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Article 10(11) of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan and Section 293 of the National Assembly Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2008 mandates the House to appoint committees in order to carry out the business of the Parliament. The Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly governs the functioning of the committees.

The National Assembly of the First Parliament had 14 Committees, which was reduced to 10 Committees in the Second Parliament. The National Assembly of the Third Parliament has 9 Standing Committees including the House Committee. The number of Committees and its members are determined by the House. The Public Accounts Committee is a Constitutional Committee which has members from the National Assembly and the National Council. The Chairperson of the Legislative Committee of the National Assembly is a member to the National Judicial Commission.

The standing committees are:
Legislative Committee

There shall be a Legislative committee consisting of five to eleven members. The Terms of Reference of the committee shall be:

  1. Review any bills, convention, treaties, protocols or agree­ments referred to it by the Speaker or the House or no its own volition, for consistency with the Constitution, other laws and policies and submit its finding to the House;
  2. Review any act or laws referred to it by the Speaker or the House or on its own volition, recommend for necessary with the Constitution, other laws and policies and submit its findings to the House;
  3. Draft and introduce any bill into the House as and when directed by the Speaker or the House;
  4. Review, inquire and investigate any matter that is brought to the notice of the Committee;
  5. Interact with relevant national, regional and international organizations and stakeholders;
  6.  Review and report to the House on the status of implemen­tation of the resolutions related to the areas of concern by the government and other relevant agencies; and
  7. Carry out any other issues related to the area of concern referred to by the House and submit the findings, opinions and recommendations.
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Public Accounts Committee(Joint Committee)

Functions and Duties of the Committee

  1. Functions of the Committee

       The Committee shall review and report to the Parliament on:

  1. The economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in the use of public resources in the implementation of policy rather than on the merits and demerits of the policy;
  1. Transparency and accountability in the resource allocation and its utilization;
  1. Various reports of the Auditor General the Committee chooses to review;
  1. The reports of the independent auditor on operations of the Royal Audit Authority;
  1. The accounts, financial statements and performances of public corporations, public companies and agencies in which public funds have been invested; and
  1. Such other accounts and reports as may be referred to the Committee by the Joint Sitting of the Parliament.

 

  1. Duties of the Committee

The duties of the Committee are to review, examine, evaluate and report on the financial and administrative activities of any agency cited in the Public Accounts and the Annual Audit Report of Royal Audit Authority.

  1. The Committee will review:
  1. the information in the Public Accounts for reliability and appropriations;
  1. matters raised in the  Annual Audit report or any other reports presented by the Auditor General which the Committee chooses; and
  1. the audit report on the Royal Audit Authority.
  1. The Committee will examine:
  1. past and committed expenditures insofar as they relate directly to and have an impact on matters falling within the year under review to assist the Committee in understanding the context;
  1. the collection of and accounting for revenues;
  1. the probity and value for money in expenditures;
  1. the adequacy of safeguards to protect assets from loss, waste and misappropriation;
  1. whether appropriate financial management controls are in existence; and
  1. examine and make such recommendations as the Committee may deem fit if any money has been spent on any service during a financial year in excess of the amount granted by the Parliament for that purpose;
  1. The Committee will evaluate:
  1. the activities of all agencies in which public funds have been invested;
  1. the systems and practices to determine whether transfer payments are used for purposes intended;
  1. the efficiency, economy and effectiveness and value for money in implementation of government programs and in their achievement of stated goals in the operation and acquisition of goods and services;
  1. whether expenditures are within the limits and for purposes authorized by the Parliament and in general, in compliance with legislative authority; and
  1. any financial management reforms in government to determine whether due regard is given…
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Human Rights and Foreign Relations Committee

There shall be a Foreign Relations committee consisting of five to eleven members.

The Terms of Reference of the committee shall be:

a) Review and recommend amendments of the existing laws and policies relating to Foreign Relations and also propose new legislations;

b) Review Bhutan’s engagement with bilateral countries, UN and international organizations including establishment of Embassies to ensure that Bhutan’s foreign policies are consistent with its national objectives;

c) Recommend measures to foster political, economic and trade ties with foreign nations;

d) Recommend measures for protection of Bhutanese inter­ests abroad; and

e) Review and recommend Treaties and Conventions to be entered into by the government.

 

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Social and Cultural Committee

There shall be a Social and Cultural committee consisting of five to eleven members.

The Terms of Reference of the committee shall be:

a) Review and recommend amendments of the existing laws and policies relating to Social and Cultural issues and also propose new legislations;

b) Recommend appropriate measures for promotion and pres­ervation of language, traditions, religion, arts and crafts, and cultural heritage;

c) Review whether poverty elevation programmes/ projects carried out by the concerned ministries/organizations achieve their intended objectives;

d) Review and study budget allocation formula for poverty reduction, balanced development, and report to the House;

e) Promotion awareness amongst the population on the stake­holders’ initiatives towards reducing poverty;

f) Review, inquire and investigate any matters that is brought to the notice of the committee;

g) Interact with relevant national, regional and international organizations and stakeholders;

h) Review and report to the house on the status of implemen­tation of the resolution related to their respective area of concern by the government and other relevant agencies;

i) Carry out any other issues related to their respective area of concern referred to by the House and submit the find­ings, opinions and recommendations; and

j) Review poverty reduction strategies, programmes and rec­ommend changes.

