alexa The new-look parliament - Daily Nation

The new-look parliament

Tuesday July 19 2011

By ALPHONCE SHIUNDU [email protected]

Kenya’s Parliament is being spruced up at a cost of Sh1 billion with a possible 15 per cent variation (Sh150 million) likely to be topped up to conclude the work as per the fancy designs.

The 15 per cent is the maximum top-up allowed under the law on public procurement.

According to the designs seen by the Nation, the new-look House will have 326 fixed seats arranged in a u-shaped manner, with 26 other seats next to the door.

Then there will be more seats, movable ones, up to a total of 359. Bids for the customised, fancy, dark-red leather-seats were opened on July 11, at Parliament’s County Hall.

The Parliamentary Service Commission invited international seat manufacturers to bid.

The key criteria was that they should not only have the capacity to handle the job, but that they should have supplied furniture to other Parliaments in the world.

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Currently, there are 222 MPs and their number is set to rise to 349 in the next Parliament.

Senators are not expected to sit in the National Assembly, but the Old Chambers — now in use by the 10th Parliament — will be converted into a Senate before 2013. The Senate will accommodate 68 senators.

The refurbishment of the Old Chamber, according to the estimates prepared by the Parliamentary Service Commission, will cost Sh805 million, with Sh22 million to be spent on the purchase of specialised plant, equipment and machinery’ for security.

Refurbishment of buildings in this financial year is projected to cost Sh1.5 billion, with the cost decreasing slightly in the next financial year to Sh1.04 billion.

The Hansard is already online and so is the Order Paper (Parliament’s timetable) and the Bills. It is upon MPs to learn how to use the website.