Standing Orders Committee of the National Assembly

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The Standing Orders Committee is a parliamentary committee of the National Assembly of Zambia consisting of the Speaker and seven members appointed by the Speaker at the commencement of every session. The Speaker is the Chairperson of the Committee. The quorum of the Committee is four.

History

Under a parliamentary democracy, Parliament oversees Government administration and subjects its activities to detailed scrutiny on behalf of the electorate.

To carry out this important function, Parliament has established parliamentary committees that conduct surveillance on defined areas of Government administration. A parliamentary committee system ensures that the Executive is accountable to Parliament. It enables Parliament to probe into any maladministration and make recommendations for improvement. Parliamentary committees have been in existence in Zambia as far back as the pre-independence era. The committees have undergone growth and procedural changes over the years due to a number of factors such as increased governmental responsibilities and activities.

Functions of the Committee

In addition to any other duties placed upon it by any standing or other order of the National Assembly, it is the duty of the Committee to consider all proposals for the amendments of Standing Orders and any petition or recommendations received regarding salaries, allowances, pensions or gratuities of officers and Members of the National Assembly and their dependents, such matters connected with the staff of the National Assembly and any such other matter as the Speaker may refer to it.

Reports and recommendations

The Committee may circulate the reports and recommendations of the Committee to Members of the National Assembly and, if within the prescribed period no objection in writing signed by a member has been received by the Clerk, the reports or recommendations are deemed to have been approved by the National Assembly. The prescribed period is not less than four sitting days, if the House is in session, and twenty-one days if the House stands adjourned.

Provided that on representation from the Speaker that the matter is urgent, the Standing Orders Committee may prescribe a shorter period.

Provided further that if objection is received from any member of the National Assembly within the prescribed period, the Committee may consider the validity of such objection and may either cause the report or recommendation to be brought up for consideration by the House or resolve that the report or the recommendation be deemed approved by the National Assembly, in which case the report or recommendation is so deemed.

The Committee examines and approves the estimates of the National Assembly and examines matters pertaining to the variation of parliamentary procedure, customs and traditions and any matters connected therewith.

See also

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Main references