Assembly recommits Prison Service Act for amendment

By Akol Madut Ngong

The Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly has recommitted back the National Prison Service Act (Amendment) Bill of 2022 to the Specialized Committee because of a missing part.

Chapter 7 of the amendment Act that contains disciplinary articles of the National Prison Act was reportedly omitted without any substitution to the chapter by the National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) which members of the assembly during the Tuesday’s sitting No: 19/2022 on the bill second reading Stage decided to throw the amendment bill back for justification.

Speaking to media after the sitting, the Chairperson of the Standing Specialized Committee of Information, Communication Technology and Postal Service John Agany Deng said the MPs had recommitted back the joint Report of the Standing Specialized Committees of the National Security & Public Order and Legislation & Justice on South Sudan National Prison Service Act (Amendment) Bill, 2022 for more clarification before passing to the third reading stage.

The joint report was presented to the August House in its second reading stage by Simon Kun Puoch, Chairperson of the Standing Specialized Committee on National Security and Public Order.

John Agany stated that after, the presentation of the joint report of the Standing Specialized Committees the deliberation went on and they found that some of the vital articles were left out or had been removed without any clear reasons.

“We decided as the national legislative assembly under Rt. Hon. Speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba that we should recommit back. She recommitted back the same amendment to the committee concern so as to incorporate with all other parts which have been left out and all the contributions made by the members must be incorporated and it will again come back for the second reading,” Agany said.

“It is not yet passed into the third reading stage; it has been returned back for the committee for those orders which have been already mentioned, that item will come back in the next sitting for deliberation and to be passed to the third reading stage” Agany explained.

He said it is the disciplinary chapter which was supposed to be there for the members of the prison service who are officers and non-commission officers, saying they should have that but it has been removed out by the NCAC for the reason known to them, and they didn’t explain why they removed out   that part.

“You shouldn’t have any army unit or prison unit who are soldiers without disciplinary measures to be taken against them, how do you manage them. You will never manage them and that part really we need it to be returned back and if the NCAC have any reason of removing it out, they should come out and make it clear to the committee that we have removed it because of ABC” Agany lamented.

Meanwhile on the other note the assembly also discussed an amendment number 10 to the Assembly Conduct of Business Regulation.

The amendment was deliberated and passed by the lawmakers that all the other articles concerning the conduct of business are amended and then any other part which is not comfortable with the national constitution and then national and other national laws will be reconciled later on.

Agany said the question of chief whip has also been addressed in the conduct of business regulation as per the agreement.

He said the agreement talked of the two chief whips, that is the government and the opposition chief whip that is SPLM-IO, however a concern arised that the other parties to the agreement are supposed to have their whips.

The South Sudan opposition Alliance (SSOA) raised that concern to the principals and all of them agreed that SSOA should be given a chief whip position and that has been granted with the amendment passed on Tuesday’s ordinary sitting no. 19/2022.

“It is inclusive that SSOA should have a chief whip position, the government chief whip, Opposition chief whip and SSOA chief whip, now we are having three chief whips in the Assembly,” Agany stated.

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