A committee of Parliament wants the House Appointments committee meetings to be a public affair.
The committee, chaired by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, is mandated to approve on behalf of Parliament, the appointment of persons nominated for appointment by the President under the Constitution or any other appointment required to be approved by Parliament under any law.
The Committee also deals with any question which arises under clause (4) of Article 113 of the Constitution as to whether or not any office is an office of profit or emolument, the holding of which is likely to compromise the office of a Minister or a public officer.
The Rules, Privileges and Discipline committee, chaired by Clement Ongalo, tabled its report on amendment of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure for the 10th Parliament.
In its recommendation, the committee said it discussed and received proposals from different stakeholders for Parliament to make proceedings of the Appointments committee open to the public.
“This would ensure transparency, public confidence and make such proceedings public, just like other proceedings of other committees of Parliament,” the report tabled on January 18, 2017, states.
Ongalo says the committee agreed that the rules be amended to cater for open vetting.
If Parliament approves this, it will change its system of vetting public officials appointed by the President to that of Kenya, which also varies out open vetting for its public officials.
The public is allowed to raise any concerns regarding the conduct of the appointees.
Kadaga is one of the proponents of those who have previously advocated for the opening of proceedings the Appointments committee to the public.
In her opinion, Kadaga noted that opening proceedings of the committee will remove the cloud of suspicion and secrecy that the public and nominees have claimed surrounds the committee.
Also recommended by the committee is change in name of the accountability committees.
Ongalo stated the committee wants the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) be renamed PAC Central Government.
The Local Government Accounts Committee, if approved, will be named PAC (Local Government) while Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) will be renamed PAC (COSASE).
“The restriction of the name Public Accounts Committee to one committee was misleading the public thereby causing a communication problem. Changing their names would remove speculation and be more mandate specific,” Ongalo said.
Kadaga said she would set a date when the House would discuss the amendments.