ANZACATT Professional Development Seminar 2010 Strengthening, Securing and Promoting Parliament Workshop 2A Benchmarking – International developments in strengthening parliaments Presentation by Tom Duncan Clerk of the Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory.
Strengthening, Securing and Promoting Parliament
Workshop 2ABenchmarking – International developmentsin strengthening parliaments
Tom DuncanClerk of the Legislative Assembly
for the Australian Capital Territory
Recent international benchmarking studies
1. Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Evaluating Parliament – a self-assessment toolkit for parliaments, 2008<http://www.ipu.org/PDF/publications/self-e.pdf>
2. Institute for Democratic and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), Assessing the Quality of Democracy: An overview of the International IDEA Framework, 2008<http://www.idea.int/publications/aqd/overview.cfm>
3. National Democratic Institute (NDI), Toward the Development of International Standards for Democratic Legislatures, 2007<http://www.ndi.org/files/2113_gov_standards_010107.pdf>
4. Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Benchmarking for Democratic Legislatures – A study Group Report, 2006<http://www.cpahq.org/Uploadedfiles/Information>
Benchmarking Parliamentary PerformanceWorkshop sponsored by Parliamentary Studies Centre, organised by Bernard Wright, then Deputy Clerk of the House of Representatives, 6 November 2009
1. Legislative process 2. Scrutiny of the budget and finance 3. Executive accountability to the parliament 4. Parliamentary support and infrastructure
Benchmarking parliamentary performance – Is A minus good enough?Paper by Wayne Berry MLA, Speaker of the ACT Legislative Assembly,2008 Presiding Officers and Clerks Conference, Adelaide
IPU 2.3 How well is parliament able to influence and scrutinise the national budget through all its stages?
IDEA 2.4.4 How rigorous are the procedures for approval and supervision of taxation of public executives?
NDI 6.3.2 The legislature shall have a reasonable period of time in which to review theCPA 6.3.2 proposed budget
NDI 1.11.1 The legislature shall create and utilise mechanisms for receiving and considering public views on proposed legislation
NDI 11.1.2 Information shall be provided to the public in a timely manner regarding matters under consideration by the legislature, sufficient to allow the public and civil society to provide their views on draft legislation
IPU 3.1 How satisfactory are the procedures for subjecting draft legislation to full and open debate in parliament?
IDEA 2.4.2 How extensive and effective are the powers of the parliament or legislature to initiate, scrutinise and amend legislation?
IPU 3.2 How effective are committee procedures for scrutinising and amending draft legislation?
IPU 3.4 How adequate are the opportunities for individual Members to introduce draft legislation
Benchmarkingexecutive accountability to parliament
NDI 7.4.1 The legislature shall ensure that public accounts committees provide Opposition parties with a meaningful opportunity to engage in effective oversight of executive branch expenditures
CPA 7.2.2 Oversight committees shall provide meaningful opportunities for minority or Opposition parties to engage in effective oversight of government expenditures. Typically, the Public Accounts Committee is chaired by a member of the Opposition party.
IDEA 2.3.3 How effective and open to scrutiny is the control exercised by elected leaders and their ministers over their administration staff and other executive agencies?
NDI 7.1.1 The legislature shall have sufficient means and mechanisms to effectively fulfil its oversight function
NDI 7.1.2 The legislature shall have mechanisms to obtain information from the executive branch sufficient to meaningfully exercise its oversight function
IPU 2.1 How rigorous and systematic are the procedures whereby Members can question the executive and secure adequate information from it?
IDEA 2.4.3 How extensive and effective are the powers of the parliament or legislature to oversee the executive and hold it to account?
Questions on notice
Calls for documents
IDEA 2.4.8 How well does the parliament or the legislature provide a forum for deliberation and debate on issues of public concern?
IPU 2.4 How effectively can parliament scrutinise appointments of executive posts and hold occupants to account?
– public participation
– number of witnesses
– number of submissions