Ahead of the official commencement of sittings by the two chambers of Parliament, the two main political alliances in Kenya are jostling for control of various Committees and other top seats which has begun in earnest. Several chairpersons of parliamentary committees are up for grabs.
The powerful positions up for grabs are the powerful Parliamentary Service Commission, the public investments committee of which the new standing orders indicate has been split into three that is Governance and Education, Commercial Affairs and Energy, then lastly social services administration and Agriculture meaning they will have three chairpersons in addition to that of the Public Accounts Committee.
Committees are a vital tool or organ in the working processes of Legislatures, without which, the proceedings of a Legislature could grind to a halt for the sheer volume of activities that would have to be considered at Plenary. Committees are agents, which enable Legislatures to organize their work in such a way as to perform numerous activities simultaneously and expeditiously.
Committees are an efficient way of running the business of the House. Well-functioning Committees expand democratic governance. Committee mandates and membership focus attention on specific issues and engender meaningful deliberations. Committees have defined mandates and memberships. They study an issue or set of issues and then report back to the House.
In legislative context, committees may be categorized into several groups, depending on the criteria for the categorization. This criteria is two-fold; either in terms of the lifespan of a committee or in terms of the functions of committees. When categorized according to their lifespan, parliamentary committees can be divided into three categories; that is Standing committees, Sessional committees, and Ad-hoc committees.
While Standing committees last for the entire parliamentary term, say five years in case of Kenya. Sessional committees last for the period of a session. Invariably, a session in parliamentary parlance corresponds with a calendar year and its end is signified by prorogation. Ad-hoc committees are appointed by a resolution of the House as and when a need arises, to investigate a specific matter of interest to the public or Parliament and last for the period specified in the resolution, mostly not more that a session.
When categorized in accordance with their functions, parliamentary committees can either be Oversight, Departmental, or House-keeping. Oversight committees mostly examine government's expenditure while departmental committees deal with policy matters affecting departments or ministries of government. The jurisdictions of these committees are defined by the subject matter, which tends to parallel the structure of Government departments and Ministries. Their mandate is limited to the specific government ministries or departments which fall under their jurisdiction.
Below is the list of all Parliamentary Committees in Kenya
1. Administration & National Security
2. Agriculture & Livestock
3. Communication,Information & Innovation
4. Defence and Foreign Relations
5. Education and Research
7. Environment and Natural Resources
8. Finance and National Planning
10. Justice and Legal Affairs Committee
11. Labour and Social Welfare
13. Sports, Culture and Tourism
14. Trade, Industry and Cooperatives
15. Transport, Public Works & Housing
Financial Audit and Money Related Committees/Oversight Committees
15. Public Accounts Committee
16. Public Investments Committee
17. Special Funds Account Committee
18. Budget and Appropriations Committee
19. Committee on Mediation
20. Committee On Appointments
21. Committee on Delegated Legislation
22. Committee on Implementation
23. Committee of Powers and Privileges
24. Committee on Regional Integration
25. Constituencies Development Committee
26. Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee
27. Liaison Committee
28. Members Service & Facilities Committee
29. National Cohesion and Equal Opportunity
30. Parliamentary Broadcasting And Library
31. Procedure And House Rules Committee
32. Committee On Selection
33.. House Business Committee
Follow the link below for more information.
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