Committees of the House have served to expedite Parliamentary business by allowing for small representative units of Parliamentarians to consider Bills, conduct studies and investigations, invite public participation where necessary, evaluate estimates and budgetary requests etc., after which they tabled their reports in the House for approval. The National Assembly of the 10th Parliament of Kenya had well over a dozen committees which fell under 4 kinds: Committees of the Whole House; Standing Committees; Ad hoc Select Committees; and Departmental Committees; Click on the following link to Parliament's official website for more on the current Committees of Parliament

56. (1) Subject to this Constitution, the National Assembly may- (b) subject to standing orders ......., establish committees in such manner and for such general or special purposes as it thinks fit, and regulate the procedure of any committee so established.

These Committees could carry on their work even if a vacancy existed in the office of Speaker:

37. (3) No business shall be transacted in the National Assembly (other than an election of the Speaker) at any time when the office of Speaker is vacant, but this subsection shall not prevent the transaction of business by a committee of the Assembly.

In a bid to revitalize the Committees, Parliament had a free hand to determine the general environment under which they operated:

57. Without prejudice to the powers conferred by section 56, Parliament may, for the purpose of the orderly and effective discharge of the business of the National Assembly, provide for the powers, privileges and immunities of the Assembly and its committees and members.

The jury is still out there on whether these Committees had the mandate and the will to act with independence and without any fear. 


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