Parliamentary standing committees well on course in implementing activities
WINDHOEK- Although constrained by a limited budget, the National Council standing committees achieved an implementation rate of 76 percent of the planned activities from which nine reports were tabled and adopted.
This was revealed by the Chairperson of the National Council Margaret Mensah-Williams when she opened the house yesterday for 2019 seating.
The National Council resumed business yesterday and will be in session until May 29, to consider the Appropriation Amendment Bill, which has been passed by the National Assembly and referred to it, as well as any other business.
Mensah-Williams said by December 2018, a total of 46 recommendations which emanated from National Council standing committee reports were forwarded to 17 government offices, ministries and agencies and three regional councils for consideration and implementation.
She noted in order to monitor and evaluate the rate of implementation of its recommendations to offices, ministries and agencies, the National Council last year wrote to several them requesting each one to designate a “parliamentary desk officer” to serve a liaison between the National Council and these institutions with regards to implementation of recommendations from oversight activities undertaken by committees.
“Indeed, oversight plays an essential role in enhancing transparency and accountability; which are central in improving corporate governance and service delivery within regional and local authorities. During the 2018-2019 financial year, 74 reports were forwarded to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts and the Economy for scrutiny,” she said.
As a result, she said 22 public hearings were held with regional and local authorities who received disclaimer and adverse audit opinions from the Office of the Auditor General.
In the 2018-2019 financial year, she stated the National Council continued to implement its mandate guided by the principles of continuous improvement of good public governance, poverty eradication, contributing towards an enabling environment for socioeconomic development and employment creation, among others.
In this regard, the National Council reviewed 20 bills that were referred to it by the National Assembly for review.
Out of those 20 bills, a total of 35 proposed amendments were proposed to several bills, including the Seed and Seed Varieties Bill [Bill Number 1 of 2018]; the Public Enterprises Governance Bill [Bill Number 5 of 2018] and the Basic Education Bill [Bill Number 4 of 2018].
She noted that out of the 35 proposed amendments, 17 were substantive amendments.
Guided by its 2018-2019 Annual Committees Activity Plan, the National Council, through its standing committees carried out several oversight activities.
These ranged from site visits to government capital projects, inspection of Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) projects, engagement with various ministries and offices involved in socioeconomic development and provision of public services in rural areas, among others.
Mensah-Williams also took the opportunity to introduce Tousy Namiseb who has been appointed as the new Secretary of the National Council effective of May 02, 2019.
She said Namiseb is an admitted legal practitioner of the High Court, who he holds a bachelor of law degree from the University of Cape Town and a Master of
Laws from the University of Pretoria.
Further, she added Namiseb’s career has seen him serve in all the three branches of the State.
He joins the National Council from The Judiciary where he was Deputy Executive Director for Judicial Services.
Before that, he served as Chief of Law Reform at the Law Reform and Development Commission in the Ministry of Justice.
He has also lectured at the University of Namibia and worked as an attorney at the Legal Assistance Centre.
2019-05-14 09:07:52 2 months ago