Duties and functions

Cabinet Members Learn to Balance Constituency Work and Ministerial Responsibilities

Castries, Saint Lucia, Tuesday November 30, 2021: – Newly elected parliamentarians from the cabinet of ministers in the administration led by Philip J. Pierre will learn, over the next three days, how to walk a tightrope to balance their difficult responsibilities to engage in constituency work, with the equally demanding duties of their ministerial portfolios.

The courses will be offered by local and international experts on parliamentary affairs during a post-election parliamentary seminar.

The seminar, which begins today in the Parliamentary House of Constitution Park, will also include presentations by representatives from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and the UK House of Commons.

The Speaker of the Assembly of Saint Lucia, Claudius Francis, who announced the seminar during the fourth session of the new parliament earlier this month, said it aimed to raise awareness among parliamentarians of their roles, functions and responsibilities in accordance with to the Constitution, to local law and to the best to train.

Topics include: Balance the work of constituencies and ministerial portfolios, purpose and functioning of parliaments (in Saint Lucia and UK), parliamentarians and the legislative process, fostering effective relations between members and clerks, diversity and inclusion, as good as Ethics, behavior and standards.

Francois said Saint Lucia News Online (SNO): “The CPA and the House of Commons will participate through Zoom and examine all aspects to be considered, including the roles of parliamentary subcommittees. ”

He said the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) should be given special attention, emphasizing the need to activate this important but heavily under-utilized parliamentary subcommittee.

Indeed, he said, some members have a strong feeling that the PAC “should not be limited to only MPs” and should include non-parliamentarians (such as the chief audit executive).

Another topic that may attract attention is the privileges subcommittee, which some MPs say should be headed by “someone like a retired judge …”

It is also likely to be explained who the government House leader is, as it is generally assumed that it should be the Prime Minister.

But in the current exemption, it is the deputy for Castries Sud, Dr Ernest Hilaire, who occupies the post, as the deputy for Gros Islet Mario Michel between 1997 and 2006.

The President said the seminar was both “timely and useful” as it was intended to be “an initiation for the new and a reaffirmation for the old”.

These seminars generally follow the general elections and all parliamentarians have been invited.

The training session continues until Thursday.

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