Islamabad - The Strategic Plan Oversight Committee (SPOC) yesterday met to review the targets of the National Assembly Strategic Plan (NASP) to make the Parliament of Pakistan more efficient and effective.

The meeting, under the directions of the Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, was chaired by MNA/Convener SPOC Marriyam Aurangzeb in the SDGs Secretariat of the National Assembly, according to press release issued from NA secretariat.

Convener of the Committee Marriyam suggested that SPOC should be converted into a parliamentary committee. She also told that the NASP will be the living document of the NA Secretariat which will guide the parliamentarians and Secretariat’s staff for the institutional development. She highlighted the Green Parliament Project as a reality of being first solar powered parliament of the world.

While discussing the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), she stressed the provincial legislatures to take lead in addressing the issues related to the development as National Assembly has highlighted the issue of malnutrition and brought all the stakeholders on the table in the first parliamentary meet on malnutrition organised by the SDGs Task Force of the National Assembly. 

While briefing the committee, Joint Secretary of the Programme Management Unit of the National Assembly told that National Assembly Secretariat has establishment the Legislative Drafting Counsel (LDC) and the counsel has already commenced the training course and the second course of the LDC is in developmental stages.

It was told that the human resource has been increased in the research & library wing of the National Assembly Secretariat. Moreover, it was stressed that research wing of the National Assembly has to be equipped with the state of the art facilities and research tools in order to provide quality research for the parliamentarians.

The committee was briefed that the capacity building workshops and training sessions has been conducted by the IP3 including the sessions on PSDP and Financial management of the members and Secretariat. The Committee appreciated the on job daily capacity building classes of the NA Secretariat & Committee staff for capacity building.

It was shared that Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) project of the National Assembly is in progress and NA hall is now equipped with large LED screens for the convenience of the Parliamentarians, it is the first step towards the paperless parliament.  It was told that NA website will also be revamped.

The Committee was also briefed that the three successful batches of the Young Parliamentary Associates (YPAs) and now PIPS has taken the lead to provide the research support to Parliamentarians. PIPS is devising a comprehensive internship program for the purpose.  It was also shared that Parliamentary Studies Program will be launched soon in the different universities in order to provide new young people to support the institute in the future and to educate youth about the parliamentary functions.

Secretary National Assembly has reaffirmed that the Secretariat is committed to provide all out support to implement the NASP with its true spirit. He suggested that the SPOC should meet atleast once in a month to review the progress.

Members SPOC, Muhammad Khan Daha (MNA), Asiya Nasir (MNA), Rumina Khurshid Alam (MNA), Yasmeen Rehman (Former MNA), Abdul Jabbar Ali (Secretary National Assembly) and senior officers of the secretariat were also present.