MPs Seek Gov't Annual Reporting to Parliament

MPs Seek Gov't Annual Reporting to Parliament

Iranian lawmakers are preparing a motion that would oblige the president and his ministers to present "a yearly report" to the parliament for promoting transparency and accountability.
If passed, the plan would enable legislators to censure the president for failing to keep up with the planned projects and would even go as far as impeachment of his ministers.
The debate over the motion has picked up momentum among parliamentarians in recent days, with some 50 lawmakers signing in favor, which is expected to push through the Majlis.
In a talk with ICANA, lawmaker Shahbaz Hassanpour said the move would step up Majlis supervision at a time when the news of corruption and mismanagement can be heard once in a while.
"The law would institutionalize the supervisory role of Majlis and strengthen its authority," he said, adding that the motion enjoys the support of various factions in the 290-seat chamber.
Hassanpour questioned the efficiency of the current supervisory mechanisms of the parliament, which are exploited only to accommodate interests related to the constituencies of lawmakers and not to address issues at the national level.
"In the previous parliament, ministers fielded 3,500 questions from lawmakers that in practice yielded little result," he said.
According to the parliamentary procedure, ministers can be summoned by lawmakers to testify before the relevant commissions or on the parliament floor, a process that could lead to impeachment. During the testimonies, the MPs pose a number of questions to ministers.
"They ask too many questions such that ministers no longer take these hearings seriously," Hassanpour said.
Lawmaker Gholamali Ghaffarzadeh elaborated on the plan, saying the questions asked in the yearly reports would be those prepared by the working groups and commissions and would revolve around national budgetary and development issues, and after answering the questions, the responses would then be put to a vote.
"The plan is logical and would increase lawmakers' authority," he said.
Lawmaker Akbar Ranjbarzadeh dismissed the idea that the motion is to undermine the president or ministers' authority, noting that "the aim of this motion is only to boost synergy."
Ranjbarzadeh said the legislation is not supposed to create another path to impeachment or admonishment, adding that "we do not want to add some other laws. If the president or ministers' answers were not satisfactory, we would then proceed with the regular laws concerning testimonies."


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