The outgoing Attorney General Billy Titiulu says the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission does not have the power to make any award to former Members of Parliament, including former Prime Ministers.
The Constitution Review Committee held public hearings on Thursday and Friday this week to review the 2015 Parliamentary Entitlements Regulations and the makeup of the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission.
Amongst this year’s regulations is awards of salaries or pensions for all former Members of Parliaments.
Billy Titiulu explained to the Committee on Thursday there are two parts to the section governing the PEC powers – the power to make entitlements and the power to making entitlements for parliamentarians.
On the latter, the outgoing Attorney General said Section 69(2)B defines Parliamentarians as being the “Prime Minister, Ministers, the Leader of the Opposition, the Leader of the Independent Group, the Deputy Speaker and all other Members of Parliament – whether or not Parliament is in session or in sitting”.
“So the Parliamentarians which section 69(2)B talks about is talking about the Prime Minister and not the former Prime Minister. Two; it talks about Ministers and not former Ministers. Three; it talks about the Leader of Opposition and not former Leaders of Opposition. Fourth; it talks about Leader of the Parliamentary Independ group and not the former Leader of the Independent group. Five talks about Deputy Speaker and not the former Deputy Speaker and the sixth states all other members of parliament so here’s the catch phrase that said whether or not parliament is in session or in sitting.”
SIBC News understands the validity of the 2015 Parliamentary Entitlements Regulations is also being challenged in court and its next preliminary hearing will be next month.