End-of-Term Report for Bangladesh Parliament

05 Aug 2013

imageEnd-of-Term Report for Bangladesh Parliament. Photo: UNDP Bangladesh.

The Improving Democracy through Parliamentary Development Project (IPD) of UNDP organized a consultation event to review the proposed draft outline of the first ever End-of-Term Report for the 9th Parliament of Bangladesh on August 5, 2013 at the IPD Conference Room.

IPD in cooperation with the Bangladesh Parliament Secretariat, have been working to prepare the End-of-Term Report for the existing 9th Parliament.

Mr. Pranab Chakraborty, Additional Secretary (IPA) of Parliament Secretariat & National Project Director of IPD Project, gave the welcome speech, and Ms. Donna Bugby-Smith, Chief Technical Adviser (CTA) of IPD, set out the expectations of the consultation event. Officials including heads of four out of seven Wings of the Parliament Secretariat plus IPD project team members attended the event.

The prime objective of the event was to share the contents of the draft outline of the core content for the End-of-Term Report and to seek the initial views and comments from the Parliament Secretariat about the proposed structure and format of the document.

The objective of this first-ever End-of-Term Report in the history of Bangladesh Parliament, is to provide an overall picture of the Parliament, its functions and powers within the context of the Bangladesh system of government.

While serving to inform the public at large about the functioning of parliamentary democracy and therefore it will be a useful outreach tool for the Parliament, it also describes the Proceedings of the 9th Parliament, including detailed statistical information and perhaps more importantly it mentions significant developments, challenges and achievements. One of the key activities which IPD undertakes is to produce knowledge documents about various functions and activities of the Parliament to benefit both the Parliamentarians and the Secretariat in order to enhance Bangladesh’s parliamentary practices. These knowledge products also help inform the public about how Parliament works which helps support the broader efforts to promote democratic practices, principles and processes in a young democracy such as Bangladesh.

Dr. K.M. Mahiuddin, Associate Professor, Department of Government and Politics, Jahangirnagar University, who has been engaged by IPD to undertake the task of preparing the End-of-Term Report, presented the draft outline for the Report and this was followed by open discussions with the Secretariat. The presentation also provided examples of End-of-Term Reports in the German Parliament (Bundestag) and the Parliament of Finland. He also mentioned that the Indian Parliament currently produces an Annual Report.

In his speech, the NPD said, “The public sector organizations in Bangladesh produce only annual reports. Since our Parliament did not have any End-of Term Report, we want to prepare and publish it for the benefit of not only the Members of Parliament but also for researchers, academics, students at home and abroad. This will be a valuable collection for which we need to set a standard format.” The NPD added “The work on this would be completed after the closure of the 9th Parliament but today we can share the draft outline to take your views, comments and suggestions on the content of the Report”.

Underscoring the importance of the Secretariat inputs and comments, the CTA stated “The task is apolitical and pioneering. The Parliament as an institution will be reflected in this Report. The 10th Parliament will find this Report as a ready reference for the MPs. It is you (the Secretariat) who must own the process to verify that whatever information is gathered by the IPD consultant is accurate and also offer your opinions about how the End-of-Term Report should be presented visually.”

In the open discussions, the Parliament Secretariat officials touched upon various aspects of the structure and format of the proposed outline for the Report. Suggestions were made to prepare the report first in Bangla and then to translate it into English. The Secretariat agreed that a second presentation about the draft report content to further verify the content and a final presentation about completed Report, will be required in order to ensure that the final approved version was error free. The National Consultant noted down these points as useful guidance for the work associated with the draft Report. The key outcome of the consultation event was the Parliament Secretariat’s commitment to whole heartedly support and cooperate by collecting key information, data and statistics to be included in the End-of-Term Report in order to make the document a useful and thoroughly comprehensive record of the work of the 9th Parliament.