The parliament is one of the key pillars of the National Integrity System, Jatiyo Sangsad (National Parliament) to establish democratic governance. Parliament’s roles are very important to fulfill people’s aspirations, enactment of people friendly laws, ensure parliament’s accountability towards people and prevention of corruption. TIB has been conducting the Parliament Watch research since the 8th Parliament considering parliament’s’ paramount importance in ensuring transparency and accountability of the government and controlling corruption. This is the 13th report in the series and 3rd of the 10th Parliament.
The report highlights few positive changes of the current parliament that include average increase of working time of the session on each working day, increase of the percentage of the total time spent in legislative businesses, increase in the presence of the members, a little decrease of average quorum crisis, avoidance of the boycott culture by the opposition, increased participation of the opposition in ensuring the accountability of the government and constructive criticism of the government. Though the increase of total time spent for legislative businesses is significant, average time spent for passing a bill was not found noteworthy. On the other hand, some challenges are still prevailing. They include use of un-parliamentary languages in the speeches of treasury bench and the opposition towards the alliance or parties that have no representation in the house. Violations of the Rules of Procedure in the behaviors of some members during sessions were also observed. There was a lack of effectiveness from the Speaker to prevent un-parliamentary language and behaviors committed by some members in the house. International treaties and agreements that took place during the reporting period were not placed by the President for discussion. Members’ participation in legislative businesses were not found remarkable. The opinions and proposals put forward by the oppositions members were not given due cognizance. As the methods and processes to seek people’s feedback on legislative processes have been quite deficient, people’s participation in this regard has been limited. The recent incidences like heinous killings by terrorists, financial misappropriation and corruption taken place in different institutions were discussed in the motion of President’s speech, budget discussion and Point of Order. However, discussions on these issues were not placed in the motion of public importance. Limited participation of female members in was observed in the motions on legislative businesses and question-answer. Besides, conflict of interest of some standing committee members, irregular meeting of the standing committees, absence of any specific timeline for implementing recommendations proposed by the standing committees, lack of discloser and access to the information in parliamentary businesses (proceedings of the sessions) and committee information (reports) were some notable challenges prevail in the parliament.