Parliaments have three main roles: to make laws, to approve the budget, and to oversee the government. Parliamentary Portfolio Committees are committees that are set up to help Parliament carry out its oversight role.
Each Portfolio Committee is responsible for overseeing a particular government ministry or department. For example, there is a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care, which oversees the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
Portfolio Committees have a number of important duties, including: Examining the expenditure, administration, and policy of government departments, Investigating matters of public interest and Making recommendations to Parliament on how to improve government performance
Portfolio Committees are made up of members of Parliament (MPs) from both the ruling party and the opposition parties. This ensures that the committees are independent and can hold the government to account.
Portfolio Committees play an important role in democracy by ensuring that the government is accountable to the people. They help to ensure that the government is spending public money efficiently and effectively, and that it is delivering services that meet the needs of the people.
Here is an example of how a Portfolio Committee might work:
- The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care is concerned about the high number of maternal deaths in Zimbabwe. The committee decides to investigate the issue. It holds hearings with experts, including doctors, nurses, and women’s health advocates. The committee also visits hospitals and clinics to see firsthand the challenges that women face in accessing quality healthcare.
- After the investigation, the committee writes a report that makes recommendations to the government on how to reduce maternal deaths. The report is presented to Parliament, and the government is held accountable for implementing the recommendations.
Portfolio Committees are an essential part of a healthy democracy. They help to ensure that the government is accountable to the people and that it is working in the best interests of the nation