A series of workshops were carried out during the recess period of the Somali House of the People.
During March and the first week of April 2015, the members and staff of the House of the People participated in a variety of training activities, within the AWEPA “Supporting Legislative Institutions in Somalia” Programme.
The objective of this workshop was to enable the Members to review, discuss, internalise and approve the proposed amendments to the Rules of Procedure, the draft Code of Conduct for Members and the five Private Members Bills drafted with the technical support of AWEPA’s experts. This would prepare the Committee to present them to the House for approval/enactment.
The workshop, attended by 20 people, was graced by the presence of the Speaker and the second Deputy Speaker
The Standing Committee is the policy-making organ of the House of the People that is responsible for, among others, approving and scheduling the business and agenda of the House.
During the workshop members reviewed, discussed and internalised the draft documents approved by the Rules of Procedure Committee the previous week. A broad consensus was developed to schedule and support the proposed amendments to the Rules of Procedure, the Code of Conduct and the five Private Members Bills when they are presented for debate and approval/enactment. It was agreed that they will be put on the Agenda as priority business to be handled during the sixth Session.
The Standing Committee Workshop was attended by the Chairpersons and Deputy Chairpersons of Committees as well as the Chief Whip, as well as by the Speaker and the Second Deputy Speaker.
Building on the previous two workshops held last year, the SOWPA Workshop was implemented with a view to widening/strengthening the knowledge base and the soft skills of the members of SOWPA and in particular the Women Parliamentarians, in areas such as leadership and self-confidence, resource mobilisation and accountability, gender-budgeting, scrutiny of Bills from a gender perspective with the objective of engendering the legislation enacted by the House.
The workshop was attended by first Deputy Speaker, the Chief Whip, 33 Members of Parliament and four AWEPA Officials from Headquarters, including the out-going and the in-coming Political Coordinators, for the AWEPA–Somalia Programme.
The Secretary General and 19 senior staff from the House of the People of Somalia, as well as the Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General of the House of Representatives of Puntland State of Somalia participated in the staff attachment programme to the Parliament of Uganda.
The participants were exposed to two days of interactive discussions on many issues connected with Parliamentary procedure and practice, the organization and effective delivery of services to the Members and Committees of Parliament.
The staff were attached to the corresponding departments for practical exposure to how things are actually done, how work is supervised, recorded and disseminated to the wider audience. The staff also had the opportunity to experience peer to peer exchange of information, knowledge and skills.
The Planning Meeting was chaired by the Speaker and attended by both the first and the second Deputy Speakers. Representatives of seven Partner Organisations, including UNDP, Conflict Dynamics International (CDI), Oslo Centre, Chemonics (SSG), Max Planck Foundation and Somalia One were also present.
The meeting reviewed and discussed the Speaker’s Performance Report for the House of the People during the last Session and developed a prioritised list of milestones on the journey to achieving “Vision 2016”.
The meeting also identified the necessary Action Points to achieve the milestones, agreed on the timeframe for implementation and identified the potential Partners to support implementation of specific activities.
The difficult choices to be made, the opportunities for success and the risks of failure due to the time constraint were brought to the spotlight. During the meeting, it was agreed that the House of the People should do whatever is possible to ensure that there is a peaceful transfer of power in September 2016.