New evaluation of the CPA Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures ensures they remain relevant for Commonwealth Parliaments
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association has published a new report on the ‘Evaluation of the CPA Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures Programme 2018-2022’.
First conceived in 2006 and updated in 2018, the CPA’s Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures were designed to provide a minimum set of standards to guide the functioning of Commonwealth Parliaments. They provide a framework for excellence in Commonwealth parliamentary and legislative practice as well as providing a minimum standard and a guide on how a Parliament should be constituted and how it should function.
As highlighted in this new evaluation report, the CPA, through its Benchmarks programme has helped Parliaments in a variety of impactful ways. For example, enabling Legislatures to take forward updates of their Standing Orders, developing Codes of Conduct, undertaking administrative and organisational reforms, and enhancing their public education, outreach and engagement.
Read the report
The Benchmarks were adopted by the CPA’s membership of almost 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures, and they play an important role in developing the effectiveness of parliamentary institutions. Since 2018, 22 Commonwealth Parliaments have completed a CPA Benchmarks assessment, with further assessments planned for 2023-2024.
The updated version of the CPA Benchmarks seeks to align with the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG16 on strong and sustainable democratic institutions and building ‘effective, accountable and inclusive [parliamentary] institutions at all levels’.
The CPA Secretary-General, Stephen Twigg said:
“This CPA Benchmarks report and its associated review are timely. 2023 is both the 10th anniversary of the Commonwealth Charter and the 20th anniversary of the Commonwealth Latimer House Principles on the Separation of Powers, as well as the midway point of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The CPA Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures remain an invaluable tool to support Parliaments in identifying areas for reform, and coupled with the CPA’s Technical Assistance Programmes, result in significant impact. For this reason, they are, and will remain, a flagship programme for the CPA.”
The recommendations in this new report on the CPA Benchmarks will aim to ensure that they are fit for purpose in the longer-term and are appropriately tailored for the needs and wants of the CPA’s member Parliaments, whilst ensuring they remain a robust set of standards to strengthen parliamentary institutions.
Click here to download the CPA's Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures.
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association connects, develops, promotes and supports Parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and the implementation of the enduring values of the Commonwealth. The CPA is an international community of around 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance.
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