The Senate of Pakistan has taken a quantum leap towards adopting and implementing self conceived new development strategy and has introduced a number of reforms and initiatives, patronized by elected leadership headed by incumbent Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani, to enhance outreach of the House and its Committees besides ensuring transparency and openness which are pivotal for promoting good governess in the country, says a press release received here today from Geneva.
These views were expressed by Secretary Senate Amjed Pervez Malik during his presentation at Association of Secretary Generals (ASGP) meeting being held alongside 135th Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Geneva. He apprised the participants that the Senate of Pakistan has developed and strengthened internal mechanism and introduced reform process for sustainable parliamentary development through indigenous planning and self reliance without much dependency on outside support. An indigenous self conceived programme of ‘Clerks of the Parliament’ was developed to infuse dynamism and progressiveness into the very working and strategic paradigm of the Upper House by formalizing a pathway for young graduates to serve the parliament with fresh perspectives, ideas, knowledge, skills and youthful energy. The Clerk programme also fills the missing link of permanently retaining talented and well trained interns which was missing in the previous donor driven internship programme. It would also make it possible to create to specialized parliamentary cadre, a nursery and permanent reservoir of skilled human resource to improve the human resource profile of the Senate. This also signifies importance of synergizing a political will and mobilization of the indigenous resources for executing a task through a pro-active approach.
While sharing the initiatives introduced by Senate of Pakistan in the reform process, he said that the House Business Advisory Committee has been made more vibrant and effective. In a landmark development the Upper House (Senate) has been given representation in the Public Accounts Committee. He said that besides giving more focus to discussions on Parliamentary Reports, the issues of national, international importance and public significance has been adopted by the House as a regular feature. He further stated that the E-Parliament concept is being worked out and the presence of the senior officials of the ministries and departments concerned has been made mandatory during the Senate sitting and a mechanism has been evolved under the rules for implementation of recommendations given by the House and Committees. With regard to initiatives pertaining to transparency and openness, Secretary Senate informed that a code of conduct is being prepared and finalized for members of the Senate and attendance of members, synopses of the Senate Session and Annual Report in the form of ‘Report to the People’ has also been published and placed on the website of the Senate. He said that the House has given access to information regarding salaries, allowances and privileges of Chairman, Deputy Chairman, Leader of the House, Leader of the Opposition and other members of the Senate.
While highlighting the silent features of the parliamentary outreach programme Mr. Amjed Pervez said that initiatives such as Public Petitions, Know your Parliament, Live Webcasting, commemorating Foundation Day of Senate and Constitution Day, revamping the Senate website, inter-institutional dialogue, internship programme and engaging Clerk of the Parliament, Guests of Parliament and Guided Tour of Parliament House and especially that of recently established Gali-e-Dastoor (Constitutional Lane) have been introduced in addition to consolidating the existing programmes for enhancing the access of the public to the Parliament.
The Secretary Generals of more than 150 member countries took keen interest in presentation and asked questions about making parliamentary development initiatives more indigenous and sustainable on Pakistan Senate example.