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Motions

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STANDING ORDERS COMMITTEE REPORT ADOPTION

Is there any other contributor to the debate?

Question put and agreed to:

Assemblyman
1.54 P.M

In the case of Time Limit of Speeches it is recommended:


  • That the mover of an original motion; shall be limited in the duration of his or her speech in presenting his or her motion to forty (40) minutes.


Mr. Presiding Officer, subject to the preceding paragraph of this Standing Order: 


  • A Member shall not be entitled to address the Committee of the Whole Assembly, for more than thirty (30) minutes on any subject, except that the Assembly or the Committee may by motion made and carried without amendment or debate, extend once only the time limited by this Standing Order for such period not exceeding ten (10) minutes as may be agreed to by the Assembly, except that no time limit shall be imposed on a Secretary presenting the Annual Estimates of the Assembly.


Mr. Presiding Officer, the Committee recommends the proposed Revised Standing Orders for consideration and adoption by this distinguished Assembly.


I beg to move. [Desk thumping]

Assemblyman

Mr. Presiding Officer, the Standing Orders Committee was established on Thursday 23rd April, 2015 with the following terms of reference:


“BE IT RESOLVED that the Standing Orders of the Tobago House of Assembly be referred to the Standing Orders Committee for consideration and report within the current session.”


Mr. Presiding Officer, the Standing Orders Committee of the Tobago House of Assembly is charged with the responsibility to review the Standing Orders as it relates to regulations of certain procedures, introduction of new provisions consistent with current practices and to make recommendations where applicable.


Mr. Presiding Officer, the Standing Orders Committee is comprised of the following Members:


  • Hon. Kelvin Charles – Presiding Officer – Chairman.

The Members:


  • Councillor Gary Melville;

  • Assemblyman Godwin Adams;

  • Councillor Denise Tsoiafatt-Angus; and

  • Assemblyman Claudia Groome-Duke - Leader of Assembly Business. 

Mr. Presiding Officer, Section 69.1 of Act 40 of 1996 empowers the Tobago House of Assembly to make rules and Standing Orders to provide for:


  • The Safe Custody and use of the Seal; 

  • The Regulations and Conduct of the Proceedings and Meetings of the Assembly including Records of Proceedings of the Assembly; 

  • The Maintenance of Order in the Chamber of Assembly; 

  • The Conduct of Debates in the Assembly; 

  • The Suspension of Members and such other matters as the Assembly considers fit. 

Mr. Presiding Officer, the Committee took note of the extensive work done by the previous Committee of the Tobago House of Assembly and commended it for the work that was done and with the support of the Research Specialist attached to the Committee Secretariat and other Members of Staff of the Assembly Legislature, Members of the Committee engaged in a detailed study of the Standing Orders in order to modernize and bring same in line with current demands and expectations of the Tobago society. 


And so, Mr. Presiding Officer, the following areas were reviewed:

  • The Presiding in the House and in the Committee Fixed Recess;

  • Broadcasting and the Opportunity to Respond;

  • Petitions;

  • Papers;

  • Statements by Secretaries;

  • Chief Secretary’s Question; and

  • Time Limit of Speeches.


       Mr. Presiding Officer, the revised Standing Orders document was presented, discussed and approved by the Executive Council of the Tobago House of Assembly.


Mr. Presiding Officer, it is in this respect that I present a synopsis of the Report to this noble House:


  • The Committee felt that no sitting of the Assembly should normally be held from the first week of July to the first week of September in any given year. 

  • The Committee took a decision that whenever the Presiding Officer and Deputy Presiding Officer are both absent from the House then the Clerk should call upon the House to elect a Member to preside over that sitting of the House.

  • The Committee felt that Statements by Secretaries and Assistant Secretaries should be adjusted in line with best practices particularly in relation to the issues of Time Limit and Limited Opportunity for Clarification.

  • The new Standing Order recommends that on the fourth Thursday of every fourth month there shall be a Chief Secretary’s Question Time, at the time designated in the Order of Business.  


The Chief Secretary’s Question Time shall not exceed twenty (20) minutes.


  • Any Member desiring to ask a question of the Chief Secretary shall submit to the Clerk a copy of the proposed question marked “Chief Secretary’s Question,” in accordance with Standing Order 21 (3).

  • The Presiding Officer shall approve the Question, if the Presiding Officer is satisfied that the proposed question satisfies the requirements of the Rules Governing the Posing of Questions.  The Presiding Officer shall call upon the Member to ask the question at the appropriate stage of the Order of Business. 

Thank you.  Is there a seconder to this Motion?


Question proposed.

Motion made:  That the Report of the Standing Orders Committee be taken from the table and be adopted.  [Hon. C. Groome-Duke]


Seconded:   [Hon. Godwin Adams]

Question put and agreed to.


Assemblyman

The Motion states that: 

“The Report of the Standing Orders Committee be taken from the table and be adopted.”  


Thank you.


I think the Honourable Leader of the Assembly business might have heard slightly because that would have been the original Motion that was … [Interruption]

Assemblyman

Thank you, Mr. Presiding Officer. Mr. Presiding Officer, at our last sitting, I laid in this Honourable House the Report of the Standing Orders Committee and I indicated then that the Report would be debated at the next sitting of the Assembly.


    Mr. Presiding Officer, with your leave, I move that:

    “The Report of the Standing Orders Committee be taken from the  table and be adopted.”


In this regard:


BE IT RESOLVED that the Standing Orders of the Tobago House of Assembly be referred to the Standing Orders Committee for consideration and report within the current session.” 

40 th Plenary Sitting Tobago House of Assembly 2013 - 2017 Session

TOBAGO HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY

28 January 2016
UNREVISED
REVISED
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