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6 March 2012
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) UK is proud to host the 61st Westminster Seminar on Parliamentary Practice and Procedure and the 2nd Westminster Workshop on Public Accounts Committees (PACs) this month. Running 5-9 and 12-15 March respectively, the Westminster Seminar and Westminster Workshop represent two of the most eagerly-anticipated and well-attended programmes of the CPA UK calendar.
Designed for newly-elected members and early-career clerks of Commonwealth parliaments, the Westminster Seminar takes the Westminster model as a starting point for discussions in a detailed course designed to enhance the capacity of delegates to work more effectively in their legislatures.
Over the course of the week, delegates will meet with the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon. John Bercow MP and the Lord Speaker, Rt Hon. Baroness D’Souza CMG, Joint Presidents of CPA UK, and Rt Hon. Lord Howell of Guildford in a networking event at No 10 Downing Street. They will also take part in sessions on the role of an MP, the role of the Opposition, parliamentary administration, the committee system, women in parliament and devolution. The relationship between parliament and the media will be explored during a session with members of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.
The Westminster Seminar will be followed by the second in the newly-initiated annual Westminster Workshop Series, which this year will explore Public Accounts Committees. Attended by members and clerks of Commonwealth legislatures’ PACs and representatives of overseas Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs), the programme will focus on themes such as curbing corruption and fraud, public procurement, effective hearings and media engagement. Delegates will also attend breakout sessions aimed at small and large legislatures, where specific issues faced by PACs in each will be discussed in detail.
Speaking ahead of the Westminster Seminar and Workshop, Chair of the CPA UK Executive Committee, Rt Hon. Sir Alan Haselhurst MP, said ‘The CPA is seen at its best when it can provide high-quality, focused courses for parliamentarians and clerks to hone their skills and profit from mutual discussion.’