The PLR Commission was established in 1986 under the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA). The Commission oversees the PLR program and sets its own policies and criteria.
The PLR Commission is made up of writers, translators, librarians and publishers. Its members are elected to serve four-year terms. The Commission also includes non-voting representatives from the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, Library and Archives Canada, and Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec. Author Mélikah Abdelmoumen is the current commission chairperson.
The Commission manages the program's criteria and policies, oversees the annual library survey and creates connections with PLR organizations in other countries. The Commission reaches decisions by majority vote at biannual general meetings. Members elect an eight-person executive committee that oversees the administration of the program.
Members apply their expertise and experience to help the program evolve. They connect with writers’ associations across Canada and promote the program to writers, librarians and the public. Non-voting members create links between the PLR Program and their own organizations.