“A Report will soon be tabled to the Cabinet on the status and readiness of Parliament”.
Those were the comments made by Mr. Nemani Mati, the former Deputy Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office, and a member of the five (5) panel Working Group committee tasked with the responsibility of looking into the status and readiness of Parliament.
“Based on their Terms of Reference, a status report will be provided to the Government which entails areas that needs to be improved and the successive implementation plan,” said Mr. Mati.
With general elections scheduled for September 2014, the Parliament needs to be in proper shape to ensure that the incoming Parlimentarians carry out their roles and functions effectively.
The Working Group Committee entailed the following recommendations for Parliamentary reform in their report:
- manuals on Parliamentary practices and procedures
- standing orders for House of Representatives
- Parliamentary emoluments and privileges
- training for MPs’ and Parliamentary staffs
- whole organization structure of Parliament
- library research unit
- Parliamentary services and facilities for political parties
- improving Hansard reporting
- Parliamentary powers
- digitalization process for recording systems, audio visual, sound systems, broadcasting and televising and document production systems for digital archiving
- civic education
- modernizing Parliament
The Parliamentary Working Group Committee was appointed on duration of one (1) month.
The five (5) member committee comprised of Ms. Mary Chapman, former Secretary-General to Parliament, Veniana McGoon, the former Secretary to Senate, Mr. Edward Blakelock, Ms. Meraia Voka and Mr. Mati.