House committee breached NA Act and RoP: Speaker

House committee breached NA Act and RoP: Speaker

SAM Staff,
Jigme Zangpo

Speaker Jigme Zangpo has informed the National Assembly’s house committee members in writing that their recent decision to dissolve the committee has violated the National Assembly (NA) Act and the Rules of Procedure (RoP).

The letter, which was issued on Thursday, asked the committee members, who wish to resign to inform him with reasons by August 10.

Speaker Jigme Zangpo stated in the letter that committee members should respect the RoP and the National Assembly Act. He stated that neither the committee nor the Speaker has the authority to dissolve the committee. Citing Section 354 of the RoP, he said that only the House has the authority to establish new committees or remove committees when deemed necessary.

The house committee, the Speaker in the letter stated, has to be given continuity since it has many administrative and management tasks to carry out. Citing Section 312 of RoP, the Speaker stated that the House should elect the members of the committee.

On July 14, the house committee meeting decided to dissolve the committee, which the Speaker has stated was against the National Assembly Act and the RoP.

He said that the committee was formed according to Section 10(11) of the Constitution, which states, “Both Houses shall determine their rules of procedure, and the proceedings of each House shall be conducted in accordance with its own rules. The rules of procedure in each House shall provide for the appointment of committees to carry out the business of Parliament.”

According to Sections 311 of RoP, a committee shall work in accordance with its Terms of Reference or for such matters as the Speaker or the National Assembly may direct from time to time. Section 346 of RoP states that the Speaker may issue directions to a committee for regulating its procedure and the organisation of its work.

The members had decided to dissolve the house committee following alleged grievances against the Speaker and the National Assembly Secretary General.