New parliamentarians to benefit from Commonwealth post-election training


28-December-2011

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), of which our Assembly is a member, will lead the training.

The speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Patrick Herminie, made the announcement while giving an overview of the work carried out by the Assembly over the past years. This was during the last session of the Assembly earlier this month.

Dr Herminie said the Assembly has raised its standards to meet international norms and reinforced the competence of its secretariat for it to better meet the needs of the new parliamentarians.

The Assembly has been readmitted to regional and international organisations namely the CPA, ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, the inter-Parliamentary Union and the SADC Parliamentary Forum.

Speaker Herminie said the benefits of being part of these organisations have been in terms of technical and consultative help which the National Assembly has received.

An example of the technical help is an ICT project for the Assembly which the SADC-Parliamentary Forum is working on.

Dr Herminie said this includes a strategic development plan for information technology and communication for the Assembly as well as the introduction of a system called Bungeni which will make easier communication between the Assembly’s secretariat, members of parliament and the public in general.

With regard to reinforcing the legal capacity of the Assembly to bring about legal and constitutional reforms, a legal department has already been set up where a legal consultant and an expert will be based.

Dr Herminie said the aim is to ensure that during the coming five years the Assembly, through its own administrative regulations, the Administration of the National Assembly Act, will become autonomous and financially independent.

“The Act will see the setting up of a National Assembly Commission under the speaker’s office,” Dr Herminie said, adding that the Act which has already been drafted aims to ensure the efficient running of a new National Assembly service.

The Assembly will also carry out a review of the work of its committees to ensure more efficiency in their oversight role over government activities.

Apart from the fact that the leader of the opposition in the Assembly will now chair the finance committee, taking part in committee work will be compulsory for all members, Dr Herminie said.

He added that committee work will be overseen by a committee of chairpersons under the office of the speaker.

Furthermore, with the aim of making the Assembly more independent as an institution, the speaker will stop taking part in political work and this will include at central committee level as well as in the Parti Lepep parliamentary group.

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