 

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Good Governance Committee

There shall be a Good Governance Committee consisting of five to eleven Members.

The Terms of Reference of the committee shall be:

a) Review and recommend amendments of the existing laws and policies relating to culture, poverty reduction, good governance including corporation governance, ICT and media, and also propose new legislations;

b) Review and study the status of the quality of public ser­vice delivery by the government ministries and agencies including the public corporations;

c) Review, inquire and investigate any matter that is brought to the notice of the committee;

d) Interact with relevant national, regional and international organizations and stakeholders;

e) Review and report to the House on the status of implemen­tation of the resolutions related to their respective area of concern by the government and other relevant agencies;

f) Carry out any other issues related to their respective area of concern referred to by the House and submit the find­ings, opinions and recommendations; and

g) Study and report on the annual anti-corruption report to the House.

 

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Environment and Climate Change Committee

There shall be an Environment and Urban Development com­mittee consisting of five to eleven members.

The Terms of Reference of the committee shall be:

a) Review and recommend amendments of the existing laws and policies relating to Environment, Land and Urban De­velopment;

b) Review and recommend possible course of actions on mat­ters affecting the general public related to Environment, Land and Urban Development;

c) Review, inquire and investigate any matters that is brought to the notice of the committee;

d) Interact with relevant national, regional and international organizations and stakeholders;

e) Review and report to the house on the status of implemen­tation of the resolution related to their respective area of concern by the government and other relevant agencies;

f) Carry out any other issues related to their respective area of concern referred to by the House and submit the find­ings, opinions and recommendations; and

g) The committee may assume the responsibility of the issues pertaining to the matters related to agriculture and natural disaster.

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Women, Children and Youth Committee

There shall be a Women and Children committee consisting of five to eleven members.

 The Terms of Reference of the committee shall be:

a) Review and recommend amendments of the existing laws and policies relating to Women, Children and Youth and also propose new legislations;

b) Review, inquire and investigate any matter that is brought to the notice of the committee;

c) Support promotion of the rights of women and children.

d) Interact with relevant National, Regional and International Organizations and Stakeholders;

e) Review and report to the House on the status of implemen­tation of the resolutions of the National Assembly related to Women, Children and Youth by the Government and other relevant Agencies;

f) Carry out any other issues related to Women, Children and Youth referred to by the House and submit its findings, opinions and recommendations; and

g) Ensure that legislations passed by the National Assembly are gender neutral.

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House Committee

There shall be a House Committee consisting of a Member each from the National Assembly Committees and representatives from the opposition party.

The House Committee is appointed to consider any matter re­ferred to it by the House or the Speaker.

The Terms of Reference of the committee shall be:

a) Unlike other committees, this committee will deal with the matters related to the Members of the National Assem­bly

b) Represent all members of the National Assembly and re­port their administration problems to the Secretariat;

c) Will look into the problems and welfare of the Members of the National Assembly;

d) Consider all issues raised by the non-committee mem­bers;

e) Consider all trainings, seminars, conferences, study tours and other HR related matters of the Members of the Na­tional Assembly;

f) Consider all logistics issues of the Members of the Na­tional Assembly;

g) Be responsible for all public relations of the members of the National Assembly;

h) Review, inquire and investigate any matter that is brought to the notice of the committee;

i) Oversee the moral and ethical conduct of members of Na­tional Assembly;

j) Examine complaints/cases of unethical conducts of Mem­bers of the National Assembly or connected with the par­liamentary misconduct referred to it and make recom­mendations;

k) Review and recommend amendments of the provisions of code of conduct of Members of National Assembly;

l) Interact with relevant national, regional and international organizations and stakeholders;

m) Consider all issues related to the entitlements of the Mem­bers of the National Assembly; and

n) Any other matters related to the Members of the National Assembly.

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Economic and Finance Committee

Terms of Reference of the committee

 (1)   The Committee shall review, deliberate and debate on Socio-Economic Development matters including Private Sector Development  and submit recommendations and resolutions to the Parliament.

 (2)       The Committee shall review, deliberate and debate on National Budget, National Financial Statements and any other fiscal matters and submit recommendations and resolutions to the Parliament.

 (3)       The Committee shall review, deliberate and debate on Monetary, Money, Finance and Taxation Matters and submit recommendations and resolutions to the Parliament.

 (4)       The Committee shall review, deliberate and debate on National Debt, National Borrowings, National Reserve and any other economic parameters and submit recommendations and resolutions to the Parliament.

 (5)       The recommendations and resolutions submitted to the Parliament could be of both policy and legislative reforms in nature.

 (6)       The Committee may review and reallocate the budget to achieve balanced development as per Article 9 (8) of the Constitution;

 (7)       The Committee shall present its reviewed Budget Report within ten working days after the introduction by Finance Minister in the House.

 (8)       The Committee shall advocate innovation and mainstreaming of GNH for Business and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the Corporate and Private Sector.

 (9)       The Committee shall review and report on the status of implementation of the resolutions of the preceding sessions referred to it by the House.

 (10)     The Committee shall review on any other issues referred to it by the House or on any issues of national importance that the Committee deemed important to be reviewed on its own and submit the findings and recommendations to the Parliament;

 (11)  Review, inquire and investigate any matters that are brought to the notice of the Committee; and

 (12) The Committee shall interact with relevant national, regional and international organizations and stakeholders.

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