A submission to a Committee of County Assembly is one way of making your voice heard in Assembly. By making a submission, you have an opportunity to influence the opinion of Members of a Committee who are discussing and debating a particular piece of legislation before it is finalized.
The first step is usually to make a written submission to a Committee. Members of that particular Committee will go through all the written submissions received from members of the public or interested organizations and then, based on the written submissions, may decide to invite some to appear before the Committee to explain their written submission. That is called an oral submission.
County Assembly Committees, through advertisements, often invite members of the public to make written submissions when they are considering a particular matter. The relevant contact details will be contained in the invitation for submissions.
General tips on making a submission
There is no set format for a written submission. Your submission could be a simple letter of support or opposition. It could also be a longer document with suggestions for changes. The important thing is to say clearly what you want to say. The following tips may help you when preparing your submission:
1. The shorter and simpler, the better. Committees receive many submissions at a time and a submission that is brief and to the point will facilitate their work.
2. If your document is long, include a summary of the main points and recommendations.
3. If you are making the submission as an individual, explain why you want to comment on the legislation. State if you have training or experience that is relevant to the issue.
4. If you are making the submission as an organization, briefly describe the organization. Who are its members? Why are they concerned about this particular matter? Does the organization have special expertise or experience in regard to the substance of the matter being discussed?
5. Explain your point of view. Say whether you want to support or oppose a bill or the issue being deliberated upon. If you want to suggest changes, explain what they are.
6. Use the language that you feel most comfortable with. Assembly, as the representative of the people, encourages the use of all official languages and would like all citizens to feel free to participate in the work of the Assembly in the language of their choice.
How to deliver a submission
You can deliver your written submission personally, or post it. If you post it, ensure that you leave enough time for it to arrive before the deadline. Written submissions can also be e-mailed.
Indicate on your submission if you would also like to make an oral submission.