The Implementation and Coordination Committee of the National Council conducted an evaluation exercise from the 27th to the 31st of March 2023, where all Chairpersons of Standing Committees accounted for the execution of the activities of their respective Committees. The purpose of the evaluation exercise was to assess progress made on the implementation of the activities of the Committees during the 2021/2022 and 2022/2023 financial years, to propose interventions where necessary as well as to provide guidance and advice on remedial actions.
In 2021, the Parliamentary Standing Committees of the National Cuncil adopted a five-year activity framework. During the first year (2021-2022), the Committees focused on capacity building for the then newly elected Members of Parliament in order to enhance their knowledge, abilities and skills with regard to their oversight activities. As such, the Committees engaged in various capacity building activities, some of which were made possible by the National Council’s Development Partners such as the Enhancing Participatory Democracy in Namibia program (EPDN), Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). These activities included a stakeholder engagement with key government organizations, ministries and agencies where MPs were acquainted with the relevant mandates, policies, and strategic plans of the OMAs under the ambit of the respective Standing Committees.
During this period, the Standing Committees also conducted various oversight activities, including those by the Standing Committee on Home Affairs, Security, Constitutional and Legal Affairs in the Zambezi region that investigated the security situation along the Chobe/Kwando/Linyati river. The same Committee also visited selected regions to assess the status of national documents and of the country’s border posts. The Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Housing conducted oversight visits to the regions to assess sanitation, housing (mass housing, Shack Dwellers, Build Together, GRN houses), roads and government fleet in order to ascertain if projects are yielding their intended benefits while the Public Accounts Committee held public hearings on Auditor-General Reports.
With respect to the capacity building initiatives, various Standing Committees attended a number of workshops to enhance their oversight function, namely; Budget Process and Transparency Workshop; Gender Responsive and Pro-Employment Budgeting Workshop; Good Governance and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Workshop and finally, Budget Process and Oversight for Parliament Workshop. Committee Chairperson and Vice Chairpersons also attended a capacity building workshop on monitoring and evaluation to improve their knowledge and skills in leading their Committees.
For the 2022/2023 financial year, the Committee on Agriculture, Environment and National Resources visited Green Scheme Projects in Kavango West and Kavango East. This was followed up with a benchmark visit to green schemes in Zambia to learn about strategies and practices relevant for Namibia. Elsewhere, the Standing Committee on Education, Science, ICT and youth Development visited selected schools in the 14 Regions to assess the state and condition of community hostels while the Committee on Health, Social Welfare and Labour Affairs underwent oversight visits to the regions to investigate issues under their ambit.
The Public Accounts Committee held engagements with stakeholders to address the poor financial reporting of specified local authorities. The Committee also held working sessions to validate their reports on Public Hearings they had conducted.
The Implementation Committee is chaired by the Vice –Chairperson of the National Council, Hon. Victoria Kauma and comprises Chairpersons of the six Standing Committees. The functions of the Implementation and Coordination Committee are to, amongst others, guide and co-ordinate the operations, policies and mandate of all Standing Committees; Scrutinize and report to the Council on the work of any Standing Committee; Study regional reports and monitor the implementation of the recommendations made by the Council; Ensure that each Standing Committee has a 5-year Activity Plan and that the annual activity plans of the Standing Committees are in compliance with the five year plans; Monitor implementation of the Standing Committees’ activity plans through the submission of accountability reports; Conduct monitoring, evaluation and follow up on implementation of Committees’ recommendations to OMAs and Produce an oversight report of committees’ activities at the end of their 5-year term.