Assistance of experts and researchers sought for special parliamentary committees
Tue, Jul 20, 2021, 11:13 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.
July 20, Colombo: The Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake said that the attention of the Parliamentary Liaison Committee was drawn to seek the assistance of experts and researchers for special committees such as the Committee on Public Finance, the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) and the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA).
A number of Committee Chairmen including Dinesh Gunawardena, Leader of the House and Foreign Minister, Chairman of the Committee on Finance Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and Trade Minister Bandula Gunawardena who participated in this Committee meeting chaired by Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena expressing their views in this regard, pointed out the need to obtain the contribution of experts in various fields including economics.
Mr. Yapa pointed out that that the assistance of experts as well as researchers is very much needed as committees such as the Committee on Public Finance have to meet daily during the budget period and have to discuss and approve economic and financial regulations.
The Leader of the House, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena who approved this view also stated that it is very important to seek the assistance of experts for special committees. He also said that the possibility of amending the Standing Orders and holding Ministerial Consultative Committee meetings within the Ministry should be explored and through that it would be possible to get the participation of more officials.
In addition, attention was drawn to the possibility of holding committees with public engagement such as the Committee on Public Petitions outside Parliament, the Secretary General said. He also said that the members of the committee had instructed him to look for a place to use a government building outside the parliament premises for this purpose and through this the public participation in the committees could be increased.
The Minister of Trade Bandula Gunawardena as well as the Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera pointed out the need for researchers to make the MPs more aware of the issues that need to be addressed during parliamentary debates.
The Liaison Committee meets once in two months under the chairmanship of the Speaker. At the meeting Secretary General said that officials are currently being contacted online at many committee meetings and that steps have been taken to update the website and make the information of the committees more accessible to the public.
The Secretary General said that the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) meetings and the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) meetings are recorded and broadcast. With the permission of the Chairpersons of other Committees, press releases are issued to the media through the Department of Communication of Parliament he added.
Meanwhile, Leader of the House Minister Dinesh Gunawardena requested the Speaker to look into the possibility of holding Ministerial Consultative Committee meetings at the relevant ministry premises as it is possible to obtain the contribution of a large number of officials.