Speaker of the National Assembly, Professor Peter Katjavivi, said the N$117.2 million budgetary allocation to Parliament limits its capacity to carry out its constitutional mandate.
He made an appeal to the finance ministry to re-look this allocation to allow the institution to realise the principle of participatory democracy in the law-making process and its oversight role.
Of this allocation, N$112.6 million is for operations, and N$4.6 million for the development budget.
The operational budget covers two main areas. The first is for legislative management, which is allocated 9% of the total budgetary allocation. The second area, policy coordination and support services, gets 91%.
The N$10.5 million for the first programme drives the legislative agenda of the National Assembly.
For the second area, N$106.7 million goes towards parliamentary coordination and support services, ICT services, parliamentary committee services, and legal services.
Funds allocated will be used for oversight functions, the continuous digitisation and modernisation of parliamentary systems, administrative and legal services, and maintenance of infrastructure and security upgrades.
Parliament has embarked upon the development of a comprehensive e-parliament strategy to transform the legislature into a paperless institution.
It has also rolled out a five-year Enhancing Participatory Democracy in Namibia (EPDN) programme in collaboration with the National Planning Commission (NPC) and the European Union to strengthen linkages with civil society organisations.
To avoid corruption in budget implementation, a select committee on budget will be established. It is to become a fully-fledged budget office as is the case in most Commonwealth democracies.
The National Council has requested N$88.4 million for the 2021/2022 financial year, which is a reduction of N$13 million from the previous financial year in keeping with the contracted economic climate.
For this year, it has requested N$8.9 million for its review and oversight function, N$28 million for coordination of its parliamentary support services, and N$51.5 million for its parliamentary committees services.
The National Council's standing committees are considered the workhorses of that House because of their detailed examination and scrutiny of government programmes.
The National Council has the mandate to review legislation as referred to it by the National Assembly.
Last year, the National Council reviewed seven Bills of which five with passed without amendments and two with amendments.
These are the Appropriation Bill, Gaming and Entertainment Control Amendment Bill, Communication Amendment Bill, Post and Telecommunications Companies Establishment Amendment Bill, The Control of Import and Export of Dairy Products and Dairy Product Substitutes Bill, Financial Institutions and Markets Bill, and Appropriation Amendment Bill.