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Speaker asks MPs to pressure government

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Speaker of Parliament, Richard Msowoya, has urged parliamentarians to demand reports from government on the operations of each ministry and department to ensure that there is value for money on the expenditures incurred by government on behalf of the people of Malawi as tax payers.

Msowoya said this on Tuesday in Lilongwe when he launched the guidelines for evidence use in decision-making and graduation of Parliament staff trained in evidence-based and informed decision making.

“Acknowledging the need for evidence-based decision making, it is important for the members sitting in the House and in committees to demand that the executive should provide the information necessary to enable Parliament to monitor key issues and make informed decisions,” Msowoya said.

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“Parliament committees must demand reports from government on the operations of each ministry and department to ensure that there is value for money on the expenditures incurred by government,” he added.

Msowoya said legislators need to have access to government sources of information for them to carry out their oversight, legislative and representative functions effectively.

Msowoya admitted that Parliament is lacking in terms of having researchers as there are only three researchers against 22 committees and 193 legislators.

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“In case the researchers leave, the guidelines will help whoever comes to see where to start from,” he said.

African Institute for Development Policy (Afidep) with support from the UK Department for International Development (DfID) has trained parliamentarians on the use of evidence in Parliament.

Afidep Executive Director, Eliya Zulu, said Parliament in Malawi needs to present researched information to government or other decision makers to help them make sound decisions.

“Parliament makes laws and so those laws should come from well researched information,” Zulu said.

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