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Committee System

Committee System


Under a parliamentary democracy, Parliament oversees Government administration and subjects its activities to detailed scrutiny on behalf of the electorate.

To carry out this important function, Parliament has established parliamentary committees that conduct surveillance on defined areas of Government administration. A parliamentary committee system ensures that the Executive is accountable to Parliament. It enables Parliament to probe into any maladministration and make recommendations for improvement. Parliamentary committees have been in existence in the Kingdom of Eswatini as far back as the pre-independence era. The committees have undergone growth and procedural changes over the years due to a number of factors such as increased governmental responsibilities and activities. This culminated in the introduction of a Committee System in 2007, where the bulk of Parliament work is done in Committees.

This system brings the legislature face to face with bureaucrats, thus increasing the information available to Parliament on governmental problems.

Appointment of Members to Committees

According to the provisions of Section 129 of the Constitution Act No. 001 of 2005 provides that each chamber shall appoint sessional committees and other committees as may be necessary for the effective discharge of the functions of that chamber. Accordingly, the Standing Orders of both chambers provide for the modalities of the appointment of these Committees and every Parliamentarian, not being a Minister, shall belong to a Committee.  

Types of Committees

The introduction of the Committee system in 2007 saw the establishment of the Committees’ Section of the Table Office. This does not imply that Parliament   did not have Committees before. Parliament, before this time, was using the plenary model to do business. Currently, much of the work of the House of Assembly and Senate is done in Committees. These Committees examine issues in detail, from government policy and proposed new laws. There are three (3) kinds of Committee, namely: (1) Portfolio Committees, (2) Sessional Committees and (3) Select Committees.