Tuesday, August 21, 2012
THE ROLES OF A MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT IN UGANDA
Source: The Office of the Clerk of Parliament The role of a Member of Parliament (MP) is derived from the mandate and functions of Parliament. The main function of Parliament as provided for by Article 79 of the Constitution of Uganda is to make laws for peace, order, development and good governance of Uganda. Other functions are oversight and representation. LEGISLATION As provided for in article 79(1) of the Constitution, the role of a Member of Parliament is to consider, refine, amend and vote on Bills. An MP may initiate legislation through a Private Members’ Bill. A Member moving such a Private Members’ Bill is afforded reasonable and professional assistance by the Attorney General’s Office, the respective department of Government whose area of operation is affected y the Bill and the Office of the Clerk. REPRESENTATION A MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Represents the concerns of his/her constituency in Parliament. Attends sittings in Parliament, participates in Committees and all other Parliamentary activities. These activities of Parliament provide Members with an opportunity to present the views of their constituents; raise issues of national importance and debate them. Follows up on implementation of Government programs in his/her constituency. May attend meetings of Local Council to appreciate implementation of Government Programs as provided by Section 10 of the Local Government Act. May present petitions to Parliament on behalf of his/her constituency to make known its grievances and seek remedies. May influence allocation of resources by proposing areas of funding during the budget process. May also be called upon by the Speaker to represent Parliament in National and International For a. The oversight function of Parliament is effectively performed through the following ways: Question time: MPs use question time in the House to bring the conduct of Government Officials under scrutiny. They ask questions on matters affecting their constituency and seek remedies; The Office of the Clerk assists MPs to ask questions directed at Government Ministers on matters pertaining to their Ministries; Debates: through debates in the House, an MP brings forward issues that have come to his/her attention regarding performance of Government in relation to the matter being debated; Motions: by moving a motion in the House, a Member is able to bring to light the deficiencies of a given office, shortcomings of a given Government Project and to cause action to be taken by Parliament in the matter; Raising matters of urgent public importance; in a sitting of Parliament, immediately after the Communication from the Chair, the Speaker allows time for MPs to bring matters of urgent public importance to the attention of the House; Interpretations; using this tool, a Member of Parliament can demand more information or further clarification from the Executive on a matter before the House; Oversight in Committees; Parliament appoints Committees necessary for the efficient discharge of its functions. These Committees are mandated to oversee Government programs. An MP, through his/her participation in Committee activities performs this important function. OTHER ROLES OF AN MP THE OTHER ROLES OF A MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT MAY INCLUDE: Participation in issue – based caucuses such as caucus on gender, children or climate change. Participation in political party activities such as caucus meetings and assignments given by the political party. Participation in any other activities as organized by the Speaker.