Interim Leader of Partit Demokratiku (PD) Godfrey Farrugia has stated that currently, “Parliament is failing to be accountable to the people”. It therefore proposes that Parliament Standing Committees are initiated.
PD believes that Parliamentary Standing Committees provide a democratic opportunity for detailed investigation and discussions before the findings and outcomes of a particular subject are addressed to the plenary. Their smooth running and effectiveness contribute to good governance.
“Most standing committees run with ulterior political agendas”
Partit Demokratiku has shamed a number of standing committees for allegedly not carrying out their required work, and for “running with ulterior political agendas”. The Party called out the Petition Committee, the Health Committee, the Environmental Committee and the Public Accounts Committee.
The Petition Committee was named for not finding the time to meet even once since the beginning of this year (the last meeting was held on 24th October 2018); and more so, since none of the people’s petitions presented in this legislature to Parliament have as yet been processed, as no standard procedure has been established.
The Party called out the Health Committee for not holding a single meeting since the last meeting which was held on 5th December 2018. It is believed that PD had asked this Committee to discuss the effects of 5G on the health and wellbeing of society.
The Environmental Committee was also mentioned for not discussing PD’s proposal to deliberate on PA’s Rural Policy. Moreover, it has left the Public Domain Act gathering dust in limbo together with a number of recommendations, despite PD’s insistence.
The Public Accounts Committee is believed to have met 47 times in this Legislature since PD had asked it two years ago in August 2017 to recommend that the Auditor General investigates and checks whether there are breaches in the Smart City’s contract.
PD stated that the Government is not only dictating the Parliamentary agenda, but has also hijacked its procedure; and that Parliament’s integrity and reputation need to be restored urgently.