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10th to 15th of April 2016 - Delegation visit from Zambia

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Zambia has dedicated the past years to an intensive revision of its constitution, which was approved by Parliament in January 2016. Important changes are the possibility of motion of no confidence against a minister with 1/3 of MPs votes, the establishment of a "Parliamentary Service Commission", which among other tasks also may appoint the parliamentary director - a privilege previously reserved for the President of the country - and the setting of minimum educational requirements of MPs.

Discussions with representatives of the Austrian Parliamentary administration revolved around the issues of legislative and scientific services, legal and operational framework, tasks of budget service - which was installed in the Austrian Parliament in 2012 and in the Zambian Parliament in 2015 - and the tasks in the field of public relations, i.e. communicating democracy to the people.

In a discussion with the President of the Upper Austrian federal parliament, Viktor Sigl, his two deputies, Adalbert Cramer and Gerda Weichsler-Hauer, and the chairman of the green party of Upper Austria Gottfried Hirz, the focus lay on the federal system of Austria and the separation of powers. Of particular interest was, inter alia, that committee meetings are public in the Zambian Parliament and are held only in special cases "in camera".

The head of the "Parliamentary Reforms Programmes" division, Mr. Thokozani Kamanga, presented the successes that have been achieved in recent years, e.g. greater popular participation in the legislative process, creating a parliament radio or the establishment of "Parliament offices" in the constituencies to interact with the target groups.

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