Joint team formed to expedite govt agenda in Senate

The Executive and the Senate have formed a joint technical team to fast track passing of crucial bills and address other legislative issues in the August house.

The committee, which will be led by the Clerk of the Senate and the secretary to the Presidential Delivery Unit was formed after a consultative meeting between the National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee and the Senate Liaison Committee on Monday.

Speaking Monday during a joint consultative meeting between the two entities, Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i said the committee will assist in fast-tracking government businesses in the Senate.

“The team will ensure that we don’t lose more time in the delivery of the legislative interventions we seek from the Senate. However, this does not mean that the quality of the Senator’s work will be compromised,” he said.

“We are very grateful to the commitment the chairs of the Senate Committees have shown. They have demanded of us greater accountability and responsibility in addressing legislative and policy business. We will do our best in terms of information-sharing and reviewing the implementation of government programmes,” he added.

On multiple occasions, government operations have been encumbered by institutional friction, with Dr. Matiang’i highlighting some critical legislation pending conclusion in the Senate and lukewarm information-sharing as among the major impediment to project management.

Regarding invitations sent to the Cabinet Secretaries by the Committees over critical issues in their line ministries, the CS asked the legislators to exhaust the available information-sharing channels before issuing inflexible summons.

He also urged the Committee chairs to go beyond the usual Question and Answer sessions and institutionalize other tools of oversight, including public policy briefs and ex-ante and exfacto evaluations, to avoid derailing project implementation.

This he added will enhance productive legislation and oversight and advance collaborative tracking of the outcomes of government investments at the grassroots with the sole focus on delivering first-class services to the people of Kenya.

Speaker of the Senate Kenneth Lusaka said the executive should work closely with Parliament despite upholding the principle of separation of powers.

The meeting is the first of the several lined up meetings between the two entities in order to improve the working relationship that aims at hastening implementation of national development projects.

On his part, Attorney General Paul Kariuki Kihara vouched for the potential utility of such a consensual approach to separation of power and unprejudiced exercising of institutional powers in government operations.

  

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