NC empowers standing committees

Martin Endjala

The National Council has embarked on a capacity building workshop for chairperson and vice- chairperson of its standing committees to equip the committees with the necessary knowledge and understanding to carry out their mandated duties.

“The main focus of this workshop is to provide an opportunity for members to be introduced to techniques of leadership and management of Standing Committees in the Parliamentary environment; to gain a greater understanding of the fundamental obligations of Standing Committees as they exercise the intermediation role of establishing accountability among all the stakeholders in the governance space,” said the vice chairperson of the National Council and the chairperson of the implementation and coordination committee, Victoria Kauma at the opening of the workshop.

The workshop is part of the Implementation of coordination committee’s annual activity plan for
The 2022/2023 Financial Year, which is organised in partnership with assistance from the Enhancing
Participatory Democracy in Namibia (EPDN) Project.

The workshop is held at the Kaizer Zum Hotel in Swakopmund and will end on Friday.

The workshop is to empower leadership of the various committees to exercise their oversight functions with efficiency.

Melania Ndjago, a National Council MP said that the Standing Committees are one of the means that Parliament use to hold government accountable through oversight, pointing out that, this leads to accountability for actions or policies, whereas oversight is about the role of parliaments in monitoring and reviewing actions of government.

“I’m emphasising that there is expanded scope of state activities including rapidly increasing bureaucracy which requires parliaments to be more active in their systematic review and supervision of executive actions to ensure transparency and accountability,” explained Ndjago.

She further stated that she is not denying that Parliament needs to do more to protect the resources of the country. Supervision of government and tools for review of government activities are needed to ensure they are done according to plan and according to law, emphasizing that it requires a significant amount of resources to accomplish.

“We are the agents of Parliament, we must understand and acquaint ourselves with the terrain and
work on mobilising the required resources to support our work to deliver on this critical component of their constitutional mandate,” Ndjago added.

She continued that they must ensure that the performance of the oversight function and that of the government’s implementation activities are not obstructed due to poorly managed or unstructured
oversight activities.

She expressed the hope that the training workshop will give them the needed tools to carry out their jobs.

The workshop come at the time that standing committees are busy reviewing very important bills and petitions particularly the land bill, repealing of certain laws and have to hit the ground running to ensure that these bills are passed during the current session.

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