Reorganization of Parliament Secretariat Barriers to the Capacity Development

  • A. T. M. Obaidullah


The secretariat is an integral part of any parliament. It is now widely recognized that an independent and strong secretariat is a pre-condition for a strong and effective parliament. From this point of view, the Bangladesh Parliament happened to be in an advantageous position due to the constitutional sanction of its Secretariat under Article 76 of the Constitution. The Parliament Secretariat would provide independent, impartial, and efficient support services to members and committee chairs in the discharge of their responsibilities of law-making and oversight of the executive. However, until the restoration of parliamentary democracy in 1991, the Secretariat was a subservient body to the executive/president’s secretariat, and unaccountable to Parliament. In 1994, the Parliament Secretariat Act (PSA) was passed, which accorded the Secretariat independent status in respect of its budget preparation, manpower planning, and undertaking any development plan without the endorsement of the executive. In the years immediately following the change in the political landscape, however, the Secretariat was ill-prepared to shoulder the onerous responsibilities of what parliamentary government is called upon to perform. Thus, the Secretariat has undergone massive reorganization in the last two decades in its organizational and human resource development. This chapter attempts to assess the present state of the Secretariat as a prime political organization to support Parliament and to examine whether it is in a position now to render effective services to MPs and parliamentary committees to perform their mandated roles in legislation and oversight. Stakeholder views suggest that the Secretariat is yet to attain that required level and that this is due largely to the adoption of inappropriate human resource policies.


Reorganization Parliament Secretariat Parliament Secretariat Act (PSA) 1994 Bangladesh Institute of Parliamentary Studies (BIPS) 


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Authors and Affiliations

  • A. T. M. Obaidullah
    • 1
  1. 1.Public AdministrationUniversity of RajshahiDhakaBangladesh

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