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EXPERT COMMENT: All people of goodwill must support this Bill

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The Parliamentary Service Bill, 2018, is a crucial bill that must be
supported by all those who mean well for Parliament and this country in
general. The current Parliamentary Service Act, Cap 185A, of the laws of Kenya
was enacted to give effect to Sections 45A and 45B of the former Constitution
which established the Parliamentary Service and the Parliamentary Service
Commission, respectively.

These provisions of the Constitution are no longer in force and, in their
place, are Article 127 of the Constitution that establishes a Parliamentary Service
Commission.

Article 128 of the Constitution provides for the offices of the Clerks of
the Houses of Parliament and the offices of members of staff of the clerks as
offices in the parliamentary service. 

In light of these and other changes in the Constitutional regime, it has
become necessary to review the Parliamentary Service Act, 2000, in order to
ensure that it complies with the provisions of the Constitution.

The Fifth Schedule provided for a period of five years for enactment of any
legislation required to implement the Constitution. Although Parliament
subsequently extended this period, the Parliamentary Service Act 2000, needs
review in order to comply with the requirements of the Fifth Schedule to the
Constitution.  

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The House has accordingly reviewed the statutes of the other two constitutional
commissions that existed together with the Parliamentary Service Commission
prior to the coming into force of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010. These
commission are: The Public Service Commission and the Judicial Service
Commission. All the other Constitutional commissions and independent offices
referred to in Chapter 15 of the Constitution have enacted operational
legislation that is in conformity with the new constitutional principles.

This bill was first published in October 2015 but was not enacted by the
House hence it lapsed at the end of the eleventh Parliament. The Parliamentary
Service Bill, 2018, seeks to address this shortcoming. We are going to do this
once and for all. Those saying that the bill is going to make some people lose
some powers are being untruthful.

The Baringo North MP and chairman of the Justice and Legal Affairs
Committee spoke to the Star on phone

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