With the entry into force of the constitutional amendments in 2018, which has completed Georgia’s evolution from a semi-presidential system to a parliamentary republic, the Parliament is now at the heart of the democratic governance in the country. In combination with the Parliament’s newly-reformed Rules of Procedure (RoP), the role of the legislature is substantially increased. New mechanisms introduced by the RoP grant the Parliament with stronger powers to effectively exercise its law-making and oversight functions, and increase citizen engagement in legislative processes. With the reformed RoP in place, it is important that the new regulations do not remain on paper, but are institutionalized across the Parliament to strengthen its institutional capacities, enhance public image and trust towards the legislature and contribute to the development of parliamentary democracy.
One of the important novelties offered by the RoP reform is the introduction of thematic rapporteurs in parliamentary committees to better distribute the work and allow for in-depth study and analysis of different areas of activity and thus ensure more effective exercise of the law-making and oversight functions by the committees. Pursuant to the RoP, the scope of work/working areas of the thematic rapporteurs are defined by the committees annually during the development of the committees’ action plans. The Thematic Rapporteur shall analyze the issues (including draft laws) within the competence of the committee and his/her own scope of work and submit a respective report to the committee during the discussion of the issue (and/or draft law).
Although the main goal of introducing of thematic rapporteurs was to better manage the legislative and oversight activities of the committees, this mechanism has not been yet widely used at the Parliament of Georgia. This is largely due to the lack of awareness on the exact role of thematic rapporteurs both in contributing to more effective legislative and oversight processes as well as acting as spokespersons to communicate with the public about the developments in concrete areas of activity, which is not a common practice at the Parliament. The challenges are also related to the lack of knowledge about the specifics of the work of thematic rapporteurs and organization of their day-to-day business, as well as what type of resources (human and financial) are required to effectively exercise the duties. Finally, the criteria for distributing the spheres of competence among Members of Parliament is also not clear; and, there is limited knowledge on possibilities of appointment of co-rapporteurs that could considerably improve the overall process and committee performance in general.
With the support from the European Union, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has provided significant assistance to the Parliament of Georgia in the reform of its Rules of Procedure. Applying new procedures into practice and improving the work of the parliamentary committees is one of the strategic directions of the on-going EU-UNDP project “Consolidating Parliamentary Democracy in Georgia”.
To support in enhancing the effectiveness and quality of performance of parliamentary committees, the project intends to recruit an International Consultant in Parliamentary Development to provide advice on institutionalizing the work of thematic rapporteurs considering the best European practices.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The International Consultant works closely with the Parliament of Georgia to enhance their work through thematic rapporteurs. More particularly, the International Consultant performs the following tasks and responsibilities:
Activity 1. Comparative Review of the Best European practices in the work of thematic rapporteurS
- The Consultant shall conduct a desk research and prepare a comparative review with the analysis of the best European standards and practices (legal framework, where applicable) in managing the work of the thematic rapporteurs in parliaments. The review shall cover issues related to the distribution of the spheres of competence among members of committees, the role of thematic rapporteurs in parliamentary work and organization of their day-to-day activities, appointment of co-rapporteurs and their role and tasks.
- The review shall also provide information on the available resources in the hands of thematic rapporteurs, management of those resources, both human (staff, assistants) and financial.
- The document shall also include recommendations to the Parliament of Georgia on the role of thematic rapporteurs in communicating with the public on developments in their respective fields of activity and the Parliament’s legislative and oversight activities in general.
- The Consultant shall present and discuss the findings of the comparative review with relevant recommendations to the Members and staff of the committees of the Parliament of Georgia.
- Activity 2. On-Job-consultancy to the Selected thematic rapporteurs to better manage their legislative and oversight work
- The Consultant shall provide overall coaching and advice to the selected MPs (up to three) while they exercise their duties as thematic rapporteurs and support them in their new roles. The coaching shall, among other, cover topics related to the communication of relevant information by the thematic rapporteurs to the public.
- After the completion of the on-job-consultancy exercise, the Consultant shall submit to the UNDP Project the summary of the support provided to thematic rapporteurs and further recommendations.
The Consultant is accountable and reports to the UNDP Project Manager.
- Note: Considering the COVID-19 pandemic and its challenges, the consultancy does not foresee any in-country missions. the interviews/seminars/on-job-consultancy will be conducted remotely technically facilitated by the UNDP project.
Deliverables and payment modality:
The Consultant will be paid a lump sum in three installments upon submission of the deliverables according to the below schedule:
- Comparative review of the best European practices of the work of the thematic rapporteurs and recommendations for the Parliament of Georgia: due by April 2021, 50% of the total fee
- Seminar to present the findings of the review of the best European standards and practices in the work of thematic rapporteurs – for the Members and staff of Parliament: due by May 2021, 20% of the total fee
- On-job-consultancy to the selected thematic rapporteurs (up to three) of the Parliament of Georgia; Report summarizing support to thematic rapporteurs and further recommendations: due by October 2021, 30% of the total fee
- Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards
- Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
- Treats all people fairly without favoritism
- Excellent intercultural, moderation, facilitation and negotiation skills;
- Builds strong relationships with stakeholders, focuses on impact and result and responds positively to feedback;
- Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
- Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities;
- Ability to lead effectively, mentoring as well as conflict resolution skills
- Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills
- Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure
- Proven networking, team-building, organizational and communication skills
REQUIRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
- At least Master’s degree in law, political science, public policy/administration or related field, or BA with at least 12 years of relevant experience (minimum requirement: 8 points)
- At least 10 years of experience of working with the legislative bodies in the capacity of a Member of Parliament, senior-level staff and/or advisor/consultant (minimum requirement: 10 years - 10 points, 10 to 15 years - additional 3 points, mmore than 15 years - additional 4 points)
- Demonstrated experience of providing advisory services for the national parliaments in law-making and oversight functions (minimum requirement: one similar assignment – 10 points; more than one similar assignment – additional 5 points)
- Strong knowledge of parliamentary procedures and practices in the European countries
- Experience in developing analytical papers and recommendations for the parliaments
- Excellent knowledge of the English language.