2. Indicators on parliament’s system for post-legislative scrutiny

2. Indicators on parliament’s system for post-legislative scrutiny

Parliamentary and legislative indicators for post-legislative scrutiny
24 February 2022

The following indicators assess the availability of parliamentary procedures, structures, and resources in parliament dedicated to conducting PLS.

1. Bodies with parliamentary authority to initiate /conduct PLS

This indicator aims to capture to whom the Rules of Procedure / Standing Orders of the Parliament give the mandate/authority to initiate a PLS inquiry. For example, such an authority could be entrusted to the parliament’s leadership, the Committee chairs, groups of MPs, or the parliamentary administration.

2. Existence of human resources to undertake PLS within the parliament structure

This indicator aims to capture the extent to which the organisation of the parliament includes structures and human resources with the capacity and expertise to undertake PLS and engage in fact-finding, analysis, and inquiry processes in order to carry out a PLS inquiry. Human resources could include committee staff, research staff, library staff, staff of dedicated PLS units, and parliamentary committee advisory bodies, in addition to external parliamentary advisors. Under this indicator it would also be important to report on the existence of knowledge building resources or professional development opportunities related to PLS.

3. Financial resources for conducting PLS

The indicator aims to capture the availability of financial resources that a parliament dedicates to PLS. Costs related to PLS would be understood as the costs which would not occur if PLS is not taken forward, such as, for instance, costs for conducting field visits related to assessing law implementation, organizing a survey or hiring external expertise. This indicator aims to capture whether these costs are included under relevant committee budgets, research budgets, or through institutional resources as codified by an annual designated PLS budget item.

4. Rules or manuals for data collection and consultation

The indicator aims to capture whether rules are in place in Rules or Procedure or Standing Orders, or internal parliamentary standing operating procedures, providing for adequate mechanisms for data and information collection and consultation with stakeholders, private sector, non-governmental actors and civil society organisations. Reporting under this indicator should refer to rules, manuals or other written administrative guidance on available data collection mechanisms such as calls for written and oral evidence, public hearings, expert seminars, field visits, online information, etc. or the obligation of the parliament to consider reports from independent oversight institutions. These mechanisms do not necessarily need to be exclusively linked to PLS and they usually serve larger parliamentary roles such as oversight role of parliament.

5. Rules on the adoption of PLS reports and recommendations

This indicator aims to capture the existence of rules in Rules of Procedure or Standing Orders that determine whether committee reports, including PLS reports and their recommendations, are obligatorily considered and adopted by the Committee and / or by a plenary session of parliament.

6. Rules on the publication of PLS reports

This indicator aims to capture the existence of rules or parliamentary administrative guidance that determine how PLS reports are publicised. Reporting under this indicator would include reference to provisions that require publication of reports in the parliament’s website, publication in hard copy, obligation to send/notify to specific bodies or other ways to make they accessible. These rules might not necessarily refer exclusively to PLS reports but might serve a broader purpose in parliament’s functioning.

7. Obligation to respond to PLS findings

This indicator aims to capture the existence of rules or government-parliament agreements determining whether and how the government is required to respond to the PLS findings and recommendations, the existence of a set timeframe for the response or other forms of communication between parliament and government.

8. Follow up processes

This indicator aims to capture whether specific bodies within the parliament (for example a designated committee, functional or standing committees, unit, or department in the parliamentary administration) have the responsibility to follow up on PLS reports and/or monitor the status of implementation of PLS recommendations.