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Law change Bills set to dominate Parliament agenda


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Law change Bills set to dominate Parliament agenda


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Parliament buildings. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The enactment of key Bills to pave the way for the implementation constitutional changes proposed by the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) is expected to dominate the agenda of Parliament when it resumes sittings today.
  • The BBI report contains several Bills that require MPs input including the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes (Amendment) Bill, 2020 that seeks to enhance penalty for economic crimes and corruption offences.

The enactment of key Bills to pave the way for the implementation constitutional changes proposed by the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) is expected to dominate the agenda of Parliament when it resumes sittings today.

The BBI report contains several Bills that require MPs input including the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes (Amendment) Bill, 2020 that seeks to enhance penalty for economic crimes and corruption offences.

Others are the Prompt Payment Bill, 2020 that will compel the State to pay its contractors and suppliers after a maximum of 60 days and the Conflict of Interest Bill which stipulates that State and public officers be barred from conducting business with government.

The Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Bill also seeks to introduce the offence of concealment of corruption, and provide for duty to report any knowledge or suspicion of instances or acts of corruption or economic crimes.

The Public Finance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 seeks to make changes to the Public Finance Management Act, 2012 which provides for effective management of public finances by national and county governments and the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015 that sets out procedures for efficient public procurement and asset disposal by public entities.

Parliament will be required to make changes to the Public Audit Act, 2015 to empower the office of Auditor-General to recruit its own staff as required, amend the Controller of Budget Act, 2016 to require the Controller of Budget to carry out due diligence on an ongoing project and review the Higher Education Loans Board Act, 1995 to give borrowers a grace period of four years from the date of completion of their studies.

Lawmakers will further be tasked with amendment of the Micro and Small Enterprises Act, 2012 to give youth-owned enterprises a seven-year tax break.

Further, MPs will be required to pass changes to Ethics and Integrity Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 which seeks to amend various statutes relating to ethics and integrity.

This includes changes to the Leadership and Integrity Act which provides for public, personal, wealth and financial declaration for state officers to ensure that they make declaration on income, assets and liabilities before, during and after leaving office.

The Public Officer Ethics Act, which provides for a Code of Ethics for public officers will be amended to bar public officers from participating in public collections but gives them a leeway to give contributions to registered charitable organisations or non-governmental organisations.



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