Membership in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) provides many useful benefits to members of the local Legislature.

This assertion was made by Speaker of the House of Assembly, His Honour, Michael Carrington, as Barbados prepares to host the 39th Annual Conference of the Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic Region of the CPA. The conference, which forms part of the celebrations to mark the 375th anniversary of Parliament, takes place at Hilton Barbados Resort from July 28 to 30.

Mr. Carrington, who is also the Chairman of the local organising committee and leader of Barbados??? delegation to the conference, explained that the CPA provided a range of services to member branches. These include educational seminars for new members of Parliament and presiding officers, and training for clerks and other parliamentary staff. He also noted that the body champions the cause of parliamentary staff with a view to ensuring that these persons are comfortable and well trained.

According to the Speaker, ensuring that Public Accounts Committees are properly managed is another subject which has occupied the attention of the Association in recent times. He said the CPA had recently published a book on the functioning of these Committees, which had been circulated to various branches.

In addition, Mr. Carrington revealed that the Caribbean region of the CPA had also created a series of benchmarks for the functioning of a democratic Parliament in the region. These proposals and the effective functioning of Committees of Parliament are included on the agenda of a smaller Caribbean Region meeting, currently in progress at the Radisson Hotel, Aquatic Gap.

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