Rt.Hon Speaker, Kadaga Launches the Accountability Committee handbook

Starts: Monday, 21 August 2017 - 10:00am
Ends: Monday, 21 August 2017 - 17:00pm
Location: Parliament Building
About this activity

The accountability committee handbook, is meant to provide standard operating procedures for the committees, in order to maximize efficiency. CEPA in its assessment report identified both policy and practice issues for reform to strengthen the committees. However, all the practice reforms are contained in the handbook which is a practical and easy to use document. Whereas the process of developing the handbook took longer than anticipated, some of the issues such as prioritization of queries, dividing the committee into subgroups, performance measurement were being practiced. Nevertheless, the adoption of the handbook by Parliament has set a strong foundation for future committees. Moving forward, CEPA will conduct a series of mentoring sessions to ensure that the handbook is fully utilized by the committees. The process of publishing the accountability committee handbook has been long and very involving. A number of stakeholders including former and current chairpersons and staff of the accountability committees, OAG and development partners were engaged from the initial stages of research and in improving several drafts. The handbook process also provided an opportunity to engage the stakeholders and a number of proposals that were developed in this consultative meetings provided the gist of some of the advocacy areas. Additionally, there has been a convergence of ideas and cooperation from different departments of Parliament that contribute to the processes of the accountability committees. For example the involvement of the budget office in the accountability committee processes has significantly improved. The budget office, the CIID, all provided content to enrich the handbook. This has also improved the aspect of ownership. Additionally, in using the Institute of Parliamentary studies, and end users in enriching and contributing to the several drafts and final end product, the handbook has been adopted as a Parliament document, developed in large part by Parliament’s technical people. Finally, the Clerk and Speaker of Parliament both gave acknowledgement and foreword and officially launched the handbook on 14th August 2017. Today it is officially a Parliament document, to be used by committees and by IPS to train and induct future accountability committees. Importantly, the journey has been as vital as the end product, with each stage contributing immensely, in both discussing how Parliament can improve as well as bring different departments on the same table, something that had not happened before. The challenge and Opportunity now lies in how it can be effectively used by the committees to improve performance and procedures. Plans are underway to revise the handbook to reflect the newly amended Parliamentary rules of procedure and make it as current.