Parliament should be spaces where people’s interests are effectively represented
Ensuring that Parliament – both Lower and Upper Houses – are spaces where people’s interests are effectively represented is absolutely critical in the governance process, and is a primary objective of the Parliament. Oversight Committees of Parliament are also critical to ensuring that the Parliament provides true representation. These committees include: Public Accounts Enterprises Committee; Municipal Corporations, Statutory Authorities and Service Commissions Committee (with the exception of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission) and a Committee to oversee Public Procurement. At present many MPs who have constituency responsibilities, as well as Ministerial portfolios also sit on these committees. This is an obvious case of overstretched resources and therefore the work of these Committees is often diluted and does not receive the focus and attention it requires. The oversight component of the work of the Parliament is therefore weakened.
We therefore propose that, those MPs appointed via PR who do not belong to the ruling party should serve on these committees. Given that they have been appointed via PR and do not represent constituencies, the problem of overstretched resources described above would be reduced, strengthening the very important oversight function of the Parliament. We have put forward that MPs in the lower house should serve on a full-time basis, Senators would also serve full-time.