Tue | Jun 6, 2023

Separate executive and legislative arms of Gov’t

Published:Saturday | April 1, 2023 | 12:25 AM


I watched the proceedings of the Integrity Commission Oversight Committee of the Parliament and several things struck me about the proceedings, but I will here comment on only one.

There are three ministers of Government that sit on this committee, these ministers also sit on other committees of Parliament. The minister of tourism is chairman of the mentioned committee and is also leader of government business in the Lower House of the Parliament.

My question is: how can these ministers do justice to their very important legislative and committee functions while being members of the executive?

Members of parliament (MPs) do not have offices in the parliament building nor do they have personal staff to support them to effectively and efficiently carry out their legislative and committee functions. MPs who also are part of the executive have challenges because of the demands on their time by ministerial responsibilities. These competing demands means some important matters will either not be done well or entirely left undone.

This makes for a strong case to separate of the executive from legislative arms of government. This would allow ministers to concentrate their efforts on their executive functions and MPs to do the same for their duties in the legislature. This would increase the possibility of the more effective and efficient performance and increase the likelihood of more efficient and better quality governance, something we all crave.

The separation of the executive from the legislature is not on the agenda of the upcoming constitutional review process. Those we invested with power decided for the rest of us – we, the people, should have a voice in these critical processes.