According to the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African community, under Article 48, Clause(3), “the Assembly shall have committees which shall be constituted in the manner provided in the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly and shall perform the functions provided in respect thereof in the said rules of procedure”. Under Article 49 of the same Treaty, clause (2) (e), the Assembly
“may, for purposes of carrying out its functions, establish any committee or committees for such purposes as it deems necessary”.
Thus, the East African Legislative Assembly is empowered to make its own Rules of Procedure and to constitute committees.
The adopted Rules of Procedure (as amended in February 2003), provide for a Committee System of seven standing committees, but may also appoint select committees when need arises.
The EALA seven Standing Committees are provided for under Article 78 of the Rules of Procedure and they are the following:
The members of the standing committees shall be nominated among the members of the Assembly and they shall serve for a term of two and half years and thereafter fresh nomination shall be done.
Subject to the Rules of Procedure, the Chairperson of each standing committee shall be elected by the members of that committee from among their number and shall serve for a term of two and half years, except the House Business committee.
Each elected member shall serve on two committees other than the House Business Committee provided that a member may serve on three committees to reflect equal representation by Partner States.
The membership of each committee other than the House Business committee shall be fifteen (15) and quorum shall be at least half of the members.
As far as select committees are concerned, they are provided for under article 80 of EALA Rules of Procedure. Clause (1) of that rule stipulates that “the House may, at any time, upon motion made after notice, appoint, a Select Committee to be nominated by the House Business Committee, for the consideration or investigation of such matter(s) as the House may refer to it and report on any such matter(s) to the House”.
A Committee appointed under that sub-rule shall elect its Chairperson.