National Assembly adds 10 more committee to expedite legislative work » Capital News

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 23 – The 13th Parliament will work with an additional ten committees to discharge parliamentary work, according to changes in the revised standing orders. In the 6th Edition standing orders of the National Assembly, notable changes include having in place forty-three committees away from the thirty-three in the 12th Parliament. Committees usually undertake most of the work done by the House by carrying out investigations, hearing evidence from witnesses, seek advice from experts and deliberate on matters of inquiry before reporting to the house. Some of the critical changes that have been made include the dividing of the Public Investment Committee (PIC) into three so as to expedite the oversight role of the National Assembly. They will include the Public Investments Committee on Governance and Education, Public Investments Committee on Commercial Affairs and Energy and Public Investments Committee on Social Services, Administration and Agriculture. Deputy Majority Leader in the National Assembly Owen Baya welcomed the revised laws saying they will be significant to the conduct of the 13th Parliament to deliver to the electorate. “If you at the situation right now the investment committees were examining reports as far back as 2016/2017 which is four years behind. Moving forward the investment committees will be at par when it comes to audit in any financial year and we will be able to work for the citizens,” said Baya. The changes will also include the procedure of the committal of petitions by any member of the public which are presented to the National Assembly to initiate changes in legislations. Petitions are normally written prayer to the House under Article 37 or 119 of the Constitution by a member of the public requesting the House to consider any matter within its authority, including enacting, amending or repealing any legislation. Petitions were normally committed to relevant departmental committee but with the revised standing orders they will be submitted to the newly formed committee on public petitions. “Every petition presented or reported pursuant to this Part, shall stand committed to the Public Petitions Committee,” stated the 6th Edition Standing Orders. Other additional committees include the Decentralized funds, public debt and privatization, Diaspora, Housing, Urban and Planning, regional development and social welfare. “Why we looked into separating these committees is to reduce the workload and give Parliament to do more through work for the citizens in the country,” Matungulu MP Stephen Mule stated. Parliament committees helps to facilitate division of labor and create an avenue for communication between Parliament and the Community. The committees offer a platform for the community to participate in law making.

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