A review of the parliament’s Standing Orders is currently underway by Members of Parliament. Almost 20 MPs, including the Speaker of the National Parliament, Mr. Patterson Oti and the newly appointed Secretary to Cabinet Mr. Nego Sisiolo was present at the review session, supported by the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP. Chairman of the Parliamentary House Committee, MP for Small Malaita, Mr. Rick Hounipwela says the review was brought to the Committee’s agenda a few years back but because of the pandemic, the review never eventuated till now.
“What we are doing now is to review these Standing Orders for the next parliament to implement’ Hou said.
UNDP Country Manager, Mr. Berdie Berdiyev says UNDP recognizes that effective, inclusive, and accountable processes and institutions such as parliament and political parties capable of sustaining peace and ensuring respect for human rights and the rule of law are essential to sustainable development that leaves no one behind.
He said as rules, the Standing Orders not only protect the interests of the Institution of parliament but they also enable different perspectives and embed interests of political parties as well as the public that it serves.
“The House is a robust environment where passionately held beliefs and staunch opinions are constantly in contest. Therefore, the Standing Orders provides an important framework for these robust debates to happen while seeking a good balance of the different parliamentary interests and regulating acceptable parliamentary behaviour”, Berdiyev said.
MPs participating in this review included Ministers, Members of the Executive Government, Opposition Office, Speaker of Parliament, Clerk to Parliament supported by staff from the National Parliament.
The review will be done over two days.
The Standing Orders are subsidiary legislation made under the constitution (section 62) and prescribe the manner in which the Members should conduct themselves and the way in which the business of the Parliament was arranged.
The Standing Orders can be reviewed and undergo changes as seen fit by the Parliamentary House Committee.