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Interface between PLS and SDGs and the state
of play in South East Asia and the Pacific
Dr. Fotis Fitsilis, Hellenic Parliament
Franklin De Vrieze, Westminster Foundation for Democracy
Parliaments and SDGs
 Adopted in 2015 (UN 2030 Agenda)
 17 goals; 169 sub-objectives
 Mandate for implementation  GOV
 Oversight and control  ???
Academic Seminar on Post-Legislative Scrutiny in Asia, Yangon (Myanmar), 17-18 June 2019
.
2
World study on parliamentary involvement
 Two-year study
 Open data set
Data set: Fitsilis, F., and Zisioglou, E. (2019). Dataset on parliamentary
involvement in SDG monitoring. figshare. doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.7945628.v2.
General results of the world study I
 First public presentation (invitation to researchers)
 Full paper to be presented in Wroxton, UK, 27-28 July 2019
 Dimensions: geographic distribution, institutional & non-institutional
measures, budgetary issues
 Stakeholder analysis (internal/external), e.g. Government, NGOs and
international organizations
Academic Seminar on Post-Legislative Scrutiny in Asia, Yangon (Myanmar), 17-18 June 2019
.
3
 Examined: 153 UN member states (79%)+
 Parliamentary involvement: 64 (42%)
 Asia and Oceania: 16 (25%)
+plus Palestine
General results of the world study II
 Countries with dedicated parliamentary bodies: 32 (50%)
 Countries with extra-parliamentary involvement: 38 (59%)
Academic Seminar on Post-Legislative Scrutiny in Asia, Yangon (Myanmar), 17-18 June 2019
.
4
Countries with parliamentary involvement
Special results: (South East) Asia and the Pacific
 Levels of involvement: intra & extra-parliament
 Countries from the region involved in the study (in alphabetic order):
 (Asia) Bangladesh, India, Japan, Lebanon, Nepal, Pakistan,
Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand
 (Oceania) Fiji, Samoa
Academic Seminar on Post-Legislative Scrutiny in Asia, Yangon (Myanmar), 17-18 June 2019
.
5
 Examples:
 Fiji: capacity‐building exercises (MPs & staff); gender analysis
toolkit; public promotion of SDGs (Speaker’s Debates)
 Samoa: workshops for MPs
Special results: (South East) Asia and the Pacific
Academic Seminar on Post-Legislative Scrutiny in Asia, Yangon (Myanmar), 17-18 June 2019
.
6
Country SDG monitoring level: Committee
Bangladesh Sub-committees for specific targets (proposed)
India Speaker’s Research Initiative (SRI)
Japan Party committees
Lebanon SDG parliamentary committee
Nepal Parliamentary Committee for SDGs; environmental committee
Pakistan Parliamentary task force
Philippines Special committee on SDGs
South Korea National Assembly UN SDGs Forum (NSD)
Sri Lanka Dedicated committee
Thailand Sub-committee
Asian countries with committees dedicated on SDGs
Relevance of PLS
for SDGs
 Evaluating laws or administrative acts as a
standard parliamentary function
 Parliamentary oversight & control
 Level of capacity in parliaments may vary
 Move beyond written and oral questions
 May increase parliaments’ leverage against
the Executive
 Broad concept along two main lines:
 legal dimension: assessing the
enactment of the law &
 impact dimension: assessing to
what extent the policy objectives of
the law have been met
Academic Seminar on Post-Legislative Scrutiny in Asia, Yangon (Myanmar), 17-18 June 2019
.
8
At the time of passing of the bill, three binding
instruments typically provide a mandate for PLS:
ministerial undertakings, review clauses in legislation
or sunset clauses.
When no binding commitment to PLS is made during
the passage of the bill, Parliament has the power to
undertake PLS on any matter that it so chooses.
To assess the impact of legislation, it is useful to
review secondary or delegated legislation at the same
time as reviewing the primary act.
Principles of Post-Legislative Scrutiny by parliament I
Academic Seminar on Post-Legislative Scrutiny in Asia, Yangon (Myanmar), 17-18 June 2019
.
9
Post-Legislative Scrutiny provides an opportunity to assess the
impact of legislation on issues which cut across different Acts, such
as on gender, or on minorities.
Post-Legislative Scrutiny avoids a replay of policy arguments from
the time when the merits of the law were debated.
Parliament should consider whether responsibility for PLS is
assigned to its permanent Committees or to a dedicated body.
For any parliament to conduct PLS inquiries effectively, it needs to
empower its human resources (parliament staff).
Principles of Post-Legislative Scrutiny by parliament II
Academic Seminar on Post-Legislative Scrutiny in Asia, Yangon (Myanmar), 17-18 June 2019
.
10
Public engagement in PLS enables access to additional sources of
information, increases the credibility of the findings and enhances
public trust in democratic institutions.
It is useful when PLS can rely on official information, but it also
needs the views and information of a wide range of stakeholders,
including civil society organization.
PLS takes best place at least three years after of enactment of the
law in question.
Principles of Post-Legislative Scrutiny by parliament III
Can PLS increase SDG efficiency?
 Determine PLS concept (commission; committee; external
working body; independent state body etc.)
 Exercise pressure to policy and law makers
 Help establish new ways of parliamentary scrutiny of SGDs
 Make use of parliamentary visibility to address and localize issues
 Aim at participatory approaches
Academic Seminar on Post-Legislative Scrutiny in Asia, Yangon (Myanmar), 17-18 June 2019
.
