The Parliament Standing Committees have begun their meetings to elect their Chairpersons and Deputy Chairpersons. This is in accordance with Standing Orders 117 where the members of a standing committee must elect a chairperson and a deputy chairperson from amongst themselves.
Five Standing Committees have met and the sixth Standing Committee, the Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights will meet later today.
Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) Hon. Viliame Naupoto was elected as the Chairperson for the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence while the Deputy Speaker and Assistant Minister for Housing and Local Government, Hon. Lenora Qereqeretabua as the Deputy Chairperson.
Hon. Naupoto was honoured to be elected as the Chairperson and looks forward to carrying out his responsibilities.
“I am honoured to be elected as the Chairperson for the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence.”
“I understand the important work of the Committee as I have appeared in this Committee in the past in my capacity as the Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and I look forward to the job,” Hon. Naupoto said.
Opposition MP Hon. Inia Seruiratu was also elected as the Chairperson for the Standing Committee on Natural Resources and the Assistant Minister for i-Taukei Affairs Hon. Isikeli Tuiwailevu as the Deputy Chairperson.
The Assistant Minister for Finance Hon. Esrom Immanuel is the Chairperson for the Standing Committee on Public Accounts and the Assistant Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Hon. Sakiusa Tubuna as the Deputy Chairperson.
The Assistant Minister for Tourism and Hon. Alitia Bainivalu is the Chairperson for the Standing Committee on Social Affairs and Assistant Minister for Home Affairs, Hon. Ratu Rakuita Vakalalabure as the Deputy Chairperson.
The Assistant Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Sakiusa Tubuna is the Chairperson for the Standing Committee on Economic Affairs and the Assistant Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Hon. Sashi Kiran as the Deputy Chairperson.
As announced by the Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu in the last sitting week of Parliament, 68 Annual Reports, one Treaty and 21 Committee Reports are pending with the respective Standing Committees.
The six Standing Committees are responsible for examining Bills referred by the Parliament; examine subordinate legislation tabled in Parliament; scrutinise the operations of government departments; consider petitions and papers presented; review international treaties and conventions ratified by the Government and perform any other functions and duties as conferred.