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  • The House of Representatives has passed 22 Bills since the beginning of the legislative period in April 2014.
  • This was disclosed by Leader of Government Business and Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, during a sitting of the Lower House on December 9.
  • He also informed that of the 22 Bills, 12 have gone on to be passed in the Senate and receive the assent of the Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen.

The House of Representatives has passed 22 Bills since the beginning of the legislative period in April 2014.

This was disclosed by Leader of Government Business and Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, during a sitting of the Lower House on December 9.

He also informed that of the 22 Bills, 12 have gone on to be passed in the Senate and receive the assent of the Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen.

“Of particular interest to the public is the Disabilities Act 2014, which will help to safeguard the rights of persons with disabilities and enable them to participate more fully in public life, with fewer impediments in terms of physical infrastructure, and greater accommodation in the work environment and in respect of housing,” the House Leader said.

Mr. Paulwell also informed that 23 orders and resolutions were approved as well as eight committee reports and four private members’ motions, as well as the motion opposing the United States embargo against Cuba.

Eighteen Ministerial Statements were made between April and December of this year, he noted further, “in order to ensure that this Honourable House, and by extension, the nation, was kept informed about the affairs of Government and our response to issues of national importance.”

Matters covered included changes to the tax regime; students’ performance in the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT); measures to regulate the tertiary education sector; privatisation of the Kingston Container Terminal; the severe water shortage that affected the island during the year; preparedness for the Ebola virus; and national security and foreign trade.

Mr. Paulwell stated that as further evidence of the willingness of the Government to provide access to information and promote transparency, 25 questions were answered during the period.

“This represents a significant increase over the corresponding period last year, when only seven questions were asked, and answers given to three of them. This year’s questions dealt with a range of issues,” he said, “with extensive follow-up questions and much latitude allowed as regards discussion.”

He said that among them were four questions relating to the purchase of the property at Orange Grove in Trelawny by the National Housing Trust (NHT).

He noted that while not all the responses were deemed fully satisfactory, “at the end of the day, there was much information provided in respect of issues that could properly be placed in the public domain.”

Mr. Paulwell thanked all Members for their contribution to the proceedings of the Lower House.

“For the most part, the business of Parliament continues to benefit from an amicable working relationship between Government and Opposition, notwithstanding the vigour and enthusiasm which the Opposition sometimes brings to its role in keeping the Government accountable,” he said.

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