Standing committees important

Key lessons learned at gathering

19 November 2018 | Government

Libbeus Tobias; Acting chairperson of the auditing standing committee; “It is of huge value that progress and results are documented.

Adolf Kaure

The official opening of a monitoring and evaluation workshop for the National Council standing committee on auditing took place on Tuesday at the Swakopmund’s Seaside Hotel.

Speaking at the occasion, the chairperson of the National Council, Margaret Mensah-Williams, said that over the years standing committees have been contributing immensely in changing government policy in areas such as human wildlife conflict, protection of women and children from rape and gender-based violence, among others.

“The public consultation work of standing committees led the National Council to for example reject the regional council’s amendment bill, local authority amendment bill, citizenship bill, public private partnership bill and two constitutional amendment bills.”

She further encouraged the chairpersons of the standing committees to continue driving implementation of their various activities.

Speaking at the same event, the acting chairperson of the audit committee, Libbeus Tobias, said that monitoring and evaluation is a valuable tool to support the work of the committees of the National Council.

“It helps the audit committee and the National Council as an institution to understand what works, what does not work and why. It is of vital importance that progress and results are documented, lessons shared amongst us and future work methods and interventions be agreed upon, that will be derived from the recommendations of the monitoring and evaluation of the work of our committees.”

The monitoring and evaluation workshop was held with the intention of evaluating the progress in the execution of the activities of the committees for the first two quarters of the 2018/2019 financial year. As per the activity plan of the audit committee this exercise is to be carried out twice during this financial year.

“In order for the audit committee to have an appreciation of the performance of the various committees’ work there is a need to review the achievements as well as challenges experienced. As representatives of the people we, members of the parliament and the National Council and by extension the committees that is established to carry out functions the house cannot perform, should also account for what they do with the money allocated to them as this will enhance transparency, the same as we want others to be transparency and account for funds appropriated to carry out our activities as committees. It is taxpayers’ money and thus we carry accountability with it and furthermore must be prudently used.”

The functions of the audit committee as provided for under rule 161 of the standing rules and orders are amongst others: To scrutinise and report to the council on the work of any standing committee or any other body as may be determined by the council, to encourage standing committees to submit reports on their work in the council at determined intervals, to advise and hold standing committees generally accountable on performance of their work and to perform any other functions as may be referred to it by the council.

The National Council currently constitutes seven standing committees namely the committee on audit; the committee on public accounts and economy; the committee on security, constitutional and legal affairs; the committee on urban and rural development; the committee on gender, youth and information communications technology; the committee on habitat as well as the committee on women caucus.

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