Council of Representatives of Iraq: Understanding Parliamentary Processes and Scrutiny of Government

This is the logo for the Iraqi Parliament Republic of Iraq

Client: Council of Representatives of Iraq, Iraqi Parliament, Republic of Iraq:

Programme: Understanding Parliamentary Processes and Scrutiny of Government

(Delivered in London, UK, 2010)

The client

The Parliament in Iraq is formed by the Council of Representatives and is an essential element in safeguarding the independence and sovereignty of the country.

The problem

Following the events that led to the creation of the first Iraqi Government in 2006, elections were held in 2008 with 400 parties vying to be elected to the 325 seats in the Council of Representatives (the legislature).

With the formation of the Council, the members were keen to ensure their systems were as effective and efficient as possible. The Council decided to send a delegation of senior members to the UK to examine as much as possible about the systems and processes of the UK Parliament.

The political situation in Iraq was then unstable and security was a high priority for all the members of the delegation. The members did not want to feel unsafe when working without the bodyguards they had in Iraq.

Our actions

We worked with the representatives over both the logistics and the content and delivery methods of the programme. To ensure delegates were not only safe but also felt safe we contacted the security services to seek advice and guidance on what we needed to do.

For the content of the programme we had to ensure that every session made maximum use of the limited time of the visit. To cover different learning needs and keep attention levels high we blended guest speakers with interactive discussion and other learning materials for later reading.

Our analysis of the learning needs revealed that, in addition to the obvious study of the legislative process, we needed to include scrutiny of Government by Parliament and the audit of Government expenditure. 

Because of the intensive nature of the programme we arranged cultural visits in the evening to allow members to relax a little and absorb the UK way of life to give context to the learning points.  

Conclusions

All members of the delegation expressed their thanks and commented on how much they had learned. After returning to Iraq some members stayed in contact as issues arose and we were able to give further advice which has helped in the building and strengthening of the Council of Representatives in Iraq.