Making Parliamentary Standing Committees Effective: Minimizing Systemic Constraints

  • A. T. M. Obaidullah


They believed in the principle that if the British authority over the Indian empire was to be sustained they would need an elite bureaucracy to man the top echelon of administration—civil and judicial services—and maintain close links with political authority at the centre and provinces and orchestrate them in such fashion that they work like machines (Houghton, 1913 cited in Ahmed, 1981). The British Prime Minister Lloyd George called them the ‘Steel-frame.’


Committee oversight Systemic constraints Reorganization CS Wing Clustering Formation of core committee team 


  1. Ahmed, E. (1981) Development Administration, Centre for Administrative Studies, Dhaka University, DhakaGoogle Scholar
  2. Ahmed, N. (1998) “Reforming the Parliament in Bangladesh: Structure, Constraints and Political Dilemmas, Frank Cass Journal: Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, Vol. 36, No. 1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ahmed, N. (2002) The Bangladesh Parliament, Ashgate: Anthony Rowe Limited, Chippenham, Wiltshire LondonGoogle Scholar
  4. Ahmed, N. (2007) Departmental Select Committee in the British House of Commons in Ahmed, N. and Obaidullah, A. T. M. (eds) The Working of Parliamentary Committees in Westminster System, University Press Limited, DhakaGoogle Scholar
  5. Benda, S. R. (1997) ‘Committees in Legislatures: A Division of Labour’: Longley and Agh (eds.) The Changing role of Parliamentary Committees, Research Committee of Legislative Specialists, International Political Association, Appleton, 17–50 cited in Ahmed 2002: 59Google Scholar
  6. BJS, Secretariat Order (2006), Job Description, The Bangladesh Parliament Secretariat, DhakaGoogle Scholar
  7. Buchanan, L. et al. (2002) Organizational Review of Parliament Secretariat, UNDP: DhakaGoogle Scholar
  8. Buchanan, L., & Nizam Ahmed (2004) Report on Parliamentary Committees, 2004, BDG/97/003 UNDP, DhakaGoogle Scholar
  9. Butcher, D. (2004) The UNDP Mission Report, UNDP, DhakaGoogle Scholar
  10. Chowdhry, M. A. (1968) Government and Politics in Pakistan, Puthighar LTD, DhakaGoogle Scholar
  11. Chowdhury, N. (1997) Implementation Plan on Strengthening of the Parliament, UNDP, DhakaGoogle Scholar
  12. DFID: David Watson and Deborah Williams (2000) Support to Parliamentary Committees in Bangladesh, DFID Bangladesh, DhakaGoogle Scholar
  13. Emy, H. (1978) The Politics of Australian Democracy, Macmillan, MelbourneGoogle Scholar
  14. Hakim, A. (2000) The Changing Forms of Government in Bangladesh: The Transition to Parlia,mentary system in 1991, in Perspective, Bangladesh Institute of Parliamentary Studies, DhakaGoogle Scholar
  15. Hasanuzzaman, A. M. (2007) ‘Role of Parliamentary committees in Bangladesh’ in Ahmed, N. and Obaidullah, A. T. M. (eds) The Working of Parliamentary Committees in Westminster Systems: Lesson for Bangladesh, University Press Limited, DhakaGoogle Scholar
  16. Hollis Christopher (1950, 64) Can Parliament Survive? London: World Affairs Book ClubGoogle Scholar
  17. Houghton, B. (1913) Bureaucratic Government: A Study in Indian Polity, Natesan & CoGoogle Scholar
  18. Hussain, S. A. (1991) Politics and Society in Bengal – 1921–36: A Legislative Perspective, Dhaka: BenglaGoogle Scholar
  19. Jogrest, M. (1993) Reform in the House of Commons, The University Press of Kentucky, LexingtonGoogle Scholar
  20. Khosla, J. N. (1970) “Administrative Reform in India: Perspective and Lessons” in Lee, H. B. and Samonte, A. G. (eds) Administrative Reforms in Asia, Manila, Philippines: Eastern Regional Organization for Public AdministrationGoogle Scholar
  21. Kreppel, Amie (2014) “Typologies and Classifications.” in Shane Martin, Thomas Saalfeld, and Kaare Strom (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Legislative Studies. Oxford: Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  22. Lijphart, A. (2012) Patterns of Democracy Yale University PressGoogle Scholar
  23. Lindley, J. A. (1991) An Assessment of the Institutional Development Needs of the Parliament of Bangladesh, Asia FoundationGoogle Scholar
