President Yoweri Museveni has signed into law the Administration of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 202 to allow the Deputy Speaker an autonomous seat at the Parliamentary Commission.
This means that the Deputy Speaker can now chair meetings of the Parliamentary Commission in their own right, in the absence of the Speaker.
Unlike the past where the Deputy Speaker would only participate in Parliamentary Commission meetings and activities out of the Speaker’s benevolence, the laws now want the office of the Deputy Speaker detached from the Speaker when dealing with the Commission.
With the Deputy Speaker with a seat at the table, this means that both the Speaker and his/her Deputy can both attend the Parliament Commission meetings and have individual veto powers.
The law also seeks to scrap the Institute of Parliamentary Studies Act, 2021 and rename the Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga Institute of Parliamentary Studies (RAKIPS).
It intends to roll back the semi-autonomous status of RAKIPS as a Government agency that the institute had adopted and drop former Speaker Rebecca Kadaga’s name from the institute.
The Amendment has also repealed the Institute of Parliamentary Studies Act, 2020 and reversed the institute’s autonomy, absorbing its staff back to the Parliamentary Service, to align the Act with the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority Act, 2003.
Deputy Speaker Among who chaired the Plenary sitting on of November 18, 2021, informed the House that Museveni had assented to the administration of Parliament (Amendment) Bill 2021.
“I want to inform the House that the President has assented to our maiden bill, the Administration of Parliament (Amendment) Bill 2021,” said Among.
Parliament passed the Bill, the first during the 11th Parliament, during a sitting of October 5, 2021. The Bill was moved by a Private Member, Anthony Akol (FDC, Kilak North).
During the Plenary sitting on Tuesday afternoon Chaired by Among, some legislators took to the floor and proposed immediate consideration of the Bill.
They proposed a suspension of some of the rules that require the proposed piece of legislation to first go before a Committee of Parliament for 45 days.
After tabling the Bill for its first reading, Sarah Opendi, the Tororo Woman MP moved a motion without notice to suspend rule 129 under the Parliament Rules of Procedure, saying the Bill tabled is straightforward. The House adopted the motion and considered and passed the Bill that has now been signed into law.