THE Attorney General is now a Member of Parliament’s Legislation Standing Committee.
Parliament today approved this as one of the committee’s recommendations in their number two report submission to Parliament.
Lord Speaker Fakafanua who is also a Member of the Committee said it is crucial the Attorney General becomes a Member of the Legislation Committee with no casting vote. This is quite similar to Auditor General’s being a member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
He says the Committee’s work will be more effective should Attorney General is a Member.
Normally the Attorney General is co-opted to provide legal opinion to Committees if needed.
Ha’apai 13 MP Veivosa Taka thinks otherwise. He believes Parliament should stick to the normal routine that is co-opting Attorney General to committee meetings if the need arises.
He said it is the responsibility of the Committee to carry out the work themselves and Attorney General can be co-opted when necessary.
At the same time Tongatapu 3 constituency MP Siaosi Sovaleni moved the motion saying the Attorney General played a very important role to explain the Bills purposes and effects.
Sovaleni said his presence in the committee will speed up the process involved in discussion of the Bills.
The Justice Minister Hon. Vuna Fa’otusia was also in favor of the motion. He said no harm done if Attorney General becomes a Member of the Parliament’s Legislation Committee.
He also pointed out they have scrutinized the motion and it’s harmless not to approve it.