Are Parliamentary Committees up to the Task?

This report presents an overview of the work of five parliamentary committees (Commi- ttee on Political System, Judiciary and Administration; Security and Defence Committee; Committee on Economy, Finance and Budget; Committee on Human Rights and Freedoms, and Anti-corruption Committee) from October 2021 until October 2022. Our assessment of the implementation of the committees’ activities was hampered by the fact that as many as three out of the selected five had failed to adopt their respective Work Plans for the current year (2022). The Anti-Corruption Committee was particularly passive, as it held only four meetings during the given period. The most active one was the Committee on Political System, Judiciary and Administration, which held 32 meetings.

The problems and challenges noted for the previous reporting period (October 2020 – October 2021) persist, especially those concerning the communication between the Parliament, on the one side, and the executive, but also some independent institutions, on the other. We noticed some instances where the Government failed to deliver its opinions to the legislative initiatives introduced by the MPs, and most notably—due to its fiscal impact— to the Draft Law on Compensation for the Former Recipients of the Benefit for Mothers of Three or More Children. Opinions on major legislative proposals were adopted without any discussion, most notably by the the Committee on Economy, Finance and Budget.

In general, there is no uniform practice or approach to conducting parliamentary hearings or reviewing reports and proposed legislation. Such lack of uniformity is best reflected in the fact that the Committee on Human Rights and Freedoms stands out in terms of proposed conclusions and recommendations (111), whereas the Security and Defence Committee—although leading in terms of the number of conducted control hearings— proposed no conclusions or recommendations that would have had broader implications for stronger parliamentary oversight.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *