Premier, Hon. Alden McLaughlin moved the Legislative Assembly (Management) Bill, 2020, that he termed “one of the most important bills before the House”, in the LA this morning.
Members unanimously assented to the second reading of the bill before adjournment in the afternoon, thereby ensuring its smooth final passage. The actual final vote will be taken after the bill is scrutinised during the committee stage of the bill which follows next on Monday, 19 October when the House resumes.
Taking a historic look at how long it has taken to bring such a bill to the House to make the legislature an independent body, the Premier underscored the importance in a robust democracy to maintain the necessary separation of the three branches of Government – the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary. He also noted that the House is soon to be termed as Parliament.
Mr. McLaughlin commented, “So for many years we have paid lip service to the autonomy of this Legislative Assembly. It is my hope and prayer that the passage of this bill will end the lip service and put into motion the removal of the Legislative Assembly from the authority of the Deputy Governor and the Civil Service.”
Under the current arrangement, the direct administrative responsibilities of the House rest in the hands of a non-elected senior civil servant, and by extension, ultimately in the hands of the Governor, who has responsibility for the Civil Service, the Premier explained.