Parliamentary Programme Coordination Unit (PCU)

1. Mandate

The Parliamentary Programme Coordination Unit (PCU) coordinates the management of the Multi-donor Parliamentary Support Programme. It facilitates the sourcing of funds from Development Partners, manages the funds and produce financial and progress reports for management, Development Partners and other stakeholders.

2. Background

2.1. In 1997, the Parliament of Zimbabwe embarked on a comprehensive reform programme. The Parliamentary Reform Committee (PRC) had been established on October 1996 to probe on the public perception that there was power imbalance between the Executive and the Legislature and that the public wanted a more powerful Parliament, capable of providing effective oversight of the Executive. The PRC presented its final report in May 1999. Parliament with the assistance of the UNDP carried out an institutional capacity assessment exercise to establish if Parliament could realize the objectives recommended by the PRC including development of concrete proposals for the implementation of the next phase of the Parliament Reform Process proposed for 2004-2006.

The CAR emphasized in its report that for the reform to be achievable there was need for the following:

  • Commitment from political and administrative leadership
  • Ownership of the programmed by the Liaison and Coordination Committee (LCC)
  • Ownership of the programmed by Members of Parliament (MPs) in general
  • The Institution retain highly professional staff
  • Effective collaboration with development partners and other key stakeholders
  • Efficient programmed management

 

2.2.1 Parliamentary Reform Programmed Objectives :

The over-all developmental objectives of the Parliamentary Support Programmed (PSP) as per CAP was to enhance the quality of the national governance system in Zimbabwe by strengthening the capacity of the legislature to exercise the following roles:

  • Legislative role
  • Representative role
  • Executive oversight role
  • Accountability relationship of Legislators with constituent and Administration of Parliament (AoB)

The other tertiary objective was to capacitate the Administration of Parliament (AoP) in order to enhance the quality of administrative services to MPs through capacity development of staff and institutional strengthening including attainment of ISO 9000 standards.

3. Institutional Structure of the Parliamentary Support Programme (PSP)

The PSP structure is as follow:

  • Programme Steering Committee (PSC)
  • Programme Management Committee (PMC)
  • Programme Coordination Unit (PCU)

 

3.1 Programme Steering Committee

The Programme Steering Committee gives policy directions to the implementation of programme. The Committee is jointly chaired by the Speaker of the House of Assembly or President of the Senate and the UNDP Resident Representative. The Clerk of Parliament is the National Programme Director (NPD). The Committee is made up of the following:

  • Speaker of the National Assembly/ President of the Senate - Co-Chairperson
  • UNDP Resident Representative - Co- Chairperson
  • Clerk of Parliament - Secretary
  • UNDP Country Director - Committee Member
  • Deputy Speaker of the National assembly - Committee Member
  • Deputy President of the Senate - Committee Member

Basically the Committee broadly advises on the execution of the programme establishing priorities on the Annual Workplans. It establishes performance benchmarks, carries out annual performance reviews and approves programme progress reports to the Standing Rules and Orders Committee. It also fosters dialogue with development partners.

 

3.2 Programme Management Committee (PMC)

The PMC is chaired by the Clerk in his/her capacity as National Director of the PSP ProgrammeTheCommittee consist of the following AoP and UNDP senior officers:

 

(i) Clerk of Parliament - Chairperson

(ii) UNDP Country Director - Co- Chairperson

(iii) 2x Deputy Clerks - Committee Members

(iv) All Principal Directors - Committee Members

(v) Counsel to Parliament - Committee Member

(vi) Parliament Programme Coordinator - Secretary

The Committee is mandated to approve departmental workplans and budgets, monitor implementation and review programme outputs.

3.3 Programme Coordination Unit (PCU)

The Programme Coordinator is the Principal Director of the PCU Unit. The structure is as follows:

(i) Parliament Programme Coordinator (PPC)

(ii) Parliament Programme Accountant (PPA)

(iii) Executive Assistant (EA)

3.3.1 Vision of the PCU

The vision of the PCU is to be recognized by the Donor Community and all other stakeholders as the leading Programme Coordination Unit in Zimbabwe.

3.3.2. Mission of the PCU

The mission of the PCU is to professionally manage financial and technical assistance and effectively coordinate the implementation of the Parliamentary Support Programme (PSP)

3.3.3 Responsibilities of the PCU

The following are the functions of the PCU:

(i) To coordinate the production of Parliament Support programme agreements or

Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with Development Partners.

