Legislative Oversight Manual

  • Book Details
  • Summary

Volume: First Edition | Pages: 82 | Year Published: 2015

Publisher: National Institute for Legislative Studies

Author: not available

Subject Matter
The Manual is divided into 13 sections

Purpose/Objective
The objective of this manual is to give an insight and practical overview of the objectives of oversight functions of the legislature with particular reference to the National assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as provided for by the Constitution. The manual gives a perspective of what oversight is all about what types of oversight there are and the participants or players in the process of oversight functions by the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It gives a step by step over view of the process of oversight and looks into the result or output of oversight functions and how it can affect the process of lawmaking by the Legislature and the effect it can have on the poicies of the Executive arm of Government. The manual makes clear the importance of the doctrine of separation of powers as it affects the power of checks and balances that the Legislature has over the executive, one tool of which is the legislative oversight functions of the Legislature. It makes clear the authority that the Legislature has to serve as a watchdog over the Executive arm of government especially through its agencies. This is because the various government agencies are the practitioners of the policies of government. Specifically oversight of the executive is designed to achieve the following objectives;
1. Ensure executive compliance with legislative intent;
2. Improve the efficiency, effectiveness and economy of governmental operations;
3. Evaluate program performance;
4. Prevent executive encroachment on legislative powers and prerogatives;
5. Investigate alleged instances of poor administration, arbitrary and capricious behavior, abuse, waste, fraud and dishonesty;
6. Assess the need for new federal legislation; Review and determine federal financial priorities;
7. Protect individual rights and liberties; and
8. Inform the public about how its government is performing its public duties. The manual is comprehensive enough as it states the step by step process of the oversight function of the National Assembly, the feedback mechanism and the expected outcome of the oversight functions.
However, under paragraph 12 on page 67 a challenging factor was raised to the effect that legislative decisions are generally not enforceable on the executive as they are not legally binding. This challenge seems to be one that the national assembly has not been able to surmount up till date. This therefore may call for further discuss.
Furthermore, since one of the objectives of the oversight functions is to inform the public about how its government is performing its public duties some research needs to be done to find out how much the public knows about the executive's performance as a result of legislative functions and how this for example has affected or is likely to affect the pattern of voting of the public who are the governed.

Gaps Identified
A few typographical errors also need to be corrected as follows; 1. the word "they" to replace "the" in section 5.9 line 5, page 28 of the manual; 2. the word "of" to be inserted after "use" in section 5.12.b(h) line 4, page 42; 3. the word "inpatient" to replace "impatient" in section 5.12.d line 15, page 45; 4. the word to be inserted "it" after "that" and before "is" in section 5.12.e. line 5, page 46; 5. the word "is" to be removed from section 5.12.e 2) line 5, page 47; 6. the word "what" to be inserted after "only" under Step 8 line 5, page 47; 7. the word "is" to be inserted after the word "next" in line one of "step 6", page 50; 8. the phrase "Oversight through Legislative and Investigative process just before section "6" on page 52 is either out of place and should be removed or should be numbered as "4."; 9. "Personal Service" in line 3 under section 7.1.b, page 58 should be bold and numbered as 7.1.b.i and "substituted service" in line 4 should be removed and 7.1.b.i renumbered as 7.1.b.ii; 10. The words "is" and "it" should be inserted after the words "this" and "because" respectively in line 18 under section 7.2, page 59; 11. The word "has" should be inserted after the word "house" in section 8. e) on page 61; 12. "9.1 Constitutional Limitations" should be bold in section 9 line 2 ,page 62; 13. "independence" and pursue should be replaced with "independence" and "pursued" respectively in lines 6 and 7 of section 11.4, page 67;

Recommendations
not available

Reviewer: O. O. Olawumi

Rank: Legislative Drafter

Department: Department of Legislative Support Service

Date Of Commencement: not available

Date Of Completion: September 13, 2018

Section One
Objective of Oversight

Section Two
Perspectives of Oversight

Section Three
Authority to Conduct Oversight; which includes Constitutional Authority, Statutory Authority and Legislative Authority

Section Four
Types of Oversight; which include Appropriation Oversight, Routine Oversight, Investigative Oversight and Public Account Committee Oversight

Section Five
Tools of Oversight in Nigeria; which include Ad hoc or Special Committee, Public Hearings, Budget Scrutiny and Inspection Visits

Section Six
Participants in Oversight; which include Committee Members, Legislative Aids, MDAs, Consultants, Stakeholders and Committee Staff

Section Seven
Legal tools for Enforcement and Procedure for Application; which includes Summons, Warrants and Fines

Section Eight
Consideration of Report and Dissemination of Resolutions

Section Nine
Limitations to Oversight Authority; which include statutory limitations, Non- statuary limitations and Capacity limitation

Section Ten
Output of Oversight; which include Reports, Recommendations, Resolutions and Public Account Committees Report

Section Eleven
Expected Outcomes of Oversight; which include Amendment of Existing Legislation, New Legislation and Policy Intervention

Section Twelve
Tracking of Resolutions

Section Thirteen
Oversight Information Sources; which include National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, (NILDS), Fiscal Responsibility Commission(FRC), National Assembly Budget and Research Office (NABRO), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Public Account Committee Reports (Senate and House) and Civil Society, Media and Members of the Public