11
Indicative action flow while performing PLS on SDGs

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Interface between PLS and SDGs and the state of play in South East Asia and the Pacific

  • 1. Disclaimer: Analysis and views expressed are the responsibility of the paper presenter, not of WFD, UK government or any of the organizers Interface between PLS and SDGs and the state of play in South East Asia and the Pacific Dr. Fotis Fitsilis, Hellenic Parliament Franklin De Vrieze, Westminster Foundation for Democracy
  • 2. Parliaments and SDGs  Adopted in 2015 (UN 2030 Agenda)  17 goals; 169 sub-objectives  Mandate for implementation  GOV  Oversight and control  ??? Academic Seminar on Post-Legislative Scrutiny in Asia, Yangon (Myanmar), 17-18 June 2019 . 2 World study on parliamentary involvement  Two-year study  Open data set Data set: Fitsilis, F., and Zisioglou, E. (2019). Dataset on parliamentary involvement in SDG monitoring. figshare. doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.7945628.v2.
  • 3. General results of the world study I  First public presentation (invitation to researchers)  Full paper to be presented in Wroxton, UK, 27-28 July 2019  Dimensions: geographic distribution, institutional & non-institutional measures, budgetary issues  Stakeholder analysis (internal/external), e.g. Government, NGOs and international organizations Academic Seminar on Post-Legislative Scrutiny in Asia, Yangon (Myanmar), 17-18 June 2019 . 3  Examined: 153 UN member states (79%)+  Parliamentary involvement: 64 (42%)  Asia and Oceania: 16 (25%) +plus Palestine
  • 4. General results of the world study II  Countries with dedicated parliamentary bodies: 32 (50%)  Countries with extra-parliamentary involvement: 38 (59%) Academic Seminar on Post-Legislative Scrutiny in Asia, Yangon (Myanmar), 17-18 June 2019 . 4 Countries with parliamentary involvement
  • 5. Special results: (South East) Asia and the Pacific  Levels of involvement: intra & extra-parliament  Countries from the region involved in the study (in alphabetic order):  (Asia) Bangladesh, India, Japan, Lebanon, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand  (Oceania) Fiji, Samoa Academic Seminar on Post-Legislative Scrutiny in Asia, Yangon (Myanmar), 17-18 June 2019 . 5  Examples:  Fiji: capacity‐building exercises (MPs & staff); gender analysis toolkit; public promotion of SDGs (Speaker’s Debates)  Samoa: workshops for MPs
  • 6. Special results: (South East) Asia and the Pacific Academic Seminar on Post-Legislative Scrutiny in Asia, Yangon (Myanmar), 17-18 June 2019 . 6 Country SDG monitoring level: Committee Bangladesh Sub-committees for specific targets (proposed) India Speaker’s Research Initiative (SRI) Japan Party committees Lebanon SDG parliamentary committee Nepal Parliamentary Committee for SDGs; environmental committee Pakistan Parliamentary task force Philippines Special committee on SDGs South Korea National Assembly UN SDGs Forum (NSD) Sri Lanka Dedicated committee Thailand Sub-committee Asian countries with committees dedicated on SDGs
  • 7. Relevance of PLS for SDGs  Evaluating laws or administrative acts as a standard parliamentary function  Parliamentary oversight & control  Level of capacity in parliaments may vary  Move beyond written and oral questions  May increase parliaments’ leverage against the Executive  Broad concept along two main lines:  legal dimension: assessing the enactment of the law &  impact dimension: assessing to what extent the policy objectives of the law have been met
  • 8. Academic Seminar on Post-Legislative Scrutiny in Asia, Yangon (Myanmar), 17-18 June 2019 . 8 At the time of passing of the bill, three binding instruments typically provide a mandate for PLS: ministerial undertakings, review clauses in legislation or sunset clauses. When no binding commitment to PLS is made during the passage of the bill, Parliament has the power to undertake PLS on any matter that it so chooses. To assess the impact of legislation, it is useful to review secondary or delegated legislation at the same time as reviewing the primary act. Principles of Post-Legislative Scrutiny by parliament I
  • 9. Academic Seminar on Post-Legislative Scrutiny in Asia, Yangon (Myanmar), 17-18 June 2019 . 9 Post-Legislative Scrutiny provides an opportunity to assess the impact of legislation on issues which cut across different Acts, such as on gender, or on minorities. Post-Legislative Scrutiny avoids a replay of policy arguments from the time when the merits of the law were debated. Parliament should consider whether responsibility for PLS is assigned to its permanent Committees or to a dedicated body. For any parliament to conduct PLS inquiries effectively, it needs to empower its human resources (parliament staff). Principles of Post-Legislative Scrutiny by parliament II
  • 10. Academic Seminar on Post-Legislative Scrutiny in Asia, Yangon (Myanmar), 17-18 June 2019 . 10 Public engagement in PLS enables access to additional sources of information, increases the credibility of the findings and enhances public trust in democratic institutions. It is useful when PLS can rely on official information, but it also needs the views and information of a wide range of stakeholders, including civil society organization. PLS takes best place at least three years after of enactment of the law in question. Principles of Post-Legislative Scrutiny by parliament III
  • 11. Can PLS increase SDG efficiency?  Determine PLS concept (commission; committee; external working body; independent state body etc.)  Exercise pressure to policy and law makers  Help establish new ways of parliamentary scrutiny of SGDs  Make use of parliamentary visibility to address and localize issues  Aim at participatory approaches Academic Seminar on Post-Legislative Scrutiny in Asia, Yangon (Myanmar), 17-18 June 2019 . 11 Indicative action flow while performing PLS on SDGs