(ii) Manage the PSP Programme

(iii) Coordinate the mobilization of resources for the PSP programme.

(iv) Consolidate Annual and quarterly workplans and budgets from departments.

(v) Assist Departments with technical advice on implementation of the PSP

programme.

(vi) Provide funding for the approved budgeted activities.

(vii) Process requests for payments to development partners

(viii) Continuously monitor and evaluate implementation

(ix) Produce monthly financial statements

(x) Produce quarterly and annual financial and progress narrative reports

(xi) Produce quarterly and annual assets verification reports.

4. Three Year Rolling Parliamentary Support Programme Phases

The programme is implemented in phases and the following is the current status of the phases:

  • 2005 - 2007 - 1st Rolling Parliamentary Support Programme

· 2010 - 2011 - 2nd Rolling Parliamentary Support Programme

· 2012 - PSP End of Programme evaluation

· 2013 - Design of the 2014 - 2016 PSP Parliamentary Support Programme

4.1 Major Development Partners - PSP Support Programme

Over 11 Development Partners support the programme and the following are the major partners:

(i) UNDP

(ii) EU

(iii) SIDA

(iv) ZI

(v) SAPST

(vi) FES

(vii) AWEPA

(viii) ZPSP

(ix) NDI

(x) ZLHR

(xi) WIPSU

4.2 Major areas of support

Parliament receive support in the following areas:

(i) Capacity building of MPs in the constitutional and legislative analysis and

interpretation.

(ii) Support to committees to carry out oversight role.

(iii) Parliament public outreach programme

(iv) Budget analysis programme

(v) Strengthening the Administration of Parliament including the Quality

Management System

(vi) Gender Mainstreaming

(vii) Gender budgeting

(viii) Regional Exchange visits for MP and Staff

(ix) Parliament Constituency Information Centre (PCIC) support.

5. Methods of Disbursements under the PSP

The following are the disbursement methods used under the programme:

(i) Direct Payment system - Partner paying direct to supplier as instructed by POZ

(ii) Advance payment system - Use of Dev. Partner/POZ Special Account

(iii) Direct Sourcing system - Procurement & payments done by Dev. Partner

(iv) Re-imbursement system - POZ pays first before claiming re-imbursement

6. Location of the PCU Department

The Programme Coordinator's Offices are located in the 3rd floor office 313 and the Programme Accountant's Office is in the 4th floor office number 425.

7. Accessing funding through the PCU

The UNDP administers an Open Trust Fund often known as Basket funding Trust Fund where Development Partners deposit funds pledged under the PSP programme. Some Development Partners prefer using their own funding agencies or independent Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to fund the programme.

The Unit makes a formal request for payment to the Development Partner for payment to be made direct to the Payee (Direct Payment) or requests cash to be paid straight to Parliament or into its account before transferring it to the payee.

Please note that funding is made available for planned activities incorporated into respective approved PSP annual or quarterly workplans and budgets. The Unit strictly provides funding to activities originating from respective departments and approved by the Clerk of Parliament or a delegated senior officer of Parliament.

 

8. List of Acronyms :

  1. UNDP United Nations Development Programme
  2. PSP Parliament Support Programme
  3. LCC Liaison and Coordination Committee
  4. PRC Parliament Reform Committee
  5. CAT Capacity Assessment Team
  6. CAR Capacity Assessment Report
  7. AoP Administration of Parliament
  8. PSC Programme Steering Committee
  9. PMC Programme Management Committee
  10. PCU Programme Coordination Unit
  11. ISO International Organisation of Standards
  12. MP Member of Parliament
  13. NPD National Programme Director
  14. POZ Parliament of Zimbabwe
  15. PPC Parliament Programme Coordinator
  16. PPA Parliament Programme Accountant
  17. SEA Senior Executive Assistant
  18. FES Friedrih - Ebert - Stiftung
  19. ZWRCN Zimbabwe Women Resource Centre & Network
  20. AWEPA European Parliamentarian with Africa
  21. ZI Zimbabwe Institute
  22. EU European Union
  23. NDI National Democratic Institute
  24. WIPSU Women in Politics Support Trust
  25. ZLHR Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
  26. SAPST Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust
  27. SIDA Swedish International Development Agency
  28. ZPSP Zimbabwe Peace and Security Programme
Administration Parliamentary Programme Coordination Unit (PCU)