The regional legislative assembly (EALA) is unwavering that it will operationalize the financial and administrative self-sufficiency granted to it by the Council of Ministers two years ago (2016).
This is why the Assembly at plenary has passed a resolution directing the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) Commission to come up with all the necessary instruments to fully achieve the objectives for which it was established including enhancing terms and conditions of service of both Members and staff of the Assembly as well as appropriate staffing.
According to a statement from the secretariat, the Assembly also adopted performance contracting as a scheme of service in the Assembly as opposed to the two term limits for its professional/technical members of staff.
At its 33rd Meeting, the Council of Ministers granted the Assembly full financial and administrative autonomy vide decision (EAC/CM 33/ Decision 29) and (EAC/CM 33/ Decision 27) in a bid to enable the Assembly to secure broad independence.
“The Assembly noted that it is already empowered under Articles 49 and 132 of the Treaty, through the Administration of the East African Legislative Assembly Act, 2012, and the EALA Rules of Procedure to, exercise such powers as granted in the afore-mentioned decision of the Council – this being through the EALA Commission, the Assembly Committees’ and the Plenary.” Reads the statement.
The Chair of the Council of Ministers, Hon Julius Wandera Maganda said the matter of autonomy touched on the operations of the Community and asked for amendment of the Resolution in that regard, to bring the matter to the Council of Ministers.
He also maintained the Council had produced some documents on the institutional review and the re-evaluation of the EALA and EACJ was understudy as well. The Chair of Council reiterated that autonomy was conditional and stated the EAC Secretariat was directed to come up with a paper defining the scope of the autonomy from its perspective.He remarked that the issue of term limits need legal and policy issues touching on the Treaty amendment as well.
According to Mr Maganda the Community re-affirmed the scope of autonomy was conditional and that certain areas including the financial rules and regulations and staff rules could be reviewed and revisited. However, he reiterated that some of the matters were subject to amendment of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC.