Members of the 10th Parliament have commenced a two-day training on the Rules of Procedure of Parliament.
The Clerk to Parliament, Mrs. Jane L. Kibirige, who officiated at the opening session on Tuesday 24th May 2016, said the orientation was intended to train the new MPs on how Parliament works.
“This training will familiarise MPs about their conduct and what is required of them in the House, Parliamentary language and dress code,” Mrs Kibirige said.
She introduced the facilitators of the training as Hon. Wilfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East), Hon. Abdu Katuntu (Bugweri) and Hon. Jacob Marksons Oboth (West Budama South).
She said that Parliament sought their expertise because they have been serving as Members on the Rules and Privileges Committee in the 9th Parliament.
Hon. Katuntu, in his introductory remarks, emphasized a number of areas in the Rules of Procedure concerning personal conduct and other general issues for one to be an exceptional MP.
“A good MP should have basic knowledge of the Rules of Procedure of Parliament and the Constitution to avoid embarrassment.
“Dress code is an important aspect that we should pay attention to. Men are expected to wear a jacket and tie,” he added.
Katuntu encouraged MPs to do as much research as possible, adding, “When you stand up to speak, you should make sure that you are well versed with the topic on the Floor.”
He further urged the legislators to be confident when they make their contributions in the House and to take up leadership positions in committees and at Parliament.
He added that the Speaker, as the custodian of the Rules of Procedure, is supreme in Parliament.
Additionally, Hon. Niwagaba talked about the Parliamentary Commission, the roles of Commissioners and encouraged Members to acquaint themselves with the Administration of Parliament Act.
The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, who also attended the opening session, informed the new legislators that the Commission is an autonomous body.
“It was decided that the Parliamentary Commission operates independently from the Public Service; we therefore appoint our own staff and manage our own welfare,” Kadaga said.
Concerning Rules and Procedure, Niwagaba further stated that the Speaker has the right to call for meetings at any time depending on the business to be handled and that quorum of the House was important.
“Quorum is necessary for voting on important issues in the House, and it is important for Members to always attend plenary and not to wait to be called upon to vote on issues they are unaware of,” Niwagaba said.