In this section, the performance of the House of Parliament as an institution is assessed in accordance with it’s constitutional mandate of Legislation, Representation, Oversight, Appropriation and Exemplary Leadership.
- Legislation – The Parliament of Uganda is the legislative body of the country; it plays a significant role in debating Bills and enacting laws and providing for good governance in the country. Furthermore, legislation also entails the aspect of participation-which gives MPs the platform to front, move motions, table bills and vote on tabled bills. This function is essential to policy legitimization and formulation as well as evaluation of already existing policies on behalf of the people. In this regard, the House is measured against; Petitions received, Bills passed into law, Motions received among others-which information is derived from: The Plenary Hansard, Committee reports and verified by African Leadership Institute’s (AFLI) research team.
- Representation – MPs are accordingly elected in accordance with the Parliamentary Elections Act of 2005 (as amended) as representatives (duty bearers) through whom citizens of Uganda participate in the affairs of Government. Therefore, as peoples’ representatives, MPs are obligated to attend and participate in plenary sessions to influence the final collective decisions of the House of Parliament. In their representative function and parliament being a House where people’s representatives deliberate, approve or adopt common positions for the-defense, well-being and national interests of Uganda, the MPs are principally spokespersons for the areas and people they represent and Uganda as a whole. When citizen’s rights are trampled upon, abused or threatened, they are expected to speak out in the defense of ordinary citizens. Also, when citizens’ interests have been marginalized, short-changed or undermined, they are expected to speak out in promotion of citizens and national interests. The representative functions of the House are measured by: attendance and participation trends & patterns of MPs, adjournments made, sessions delayed using data derived from: The Plenary Hansard, Committee Reports and verified by AFLI’s research team.
- Oversight – There are two ways in which parliament oversees: 1) through committees (standing and sessions) which scrutinize, monitor, hold public hearings and make recommendations to the plenary on all matters submitted to parliament by the respective ministries, departments and agencies of government. 2) Through independent constitutional or statutory bodies-so parliament as an accountability institution also supervises the work of government through these bodies that report to parliament. It uses the observations and recommendations in those reports to supervise the executive arm of government on behalf of government. Performance of the House under this function was measured by: a) the number of reports presented to the plenary, b)member signing of reports , c) attendance and participation in committees, d) public hearings held e) uptake of CSO recommendations in committee reports( which signifies involvement of citizens in parliamentary decision making).
- Appropriation – In simple terms,appropriation is an act of securing or setting aside a particular amount of money for a specific purpose. This function is undertaken by the Parliament of Uganda in accordance with: a) article 156 of the 1995 constitution of Uganda, and b) Part III section 14 & 16 of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) 2015 as amended. All these mandates Parliament to; scrutinize, periodically sanction or undertake systematic inquiry or make pronouncements and recommendations for a course of action on errant or deviations from the approved and or appropriated government policies and funds and eventually provide approval estimates, policy recommendations, review of national priorities. Under this, the House is assessed on how it manages the principle of appropriation in line with the nation’s aspirations and goals as laid out in the National Development Plan and its relevance to the SDGs. The parameters assessed here are: scrutiny, approval, oversight and sanction according to the Parliament of Uganda’s rules of procedure. It also looks at trends and evidence of Parliament’s uptake of CSO proposals on the budget for the period under review. This is information is got from Committee Reports, Committee Hansard, Ministry of Finance Reports and Parliamentary Budget Office as well as Citizens’ Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG).
- Exemplary leadership and Decorum – Public Duty under The Oath of allegiance is taken by all Members. Members have to be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Republic of Uganda and to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and to uphold the law and act on all occasions in accordance with the public trust placed in them. This means that the MP has to have the national interest at heart in all his or her duties.MP should take a decision in the interest of the general public, have integrity on the matters of financial obligations, be accountable to the electorate and promote and support good governance by leadership and example. By representing the apex governing organ in the country, MPs are bestowed the titled of Honourable and therefore, they are obligated to inspire exemplary leadership and conduct their private and public affairs with dignity and Honor (Decorum). Here, MPs are assessed on: a)usage of rules of procedure- assessed was how often MPs make use of rules of procedures to guide the orderliness of business in the House, b)compliance/ adherence to the rules of procedure- here the scorecard assesses those whose conduct was reported to be in conflict with rules of procedure, c) severe cases appearing before the parliamentary disciplinary committee-depending on severity of non-compliance, the scorecard assesses those who are referred to and had to appear on the disciplinary committee. All these data are accessed from the Plenary and Committee Hansard.