Speaker directs Committees to Prioritise Private Members' Bills
The Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Justin Muturi has this afternoon directed Chairpersons of Committees with pending legislative proposals to prioritise their consideration, before the end of the current Fourth Session.
Noting that the Bills are at risk of lapsing upon the expiry of the session in December this year, Speaker Muturi noted that once Committees prioritise them, the House Business Committee would consequently rank them among the top House business thus allowing the House to dispense with them in good time.
This direction follows concerns by the House Business Committee over delays of the consideration of the Private Members' Bills.
" Honourable Members, the attention of the House Business Committee has been drawn to apparent lackluster prioritization and processing of individual Members' Bills by some Committees of the House", the Speaker decried in his Communication to the House.
He noted that the House Business Committee has in the past been blamed by a section of the House for prioritising individual Members Bills from the Senate at the expense of a similar category of Bills sponsored by Members in the National Assembly.
The Committee which the Speaker chairs, is charged with the responsibility to prepare the Parliamentary calendar with the approval of the House. The Committee also determines the order in which the reports of Committees shall be debated in the House.
In a bid to ensure that such Bills are processed without impediments, the Standing Orders have allotted Wednesday Mornings for their consideration. However, due to challenges emanating from the Covid-19 Pandemic and which has necessitated the reorganisation of House Business, the House has set aside Thursday Morning sittings for Individual Members' Business.
Out of forty-five (45) individual Members' Bills that are currently before the House, twenty-four (24), respective Committees have been processed and their reports tabled. The Bills are now either in 'Second Reading' or awaiting 'Committee Stage'. The Speaker has however tabled a list of twenty one (21) Bills that are yet to be tabled by respective Committees.
The list of the Bills is available on http://www.parliament.go.ke/the-national-assembly/house-business/communication-from-chair