KAMPALA – Parliament has passed the Administration of Parliament (Amendment) Bill 2021, which among others makes the Deputy Speaker a Member of the Parliamentary Commission.
The Bill, moved by a Private Members, Anthony Akol (FDC, Kilak North), now awaiting presidential assent, also repeals the Institute of Parliamentary Studies Act 2020, and returns the hitherto autonomous entity back to the Parliamentary Service as department, Institute of Parliamentary Studies.
Parliament passed the Bill, the first during the 11th Parliament, during a sitting on Tuesday 5 October 2021.
“The Commission shall be composed of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, the Leader of Government Business or his or her nominee, the Leader of the Opposition or his or her nominee, the Minister responsible for finance and four members of Parliament one of whom shall come from the opposition and none of whom shall be a Minister,” states Clause 2 of the Act now awaiting assent.
Clause 5 repealed the Institute of Parliamentary Studies Act 2020, which renamed the Institute as ‘Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga Institute of Parliamentary Studies (RAKIPS)’ and gave it an autonomous status.
The Bill provides for a transitional clause that will allow staff working under the Institute to revert back into the Parliamentary Service.
In granting the Bill a Certificate of Financial Implications, the Minister of State for Finance (General Duties), also holding fort as Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Hon Henry Musasizi said the enactment will be a cost-saver.
“There will be savings to Government from the rationalization process which will reduce expenditure on agencies, including the Institute of Parliamentary Studies,” he said.
To have the Bill enacted in record time, MP Sarah Achieng (NRM, Tororo district) moved to have specific rules speaking to the reference of the matter to the Committee for investigation and report back be suspended, allowing the Bill to be considered by the Committee of the Whole House and passed unanimously, without amendment.
Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Mathias Mpuuga, hailed Members for quickly disposing of the Bill, but warned that in future, suspension of Rules on potentially controversial legislations will not be accepted.
“I want to congratulate the House; I want to warn in earnest that we shall reject suspension of Rules in future legislations,” he said.
To Deputy Speaker Anita Among, this was the first legislation she presided over since her election in May this year.
“This is my first Bill I have passed in the 11th Parliament,” she said.
President Museveni has 30 days to consider and assent to or reject the Bill as required under article 91 of the Constitution.