  24. Longley, L. and Davidson, R. H. (eds) (1998) The New Roles of Parliamentary Committee, Frank Cass, London, p. 2Google Scholar
  25. Meg Russell and Phillip Cowley (2015) The policy power of the Westminster parliament: The “parliamentary state” and the empirical evidence.
  26. Mezey, M. (1979, 26) Comparative Legislatures, Duke University Press, Durham, NCGoogle Scholar
  27. Norton, P. (1985) “Recent Structural and Procedural Changes in the House of Commons in P. Norton (ed) Parliament in the 1980s, Basil Black well, London.Google Scholar
  28. Norton, P. (1994) ‘Legislative Power of Parliament ‘ in C Flinterman, A Heringa and L. Waddington (eds) The Evolving Role of Parliaments in Europe, METRO, Nemos Verglag.Google Scholar
  29. Obaidullah, A. T. M. (2011) “Reorganization of Standing Committees on Ministries of Bangladesh Parliament: A Quest for Increasing Operational & Institutional Efficiency”, South Asian Survey, Vol. 18, No. 2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Obaidullah, A. T. M. (2015) Strengthening Budget Process and Oversight Capacity of the House of Representatives (HOR) of Somaliland Parliament. UNDP Constitutional and Parliamentary Support Project, Mission Report, Hargeisa, SomalilandGoogle Scholar
  31. Obaidullah, A. T. M. (2017) “Civil Service Reforms and Development of Professionalism: A Case Study of Bangladesh” in Basu & Rahman (eds) Governance in South Asia, Rutledge UK South Asia edition LondonGoogle Scholar
  32. PRODIP Evaluation Report (2015) The Asia Foundation, DhakaGoogle Scholar
  33. Quoted in Nizam Ahmed & ATM Obaidullah (ed) The Working of Parliamentary Committees in Westminster Systems UPL Dhaka 2007, p. 1Google Scholar
  34. Rahman, T. (2008) Parliamentary Control and Government Accountability in South Asia, Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  35. Rashiduzzaman, M. (1965) Central Legislature in British India: 1921–1947, Mullick Brothers, Dhaka, p. 4Google Scholar
  36. Rules of Procedure. Parliament of the Peoples’ Republic of Bangladesh (as modified up to 11th January 2007 (Reprinted : December, 2013)Google Scholar
  37. Rush, M. (1983) Parliamentary Committees and Parliamentary Government: The British and Canadian ParliamentGoogle Scholar
  38. Rush, M. (2009) The Working of Parliamentary Committee in Westminster System: Lesson for Bangladesh. A book Review in Legislative Studies, Vol. 15, pp. 547–52Google Scholar
  39. Schick, A. (2002) Can National Legislature Regain an Effective Voice in Budget Policy?, OECD Journal on BudgetingCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Siddiqi, L. K. et al. (1994) Making Parliament Effective: A British Experience. This is an unpublished study tour report by the Bangladesh Parliament Members, DhakaGoogle Scholar
  41. Soliman, Magdy M. and Kendra P. Collins (Project BGD/97/003) “Strengthening Parliamentary Democracy”, Advisory Opinion on the Reform of the Rules of Procedure, BIPS, DhakaGoogle Scholar
  42. The Asia Foundation Report (2014) Promoting Democratic Institutions and Practices (PRODIP) program USAID Cooperative Agreement No. 388-A-0010-00092-00 Asia Foundation), Dhaka (This project was administered by the Asia Foundation, Bangladesh)Google Scholar
  43. The Asia Foundation (2015) Tim M. eisburger, Strengthening Democracy in Bangladesh (The Asia Foundation)
  44. UNDP, Linda, B. et al. (2002) Organizational Review of Bangladesh Parliament Secretariat, UNDP, DhakaGoogle Scholar
  45. UNDP Sue Nelson (2006) The Final Evaluation Report of the Strengthening Parliamentary Democracy Project, BGD/00/97 UNDP, DhakaGoogle Scholar
  46. USAID PRODIP (2011) Promoting Democratic Institutions and Practices (PRODIP program USAID Cooperative Agreement No. 388-A-0010-00092-00 Asia Foundation), DhakaGoogle Scholar
  47. USAID-PRODIP Project (2014) USAID: Bangladesh (2014) Promoting Democratic Institutions and Practices (PRODIP program USAID Cooperative Agreement No. 388-A-0010-00092-00 Asia Foundation), Dhaka (This project was administered by the Asia Foundation, Bangladesh. This is why sometime it is referred to as Asia Foundation ReportGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. T. M. Obaidullah
    • 1
  1. 1.Public AdministrationUniversity of RajshahiDhakaBangladesh

Personalised recommendations