Cabinet Secretaries to face MPs every Wednesday
The National Assembly has approved new rules requiring Cabinet Secretaries to appear before the House for a maximum of three hours every Wednesday afternoon to answer emerging queries.
The CSs will also provide reports on their ministries to Members of Parliament.
Moses Wetang’ula, Speaker of the National Assembly, announced the new arrangement on Friday, March 24, 2023, following the amendments to the Standing Orders passed on Thursday, March 9, 2023.
The Clerk of the National Assembly, according to the Speaker, will process and transmit approved questions to the relevant ministries for responses by the respective Cabinet Secretaries in accordance with the Standing Orders.
On a regular basis, the clerk will also publish a preliminary list of Cabinet Secretaries scheduled to appear before the House on the Parliament of Kenya website.
“The Leader of the Majority Party will inform the House of the date, time, and order in which Cabinet Secretaries will appear to reply to questions and provide reports, taking into consideration the urgency of each question. A Cabinet Secretary shall provide both physical and electronic copies of the reply to a question at least one day before the said appearance,” said Wetang’ula.
The Speaker also advised lawmakers that inquiries to independent offices or constitutional commissions will be addressed in front of the appropriate House committees, with the opportunity for members to get a written response.
The National Assembly Chamber will have a specific place for Cabinet Secretaries to sit in, to the right of the Speaker and next to the public employees bench, under the new standing orders.
Members of Parliament welcomed the new rules, which allow them to ask each Cabinet Secretary a maximum of two supplementary questions and hold them accountable for their performance.
“Each Cabinet Secretary is obligated to come to the House in person, there is no room for anyone to delegate their duties,” Wetang’ula added.
It is anticipated that the inaugural appearance of Cabinet Secretaries will commence after a short break when the National Assembly resumes sittings on April 11, 2023.