The second edition of legislative watch will be released this week and to help the general public have greater insight into the methods of scoring the lawmakers, we hereby provide this indicators application to aid public understanding.
Legislative Watch Indicators Application
Legislative Watch is not rating the performance of the individual lawmaker as àn independent entity.
The report is rating the general performance of the office of a legislator, which include his personal engagement, activities of his supporting staff, legislative aides etc.
This means that, the overall performance of a lawmaker in the legislative watch report is the total summation of how the lawmaker ran his office over a period of one year, putting into consideration, the output of his office.
Lawmakers with inefficient supporting staff and aides will most certainly carry the burden of their choices because this would certainly reflect in their overall performance on the legislative watch report.
Legislative Watch assessment have been established to be based on 4 broad indicators, namely representation, legislative advancement, executive oversight and constituency outreach. While the above 4 indicators wholly applied to federal lawmakers, the 4th indicator applied differently to legislators at the state house of assembly. Federal legislators have constituency project funds captured in the annual budget and other constituency empowerment opportunities, but for the state legislators, there are no such statutory provisions.
However, state legislators are expected by convention to execute minor constituency outreach projects largely from allowances, facilitation through relevant MDAs and self funding and it is based on such projects or absence of it,that they are awarded marks in this category.
Generally speaking, the 4 broad indicators weigh differently and in total, they have 25 points weight. Each of the 4 indicators has 5 points score, with the exception of representation, which has a 10 point score.
Legislative Watch gave 10 point priority to representation because without it, all other functions of the legislative arm will either be impossible or not reflect the needs and priority of the constituents.
Representation, which is strictly about active presence at the constituency, regular participatory engagement with constituents, accessibility to representative and responsiveness to citizens inquiry will ensure that legislation and project execution is tied to needs, expectations and priority of the people.
Therefore, three indicators namely legislative advancement, executive oversight and constituency outreach have 5 points each, making if 15 points, while representation has 10 points, taking the total weight of all indicators to 25 points.
Representation has 10 points, with 5 sub indicators, each carrying 2 marks in the following order, constituency office (2), efficiency of constituency office and responsiveness (2), constituency sensitization on new and existing legislation (2), consultation with constituents before taking position on public issues and advancing legislation (2) and attendance of sittings and contribution (2).
While physical office within the constituency is very important due to the none tech savvy populace, especially in rural areas, constituency office is not all about the physical structure alone, it is about the total activities of the office and the efficiency of its operations.
Physical office without active operations will not earn lawmakers full credit, while active operations, especially via online and mobile communication without physical office requires solid evidence to earn lawmaker full point in this section.
To earn full mark, physical office, active operations, responsiveness to constituents, regular consultation, community engagement, punctuality and active participation at the legislative house will earn lawmaker full score.
Legislative Advancement has 5 points, with 5 sub-indicators, each having 1 mark in the following order, Bill sponsorship (1), Motion Sponsorship (1), Bill Co-Sponsorship (1), Motion Co-Sponsorship (1) and importance of bills and motion sponsored (1).
In this section, bills sponsored are not marked based on volume. To earn mark here, we only need to see evidence of bill sponsored within the year in review. Lawmakers do not loose any mark for not being able to get a bill passed, as we consider that to be beyond the singular capacity of an individual lawmaker.
Provided a lawmaker sponsored a bill, such bill will earn him or her a mark in this section. The same consideration applies to motion.
Legislative Watch also priotizes bills and motions Co-Sponsorship.
We understand that, legislation is not all about sponsoring many bills and motions, but identifying key areas of priority and working together with other lawmakers to actualize a common vision.
Proposing amendment to existing laws, with the aim of strengthening them is also considered a bill by legislative watch and it has equal mark.
Co-Sponsorship of bills and motions is viewed very highly by legislative Watch because it signifies joint purpose for common good. We are therefore encouraging lawmakers to work together as a team to achieve excellence.
Legislative Watch understands that, legislative engagement cannot achieve it purpose if it is circled around “I”. To achieve the purpose of representation, legislative engagement must be approached from the “we” perspective.
Executive Oversight has 5 points, with 5 sub-indicators, each having 1 mark in the following order, Field oversight (1), technical oversight (1), impact of Field oversight (1), impact of technical oversight (1) and oversight on zonal intervention projects (1)
In this section, evidence of participation in field and techni oversight functions attended will earn lawmakers mark. In addition, evidences of oversight impact, both in field and technical oversight must be established to earn lawmakers mark. And lastly, evidence of oversight on zonal intervention projects within the constituency are required to earn full mark in this section.
Constituency Outreach has 5 points, with 5 sub-indicators in the following order, zonal intervention projects (1), constituency capital projects (1), constituency empowerment (1), constituency social welfare (1), facilitation of jobs and other opportunities inline with federal character (1).
Marks are awarded based on evidences of the above.
Second edition of legislative watch will be released this week.
Convener and Lead Researcher
Kwara Must Change