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.
2.1. 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 Programme (PSP) as per CAT is 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 is 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)
- Project Board (PB)
- 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 Project Board (PB)
The PMB is chaired by the Clerk in his/her capacity as National Director of the PSP ProgrammeThe PB consists of the following AoP, EU Representatives, UNDP senior officers and Representatives of CSOs
(i) Clerk of Parliament – Chairperson
(ii) UNDP Country Director – Co- Chairperson
(iii) EU Representative – C0-Chairperson
(iii) 2x Deputy Clerks – Board Members
(iv) World Bank Representative – Board Member
(v) SAPST Representative – Board Member
(vi)Parliament Programme Coordinator – Secretary
The Board is mandated to approve project 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) 2X Monitoring & Evaluation Officers and a Procurement Officer.
(iv) 4 x Graduate Interns specialising in Accounting, Monitoring & Evaluation and Procurement respectively.
(iii) Executive Assistant (EA)
3.3.1 Vision of the PCU
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 Parliament’s Project Portfolio
(iii) Coordinate the mobilization of resources for the PSP programme.
(iv) Consolidate annual, termly and quarterly workplans and budgets from departments.
(v) Assist Departments with technical advice on implementation of the PSP
(vi) Provide funding for the approved budgeted activities.
(vii) Process requests for payments to development partners
(viii) Continuously monitor and evaluate projects implementation
(ix) Produce monthly financial statements
(x) Produce quarterly and annual financial and progress narrative reports
(xi) Produce quarterly, termly and annual assets verification reports.
4. Projects being implemented during the 9th Parliament
The PPCU is currently implementing a total of 4 projects and 20 MOUs. The projects are:
Institutional Support for Governance and Public Finance Management (GPFM) project (2022-2024)
Parliamentary Support Programme (PSP) – (2019-2022)
Tax and Accountability Enhancement Project (TAEP) – (2020-2023)
Spotlight Initiative Project (SI) – (2019-2022)
4.1 Major Development Partners – PSP Support Programme
Over 8 Development Partners support the programme and the following are the major partners:
(iv) World Bank
(viii) Silveira House
4.2 Major areas of support
Parliament receives support in the following areas:
(i) Capacity building of MPs in the constitutional and legislative analysis and
(ii) Establishment of a Parliament of Zimbabwe Training Academy
(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
(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 3 floor office 313 and the Programme Accountant’s Office is in the 4 floor office number 425. The other officers under the department are located at the Pax House building 2nd Floor, south wing.
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. 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:
- UNDP United Nations Development Programme
- AFDB African Development Bank
- PSP Parliament Support Programme
- LCC Liaison and Coordination Committee
- PRC Parliament Reform Committee
- CAT Capacity Assessment Team
- CAR Capacity Assessment Report
- AoP Administration of Parliament
- PSC Programme Steering Committee
- PMB Programme Management Board
- PCU Programme Coordination Unit
- ISO International Organisation of Standards
- MP Member of Parliament
- NPD National Programme Director
- POZ Parliament of Zimbabwe
- PPC Parliament Programme Coordinator
- PPA Parliament Programme Accountant
- EA Senior Executive Assistant
- ZI Zimbabwe Institute
- EU European Union
- World Bank
- SAPST Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust