The Committee of Elders has the enormous responsibility of making virtually every significant decision in the community; it issues laws to ensure the citizens' safety and comfort. The Committee of Elders decides the community's birthrate, which is at fifty new children per year, and creates each family unit. The Committee of Elders also decides the citizens' occupations when the community's adolescents turn twelve years old. In addition to choosing each citizens' occupation, the Committee of Elders is also responsible for issuing laws and regulations, as well as punishing citizens who break them. After three transgressions, a citizen is "released" from the community. The Committee of Elders issues many of their regulations via the Speaker and constantly supervises the population. The Committee of Elders is also responsible for altering the environment and regulating the food supply. They also decide when certain infants and elderly citizens should be released for the community's benefit.