Establishment and Mission
The Parliamentary Service was established in 1993 by the Parliamentary Service Act (Act 460) pursuant to article 124 of the 1992 Constitution. It has a governing Board composed of six (6) Members with the Speaker of Parliament as the Chairman. The head of the Service is the Clerk to Parliament who is assisted by three (3) Deputies, Heads of Departments, Unit Heads and other specialized officers.
The Parliamentary Service exists to facilitate the work of Parliament through the provision of support services to the House including its committees and agencies for the purpose of ensuring full and effective exercise of the powers of Parliament. Furthermore, it works to enhance the dignity of the House and adequately inform the public on Parliamentary activities. In discharging its functions, the Service ensures transparency, non-partisanship and a high sense of professionalism.
Parliamentary Service Board
The Parliamentary Service is governed by the Parliamentary Service Board, which is composed of:
- The Speaker, as chairman;
- Four other members appointed by the Speaker, acting in accordance with the advice of a Committee of parliament; and
- The Clerk to Parliament.
The Board has the responsibility of promoting the welfare of Members of Parliament and Staff of the Service. It also has general control of the management of the Service in matters of policy. The Speaker has ultimate responsibility for the Service.
With the prior approval of Parliament, the Board makes regulations prescribing the terms and conditions of service of officers and other employees for the effective and efficient administration of the Service.
The Parliamentary Service Board appoints the Clerk to Parliament and other members of staff of the Service in consultation with the Public Services Commission.
Clerk to Parliament
The Clerk to Parliament is the principal advisor to the Speaker and Members on matters of privilege, practice and procedure.
As head of the Parliamentary Service, it is the duty of the Clerk to:
- arrange Sittings of the House;
- prepare the Order Paper;
- keep the Minutes Book.
Bills passed by the House are authenticated by the Clerk for Presidential assent. It is also the duty of the Clerk to preside over the first Sitting of a newly elected Parliament for the purpose of electing the Speaker.
The Clerk also presides over the Management Committee comprising the three (3) Deputy Clerks and Heads of Departments.
In the discharge of his duties, the Clerk demonstrates non-partisanship and impartiality.