EALA Statistics Bill coming up discussion next Monday

14Sep 2018
Edward Qorro
The Guardian
EALA Statistics Bill coming up discussion next Monday

The debate on the East African Community Statistics Bill, 2017 will take center stage as the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) resumes its sitting here next week.

Other items that will come up for discussions during the first meeting of its second session which begins on Monday will also include the East African Community Customs Management (Amendment Bill) (No 2), 2017, a communiqué released yesterday by EALA’s senior public relations officer Bobi Odiko.

The EAC Statistics Bureau Bill, 2017, seeks to establish the Statistics Bureau as an Institution of the Community under Article 9 of the Treaty and Article 21 of the Protocol on Establishment of the EAC Monetary Union.

It provides for the functions, powers, governance and its funding with a view to establishing the institution responsible for statistics in a bid to support the East African Monetary Union.

“It is in line with Article 21 (c ) of the Protocol on the Establishment of the EAC Monetary Union which provides for the Summit, on the recommendation of the EAC Council of Ministers to establish an institution responsible for statistics as one of the institutions to back the EAC Monetary Union,” reads part of the communiqué.

On the other hand, the EAC Customs Management (Amendment) (No 2) Bill, 2018, is intended to provide for customs administration to receive advance information regarding the goods being moved across national borders ahead of the arrival of the vessels carrying the goods.

In order to facilitate this, the Assembly anticipates to amend section 24 of the previous EAC Customs Management Act to require a master or agent of a vessel to provide advance information relating to consignment in the vessel.

It was introduced to the House by the Chairperson of the Council of Ministers, Rt Hon Dr Ali-Haji Kirunda Kivejinja during the Plenary in Nairobi in May 2018.

Both Bills sailed through the First Reading and were committed to the Committee on Communication, Trade and Investment (CTI), which is carrying out the public hearings this week in Arusha.

According to the statement by EALA’s communication team, other significant issues at the forthcoming Plenary are key meetings of the legislators with the EAC Executive.

The EAC Council of Ministers and the Secretary General are expected to interact with the Committee on Accounts on the EAC Audited Accounts for the Financial Year ending 30th June, 2017. A similar meeting with the Committee of Trade and Investment shall also be held to enable the Committee and the Secretary General to deliberate on the EAC Customs Management (Amendment) (No 2) Bill, 2018 and the EAC Statistics Bureau Bill, 2017.

The first week of the Sitting will be preceded by rigorous Committee work as well as further induction for Members largely on audited accounts and the EAC Budget processes and framework.

It is also expected that the house will also meet with the International Committee of the Red Cross at a seminar that shall deliberate on small arms and light weapons.

The Assembly which holds six Plenary Sessions in every Financial Year has a principle of rotation.

Its last sitting was in Nairobi in May and June this year while it last met in the city of Arusha between March 5 and 23 this year for the third meeting of the First Session of the fourth assembly.

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