2 hrs (2006-09-15 18:38:31 GMT)
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I looked at the google site posted by Alexander - the elections to commission are mostly for the U.N., which apparently work by election. This is not the norm in most Commissions, at least in the US. It all comes down to the context in which you are looking at the words.


    Reference: http://www.ftc.gov/bios/commissioners.htm
    Reference: http://www.yourdictionary.com/ahd/c/c0511800.html
Julia Bogdan Rollo
United States
Local time: 11:49
Native speaker of: Native in RomanianRomanian, Native in EnglishEnglish
Notes to answerer
Asker: Good point. So if there's an emergency, the prime minister has a special team created to handle that particular situation, then the team's likely to be called a commission, right? What about the UK Foreign Exchange Control Committee - does it mean they are elected as well?


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  RHELLER: generally elected or who have expressed an interest? great discussion but that does not support your response
23 mins
  -> you are correct about the expressing an interest, but that can happen in some smaller organizations, where committees primarily consist of volunteers as opposed to a formal nomination and election process.

disagree  Alexander Demyanov: either commission or committee can be either apointed or elected. //Here you go: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q="elections to the c... I hope you can filter out the irrelevant hits on your own.
45 mins
  -> None of the definitions I have ever seen for the word commission ever refer to members being elected.
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54 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +8
depends


Explanation:
The difference depends on the type of organization that creates them.

Committees are usually sub-groups of a larger organization while a commission (at least in the U.S.) implies a larger, more independent group.

Both of these are usually formed to complete a specific task. They may be temporary or permanent, large or small, having powers or just be advisory groups.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2006-09-15 19:19:56 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

National Olympic Committee Of Armenia
Armenian National Committee of America (Washington lobbying group)
Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission
Adoption Commission in Armenia
Securities Commissions of the Republic of Armenia
Armenian National Commission for UNESCO
American Committee on Armenian Atrocities
Armenian American Action Committee (ARAMAC)

RHELLER
United States
Local time: 12:49
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 59
Grading comment
Thanks to all

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Alexander Demyanov
24 mins
  -> thanks, Alex :-)

agree  cmwilliams: according to the OED, a commission is a group given official authority to control or investigate something.
28 mins
  -> thanks CMW :-)

agree  humbird: Your definitions are pretty accurate (at least in the US).
46 mins
  -> thanks, Susan :-)

agree  Ian Bradburn
2 hrs
  -> thanks, Ian :-)

agree  Dave Calderhead: Good afternoon Rita (;-{)>
4 hrs
  -> hi Dave :-)

agree  Ioanna Karamanou
9 hrs
  -> thanks JM :-)

agree  Will Matter: Yup.
13 hrs
  -> one of those "hard to pin down" differences

agree  xxxAlfa Trans
1 day13 hrs
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