Senior Parliament Staff on the Spot for Dodging Sector Review Retreat
By Max Patrick Ocaido
Top Parliament bosses have been reprimanded for dodging the ongoing Annual Legislative Sector Review at Hotel Africana.
The retreat running under the theme, “Legislating for good governance and sustainable development” has been ongoing since October 30 (Wednesday) and ends today (Friday), attracting several stakeholders including MPs and civil society organizations, and matters of discussions among others include the performance of the 10th Parliament and the Sector’s next strategic plan.
Prior to the retreat, the Clerk to Parliament Jane Kibirige in an internal memo invited senior parliament staff to be part and parcel of the 3 day retreat at Africana. Among those who were invited are staff from the rank of Principal, senior staff from the Clerks, staff from the Office of Leader of Opposition, Government Chief Whip, Government Business, Directorate of Research and others.
However, the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga was on Thursday infuriated while officially opening the retreat after finding only a handful of invited parliament senior staff as majority had dodged the crucial Sector Review retreat.
According to sources, Kadaga immediately summoned Clerk to Parliament Kibirige to explain why the event was poorly attended by senior staff. Subsequently, Kibirige also brought the matter to the attention of head of departments and affected senior staff.
“The Clerk has noted with concern that invited staff members have absented themselves from the ongoing Sector Review Retreat at Hotel Africana. This is to therefore request all invited staff members to attend the last day of the retreat which will start at 9am and end at 1pm as pertinent issues will be discussed,” reads another internal memo released on Thursday evening.
Meanwhile at the official launch on Thursday, Kadaga said Parliament should have a clear strategy on deepening citizen involvement in legislation, opening up the Appointments Committee and spreading out Parliament’s committee work to the countryside.
Kadaga asked the technocrats at Parliament, headed by Clerk Jane Kibirige, to fast track the developments. “I’m still waiting for the matter that we have been trying to do for many years; we agreed that we should have an application where the citizens would speak to us directly [when considering Bills or motions] so that they don’t have to come to Kampala,” said Kadaga.
Going forward, said Kadaga, Parliament will have to make deliberate efforts to ensure reports from the Inspector General of Government (IGG) are debated and conclusively handled.
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