Vice President Saulos Chilima says more than 300 pieces of legislation in Malawi need amendments to unlock implementation of reforms.
He made the remarks on Wednesday when he met Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara, First Deputy Madalitso Kazombo, Second Deputy Aisha Adams and the secretariat led by the Clerk of Parliament.
Chilima said for the Public Sector Reforms to have meaningful impact on the people of Malawi, there must be collaboration between the legislature and the executive especially on legislative reforms in parastatals and government ministries that are blocking progress for reforms.
He added that the meeting aimed at enhancing this collaboration as well as appreciating the reforms that Parliament would like to implement for it to achieve efficiency, effectiveness and professionalism.
He then noted that the reforms that Parliament is embarking on will help the institution improve trust with the general public and strengthen cooperation between Parliament and other arms of government.
The reforms also aim at attaining the much needed financial, legal and administrative autonomy for Parliament.
“On reforms on autonomy, I have assured the Speaker of Parliament thatHis Excellency Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, President of the Republic, is committed to enhancing Parliament autonomy to achieve the desired separation of powers in practice,” said Chilima.
Reforms that Parliament is working on also include automation of Parliament registers to reduce absenteeism in the chamber, automation of Hansard transcription, enhancing parliamentary outreach between lawmakers and electorates through establishment of parliament radio and TV, as well as e-parliament to evolve to paperless transactions.
Chilima today also engaged the Parliamentary Committee on Government Assurances and Public Sector Reforms to update them on the reforms, solicit their views and feedback as well as highlighting the critical role that they have as lawmakers in ensuring that the onus of having a clear legal framework to drive the reforms agenda rests with them.
He said his Ministry of Economic Planning and Public Sector Reforms expressed commitment to transparency and accountability in the process of carrying out public sector.
Participants agreed to work on a well structured programme of oversight for continued engagement in order to ensure an effecient, effective and professional public service.
Chilima said: “I have assured the Committee that the next national development agenda has taken into account the reforms agenda through the three key pillars of commercialisation, industrialization and urbanisation.
“In this vein, I have reiterated that legislative reforms will be critical to achieving goals of the three pillars and this is where Parliament and oversight Committees will play a major role.”