Democracy Works Foundation (DWF) says it working towards the improvement of the oversight role of Malawi Parliament by making sure that parliament is acting and following up on recommendations that are given to different committees of the National Assembly.
Regional director of Democracy Works Foundation Augustine Magolowondo revealed this on Thursday 28th of September 2023 in Lilongwe at a Consultative Workshop involving representatives from oversight agencies including the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB, officials from the Malawi Parliament’s Office of the Clerk of Parliament and the Parliamentary Committee Chairpersons for Committees such as Public Accounts, Public Appointments, Government Assurances and Public Sector Reforms.
Magolowondo hinted that they aim to support Parliament through Parliamentary Support Program by ensuring that parliament has a better working relation with different oversight agencies.
“We called them to come together to reflect on how they can work effectively and collaborate particularly in ensuring that the report to these oversight agencies are duly interrogated and actioned upon,” said Magolowondo.
He cited the nature of reports, lack of capacity and the culture of not following up as some of the challenges rocking the implementation and follow up of reports that are presented to parliamentary committees by different oversight agencies.
“Many of the reports are very complex and technical, at parliament there is no level of technical to differentiate those reports, the secretariat has limited capacities too,” he said.
He then added that through Parliamentary Support Program, they seek to support parliament to have enough technical capacity to scrutinize different reports its committees receive from oversight agencies.
On his part, chairperson for Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament Albert Mbawala mentioned the short period of time the committees meet, lack of capacity among Members of Parliament to understand the reports and lack of follow-ups once the reports have been presented in the chamber as some of the hiccups facing their mandate.
Anti-corruption Bureau desk officer for parliament Jimmy Mtafya hailed DWF for the engagement as it will help to reduce a gap which has been there between oversight institutions and parliament.
The workshop aimed at drawing an Action Plan for Improved Processes and Procedures in Parliamentary Committee Usage of Agency Reports.