Parliament has granted leave to Kilak North MP, Hon Anthony Akol to table a Private Members’ Bill that among others seeks to repeal and rename the ‘Rebecca Kadaga Institute of Parliamentary Studies’ into the Institute of Parliamentary Studies.
If passed, the new law will repeal the Institute of Parliamentary Studies Act 2020, and reverse the institute’s autonomy, absorbing its staff back to the Parliamentary Service. Initially known as Institute of Parliamentary Studies established in 2012, the Institute was in 2020 established by an Act of Parliament as a semi-autonomous body and later controversially renamed as Rebecca Kadaga Institute of Parliamentary Studies (RAKIPS) with a one Charles Binwe as its Executive Director.
However, in a letter 24th September 2021, Clerk to Parliament, Adolf Mwesige, announced the suspension of the Institute’s activities saying RAKIPS has no capacity to manage a vote of its own. Mwesige also called for an extensive audit on the operations, expenditures of the Institute since its inception.
“I have received reliable information to the effect that the funds disbursed to RAKIPS in form of subvention are being managed in an illegal and irregular manner,” Mwesige said in his letter addressed to the RAKIPS ED.
“…requesting the Internal Auditor of Parliament to commence an audit of all RAKIPS expenditures from inception to date. I have also initiated consultations with the Accountant General to advice on the propriety of the Bank Account and made of expenditure of Public Funds allocated to RAKIPS.”
In his motion tabled on Thursday, Akol defends his proposal to streamline the activities of the Institute, saying its operations are illegal.
“…high growth rate of Government agencies in Uganda has continued to create jurisdictional ambiguities, drain the national treasury at the expense of effective service delivery, overstretch the capacity of Government to sustain agencies, cause salary disparities between agency employees and traditional civil servants leading to wastage of resources,” said Akol in defence of his motion.
“…the continued existence of a separate body corporate as an independent entity but still under the Parliamentary Commission runs contrary to the Government of Uganda decision to rationalise government agencies,” he added. His motion was seconded by MP Christine Apolot (NRM, Kumi District) and MP Dan Atwijukire Kimosho (NRM, Kazo County).
The new Bill also proposes extensive amendments to the Administration of Parliament Act which among others will make the Deputy Speaker, a member of the Parliamentary Commission. Currently, the Deputy Speaker attends by virtue of the law construing the Speakership to include the Deputy Speaker. Clause 2 of the Bill seeks to bring the Deputy Speaker into the commission in his/her own right.
“The Commission shall be composed of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, the Leader of Government Business or his or her nominee, the Leader of the Opposition or his or her nominee, the Minister responsible for Finance and four Members of Parliament one of whom shall come from the Opposition and none of whom shall be a Minister," reads Clause 2 of the Bill.