Committee planned to manage the rooms

Senator Maxine Seymour congratulates newly appointed Senator Michaela Barnett-Ellis during yesterday’s Senate meeting. Photo: Donavan McIntosh/Gallery Staff



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THE Senate yesterday passed a resolution for the establishment of a Standing Committee of Parliament to enable the independent management, administration and management of the two Houses.

In proposing the resolution, Economic Affairs Minister Michael Halkitis said that one of the main reasons for the resolution was that Parliament, as an equal branch of government, should have control over its own budget and the management of its affairs.


The Cabinet Office, prior to the resolution, administered Parliament’s budget.

This is something former Speaker of the House Halson Moultrie challenged and repeatedly called on Parliament to act independently.

“Much of what brings us here is the feeling and belief that Parliament being an equal branch of government, the legislature being an equal branch of government, should have control of its own budget and the management of its affairs “said Mr. Halkitis. noted. “Each year, a budget is passed for the House of Assembly and for the Senate. It’s ventilated in public. It’s voted on and approved, but in practice it’s administered by the Cabinet Office and that’s been, this reality of having a head in the national budget that’s voted on and approved, but the administration of that by the Cabinet Office again caused some consternation and that consternation was quite public.

“In recent years, especially in the last term, when we had a president who had become very, very vocal in this area and some would even say that his strong feelings and his commitment to this independence is what led us to a first poll and an early change of administration.

“So this is something for the committee to consider, Madam President. How does Parliament exercise management and control over their budgets?

“So Madam Speaker, I think the key and part of the genesis of this whole resolution is the principle that Parliament, including the House of Assembly and the Senate, are independent (and) empowered to administration for their own budget so that they can be more nimble and act faster to obtain the goods and services they need to fulfill their responsibilities.

The debate also saw senators on both sides agree that the physical condition of Parliament needed improvement to ensure the effectiveness of all representatives.

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