Parliament has opened an institute for inducting and training Members of Parliament how to legislate and debate on the floor of the House, with the next legislators coming in May being the first beneficiaries.
The Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga Institute of Parliamentary Studies in Kampala was launched on Monday by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga whom it is named after.
In her launch speech, Ms Kadaga said that previously, MPs were trained for only one month, but Parliament realised that the period was not enough to train them how to legislate and manage other parliamentary work.
“This institute is to assist mainly the parliamentarians and staff. It will help members to be more efficient by doing continuous training and induction. In the past, we have been doing induction for one month, that is before and after swearing and we stop there for five months,” she said.
“We have found that the one month is not enough because they get challenges along the way. The new MPs, who are elected through by-elections, are also not totally inducted, so we need a facility that would continue looking out for them and helping them,” she added.
According to Ms Kadaga, some MPs are elected when they do not know anything about legislation. She said if they make use of the institute, their debate on the floor of Parliament will improve since they will be able to access researched data, information and many things from the facility.
The chairperson of the institute, Ms Cecilia Ogwal, said it consists of four MPs who represent legislators, the Clerk to Parliament to represent management, members of the academia who will train the MPs, and a commissioner who represents local government councils.
Councillors to benefit
According to Ms Ogwal, the Kadaga institute will not only train MPs on legislation but also councillors of Local Government councils.
“We shall also train permanent secretaries of various government agencies because some of them do not understand requisition for funds. They usually appear on the floor of parliament and look green about the Public Finance and Management Act. So we are going to design training for them so that we are on the same page,” Ms Ogwal said.
She said the team has started developing training models. The institute will be funded by Parliament.
A performance scorecard for the third session of the 10th Parliament shows that of the 459 MPs, only 17 per cent scored above the 75 per cent mark, which is considered excellent while 29 per cent of MPs scored between 50 and
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