The Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah, has faulted parliamentary committees for failing to expedite their work, which has in turn affected the output of Parliament.
Oulanyah said that in the previous session, only four bills had been passed.
“We passed four financial bills and only one bill affecting policy, which was the Mental Health Bill, 2014,” he added.
Oulanyah chastised the committees while presiding over the Parliament sitting on Tuesday, 06 November 2018 following a month’s recess.
“This was a very poor performance that we need to address. A lot of business is pending completion so we need to work on this matter and I urge the committee chairpersons to clear the back log,” Oulanyah said.
However, Hon. Joy Atim Ongom (UPC, Lira District) said sometimes the work of committees is delayed by non-responsive Ministers.
“We need you, Mr Speaker, to prevail over those ministers that are making our work in the committees hard because sometimes we need their input especially on sectoral issues,” she said, adding that, “they also hold back bills that should be in the House”.
Oulanyah, however, clarified that the bills he referred to that need speedy handling are in Parliament. He also added that committees can go ahead and do their work with or without input from the ministers.
“A committee does not need a response from a minister to process a Bill; if you have requested for a response from a minister and he does not respond, take a decision as the committee and proceed,” he said, adding that, “Ignore the minister if he is ignoring you”.
In his communication, Oulanyah also congratulated the Speaker and her delegation that attended the 139 Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) Meeting in Geneva for voting against the introduction into the IPU agenda discussion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) matters ever again.
The House also observed a moment of silence in honour of the late Attorney General, Peter Nyombi; former MP and first woman graduate in East Africa, the late Hon Sarah Ntiro; and the people who died in the landslides in Bududa.