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Parliament Needs Urgent Transformation – National Council Chairperson

By: Hertha Ekandjo

Chairperson of the National Council, Lukas Sinimbo, says that parliament operations need an urgent transformation from only conducting parliamentary businesses face-to-face in a digital world.

NC Chair said this during the official opening of the 6th Society of Clerk-At-The Table (SoCATT) Professional Development Seminar on Wednesday at the Safari Hotel in Windhoek.

“Parliament needs to accommodate new ways of doing things without neglecting its core functions of representation, law-making and oversight over the executive,” said Sinimbo.

Sinimbo mentioned that there was a need to capacitate both parliamentary staff and MPs to cope with new ways of conducting parliamentary business.

“The new normal created by Covid-19 has left parliaments with no other option than to adopt ICT and e-parliaments in the day-to-day running of their administration and transacting chamber business,” he noted.

Moreover, he said there was a need for parliament to adopt adaptive and innovative capacity building for staff and human resource management practices that will respond positively to envisage transformation and re-engineering of parliamentary administration and chamber business.

The 6th SoCATT has launched under the the theme re-engineering parliamentary service delivery: An opportunity to enhance and sustain the performance of parliaments’.

According to Sinimbo, re-engineering requires innovators and innovation. He further said that parliamentarians needed to acknowledge the importance of on-the-job training.

“Professional development refers to the continued training and education of an individual in regards to his or her career,” he explained.

Sinimbo stated that professional development presents new skills and makes a person a better employee, keeping one up to date on current trends and developing new skills to contribute to the success of a workplace.

The NC chairperson highlighted that as principal advisors, parliamentarians ought to be on top of their game to ensure that the legislative branch is delivering on its constitutional mandate.

The National Democratic Institute of 2007 identified that legislators often face constraints in fulfilling their roles and responsibilities, including weak individual and institutional capacity, little independence from more powerful executives and ruling political parties and limited political will.

Furthermore, he explained that high-quality analysis is sometimes difficult because of capacity constraints and a lack of strong analytical background.

The Society of Clerks- at-the-Table (SoCATT) Africa is an organ of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Africa Region. It operates within the constraints of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Africa Region Constitution and its founding Rules.

SoCATT affairs are managed by a Steering Committee, which reports and accounts to the CPA Africa Region and the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of SoCATT.

The SoCATT exists to provide a means by which the parliamentary practices and experiences of various Legislative Chambers within the Commonwealth may be shared among the Clerks-at-the-Table, or those having similar duties, in any such Legislature in the exercise of their professional duties.

SoCATT also fosters an environment of learning among officers concerning parliamentary operations.

The Society of Clerks-at-the-Table of the Commonwealth Parliaments (SoCATT) was founded in 1932 to provide means by which the Parliamentary practice of various Legislative Chambers of the Commonwealth may be made more accessible to Clerks-at-the-Table, or those having similar duties in any such Legislature.


Hertha Ekandjo

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