Speaker Praises Work Of Standing Committees
Also thanked the timely intervention by the CPA UK and their willingness to assist the Parliament.
We believe that Committees are very important, both for holding the Government to account and also advising and helping the Government to work well. Baroness Ann Taylor Head of the UK Delegation
Speaker of Parliament, Dr Jiko Luveni, said that the work of the Standing Committees over the past two years has been nothing short of remarkable.
She said this during a workshop hosted by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) UK branch for the Fijian Parliament Standing Committees and the Committees secretariat staff. “Standing Committees have been by far in my view, an effective mechanism by which citizens of this country engage with the representatives of the people in our Parliament,” Dr Luveni said. “This is not to say that we have been perfect in how we operate and I say that with the understanding, that there is always room for improvement.” Dr Luveni thanked the timely intervention by the CPA UK and their willingness to assist the Parliament. “We recognise that we face existing challenges that are common in most Parliaments of Small Island Developing States and for which we often go for assistance to those who have the experience and expertise and more importantly are willing to help us.” The head of the UK Delegation, the Baroness Ann Taylor, believes that democracy in Fiji is still new and MPs are still adjusting to their responsibilities. She has been a Member of Parliament since the 1970s “You have a relatively new democracy and people are adjusting to their responsibilities. We believe that Committees are very important, both for holding the Government to account and also advising and helping the Government to work well,” Baroness Taylor said. “It isn’t just the biggest attack on the Government. “Committees can give advice which the Government can then think about, sometimes it can take all of it and sometimes it takes none, but it is a relationship that has to build up.” She hopes that after this workshop, the MPs will gain extra confidence to take on their responsibilities and improve the way in which democracy works and how Committee systems can make a difference.
Third seated from left: United Kingdom Members of Parliament Ian Murray, Craig Whittaker, head of the UK Delegation Baroness Ann Taylor, Speaker of Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni, UK High Commissioner to Fiji Melanie Hopkins, UK MP Lisa Cameron with the other UK delegation, Government and Opposition MPs and Parliament Secretariat officials in Suva.
From left: Speaker of Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni, United Kingdom Members of Parliament Ian Murray, and Craig Whittaker, head of the UK Delegation in Suva.
From left: Director Legislature, Joeli Ditoka, Secretary-General to Parliament, Viniana Namosimalua and head of the UK Delegation, the Baroness Ann Taylor in Suva.