the National Council Standing Committees’ Annual Planning Session is underway at Parliament. The all-important engagement sets out key activities that Standing Committees plan to undertake in the 2023/2024 financial year.
Opening the four-day indaba, Chairperson of the National Council, Hon. Lukas Sinimbo Muha stated the importance of planning together and for Members to take full ownership of the work that lies ahead for them. Hon. Muha was pleased to inform the gathering that the allocation for Standing Committees significantly increased from between N$ 300 000.00 to N$ 400 000.00 in the 2022/2023 financial year to between N$ 700 000.00 to N$ 900 000.00 in the current financial year, amounting to an increment of about 133%. This is with exception to the Standing Committee on Implementation and Coordination that has been appropriated an amount of N$300,000.00 for this financial year. Further welcoming the increment, the Chairperson said although not entirely sufficient, it would suffice and Committees would have to work efficiently and within the ceiling as provided. “If one looks at how the N$300 000 was put to use, one would proudly say that the National Council has competent Members and skilful staff members whose work encouraged the boost for the new financial year” said Hon. Muha.
With respect to international parliamentary bodies such as Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), SADC-Parliamentary Forum and the Pan African Parliament (PAP), an allocation of N$ 3.1 million has been availed which will facilitate the participation of the Namibian Parliament in these international affairs.
Vice Chairperson of the Implementation and Coordination Committee, Hon. John Likando urged Members to place greater emphasize and financial resources towards national oversight activities, which is at the core of the work of Parliament. This recommendation is in keeping with the reasons for which the National Council motivated and received an increased budget of N$120 million and its accountability report need to confirm that the funds were utilized for the specified activities and that impact is for the betterment of the Namibian people. Activities for Standing Committee’s Annual Plans include oversight missions, expert engagement activities, international engagement activities, capacity development activities (training) and the hosting of counterpart committees from other Parliaments.
The National Council Standing Committees’ Annual Planning Session started on Friday, 21 April 2023 with an overview of the implementation of Standing Committees activities for the previous financial year by Hon. Victoria Kauma, the Vice –Chairperson of the National Council and Chairperson of Implementation and Coordination Committee. This was followed by Break Away Sessions for Committees to Develop their Annual Activity Plans for Year 2023/2024. The session will conclude tomorrow, 25 April 2023 with the signing of the Annual Committee Activity Plans by the respective Committee Chairpersons and Hon. Kauma, as Chairperson of the Implementation Committee, which is the overarching Committee responsible for overseeing the work of Parliamentary Standing Committees of the National Council.
All planned activities of the respective committees will be submitted to the Implementation and Coordinating Committees (ICC), which will then work out a calendar of activities for consideration by the Rules, Order and Business Committee. The calendar will be a guiding tool for the core functions of representation, oversight and law making and forms part of the larger, more detailed National Council Plan of Activities for 2023/2024. Once adopted, it will be shared with the National Council’s main stakeholders such as Regional Councils as well as the National Assembly.