Know the Maneaba ni Maungatabu

Question: What is the Maneaba ni Maungatabu?
 Answer: It is the legislature for Kiribati consisting of a single chamber.

Q: Who is the incumbent Speaker of the current Maneaba?
 A: He is the Honorable Tebuai Uaai of Tabiteuea South.

Q: Where does the Maneaba ni Maungatabu hold its sessions as a legislature?
 A: The Maneaba holds its sessions at the parliament building located along 
South Tarawa Road in Ambo Village.

Q: Am I allowed to witness the proceedings of the Maneaba?
 A: Yes. You may go to the parliament building, and take a seat at the gallery
 to witness the proceedings. You have to be in proper attire, and must be silent 
at all times in order not to disturb the MPs while at work.

Q: Who compose the Maneaba?
 A: It is composed of 44 elected members in the 23 electoral districts of Kiribati, 
and a representative of the Banaban community nominated by the Rabi Council.

Q: What are the electoral districts of Kiribati:
 A: There are 23 in all, as follows: Abaiang; Abemama; Arorae; Banaba; Beru; Betio; 
Butaritari; Kiritimati; Kuria; Maiana; Makin; Marakei; Nikunau; Nonouti; North Tarawa;
 Onotoa; Rabi Council; South Tarawa; TabNorth; TabSouth; Tabuaeran; Tamana; Teraina.

Q: I am now 18 years old, studying at the KGV/EBS Government Secondary School. 
   Can I run in the September 2011 elections, so I may also be an MP?
 A: No. You are not yet qualified. The Constitution requires a candidate to be at 
least 21 years of age.

Q: My friend, a citizen of Tonga who has been staying here for ten years, wants to 
represent the constituency of Makin. Can he run in the next elections?
 A: No. The Constitution requires that a candidate, aside from being 21 years of age,
 must be a citizen of Kiribati.

Q: What are the disqualifications for elected membership in the Maneaba ni Maungatabu?
 A: Article 56 of the Constitution disqualifies the following: (1) One who has sworn 
allegiance to a foreign power or State; (2) One who is certified to be insane or 
otherwise adjudged to be of unsound mind; (3) One under death sentence imposed against
 him; (4) One who has been adjudged guilty of an electoral offence; (5) One who is 
holding a public office connected to the conduct of elections; (6) One who is acting 
in any public office.

Q: When a Member of the Maneaba ni Maungatabu assumes the Office of the Beretitenti, 
does he vacate his office?
 A: That Member of the Maneaba ni Maungatabu shall not, by reason of the fact that 
s/he holds the Office of the Beretitenti, cease to be a member of the Maneaba.

Q: How is the Speaker of the Maneaba chosen?
 A: The Speaker is elected by the Members of the Maneaba from among persons who are 
not members of the Maneaba. The Chief Justice presides at a sitting of the Maneaba 
for the purpose of the election of a Speaker, and shall be responsible for the 
conduct of any such election.

Q: Please describe the legislative process, or how a bill becomes a law (or an Act).

A: Pursuant to the Constitution and the Rules of Procedure of the 
Maneaba ni Maungatabu , any MP may introduce a bill by submitting to the Clerk no 
fewer than 25 working days before it is to be presented to Parliament. This enables 
the Clerk to publish the bill and introduce it to all MPs, who then will have time 
to study it and discuss it in their respective electorates before it is debated in 
Parliament. Following the first reading debate, the bill is committed to a 
Committee of the Whole Maneaba at the next meeting of the Parliament. This allows 
time for the MPs to discuss the contents of the bill again in their electorates. 
Urgent bills, or those which a majority of the MPs have resolved to proceed with, 
may progress in the same meeting. The Committee of the Whole Maneaba considers the 
bill clause by clause, making amendments and corrections. The bill then moves 
straight to its second reading, which consists only of a motion by the bill’s 
proponent that the bill be read for the second time and passed. Once passed, 
a bill to become an Act must receive the Beretitenti’s assent, unless he is of 
the opinion that it is inconsistent with the Constitution.

 


Q: Is there any plan of the Parliament to create an open and participatory 
legislative process?

A: Yes, there is. The Parliament recognizes the need for the legislative process to 
be as participatory and transparent as possible. It recognizes that civil society 
organizations (CSOs), as well as regional and international experts, can also provide
 the MPs with useful information during the legislative process. Therefore, the 
Parliament is committed to creating a system which allows the MPs to interact and 
receive information form a range of civil society and expert sources, as well as
 the general public, during legislative deliberations. Further, the Parliament 
will ensure that information on the legislative process, including those from 
committee hearings, work programmes and draft laws under consideration is widely 
disseminated to civil society and the general public through the Parliament website 
and the media.

 


Q : What is the oversight power of the Parliament?

A: It is the power to oversee the activities, programs, policies and actions of the 
Government, its agencies, subdivisions, and instrumentalities, to determine if the 
laws are being faithfully executed. Others describe it as a process by which the 
Parliament learns about the implementation, results, effectiveness and adequacy of 
its past legislative work, including the policies implicit in laws and the programs 
and activities carried out under such laws. Still others describe it the thorough, 
systematic and ongoing review of programs – both permanent and temporary – to 
evaluate their effectiveness in accomplishing intended objectives.

 


Q: Are there any plans of developing the capacity of the Public Accounts Committee 
to exercise the oversight power of the Parliament?

A: Yes. The capacity of the PAC to provide effective oversight of public finances 
has increased over the years. The Parliament remain committed to ensuring that the 
effectiveness of the PAC continues to increase. In order to increase the openness, 
transparency and effectiveness of the

PAC, the Parliament is committed to: [1] Developing and publishing detailed annual 
work plans for the PAC and ensuring that work plans are effectively implemented; 
[2] Implementing a rolling programme of training for PAC members; [3] Developing a 
Handbook for the PAC on its role, duties and responsibilities, including advice on 
how to assess expenditures in relation to achievement of the MDGs; and 
[4] Reviewing relevant Standing Orders to explore options for ensuring that the 
Executive responds to PAC recommendations and follow up is tracked..