Belize Constitution - Subsidiary Act

Link to law: http://www.belizelaw.org/web/lawadmin/PDF%20files/cap004s.pdf
Published: 2000

SUBSID Belize Constitution CH. 4 BELIZE

BELIZE CONSTITUTION ACT CHAPTER 4

REVISED EDITION 2003 SHOWING THE SUBSIDIARY LAWS AS AT 31ST OCTOBER, 2003

This is a revised edition of the Subsidiary Laws, prepared by the Law Revision Commissioner under the authority of the Law Revision Act, Chapter 3 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2000.

ARRANGEMENT OF SUBSIDIARY LAWS

BELIZE

BELIZE CONSTITUTION ACT CHAPTER 4

REVISED EDITION 2003 SHOWING THE SUBSIDIARY LAWS AS AT 31ST OCTOBER, 2003

This is a revised edition of the Subsidiary Laws, prepared by the Law Revision Commissioner under the authority of the Law Revision Act, Chapter 3 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2000.

This edition contains a consolidation of the following laws- Page

1. BELIZE ADVISORY COUNCIL (PROCEDURE) RULES 4

2. BELIZE CONSTITUTION (HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES) STANDING ORDERS 13

3. BELIZE CONSTITUTION (SENATE STANDING ORDERS) 100

3[CAP. 4Belize Constitution

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4. A PROCLAMATION APPOINTING A DATE FOR HOLDING A SESSION OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY 171

5. GOVERNMENT (OPEN VOTE) WORKERS 173 REGULATIONS

6. PUBLIC SERVICES REGULATIONS 219

7. SERVICES COMMISSION REGULATIONS 289

8. CHIEF OF STAFF (MINISTRY OF DEFENCE) (DESIGNATION) 318

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Belize Constitution (Belize Advisory Council)CAP. 4]

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CHAPTER 4

BELIZE ADVISORY COUNCIL (PROCEDURE) RULES

ARRANGEMENT OF RULES

PART I PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.

2. Interpretation.

PART II APPEALS BY PUBLIC OFFICERS

3. Notice of Appeal.

4. Grounds of Appeal and submissions in support.

5. Comments of Solicitor General and Head of Department.

6. Reply by the appellant.

7. Setting down of appeal.

8. Consideration of appeal.

9. Notification of decision to parties.

10. Costs.

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PART III PREROGATIVE OF MERCY - CAPITAL CASES

11. Procedure in Capital Cases.

12. Advice to Governor-General.

13. Notification of decision.

PART IV PREROGATIVE OF MERCY - NON CAPITAL CASES

14. Procedure in non-capital cases.

15. Comments of Director of Public Prosecutions, etc.

16. Consideration of the application.

17. Notification of decision.

PART V MISCELLANEOUS

18. Proceedings in Camera.

19. Advice to Governor-General in confidence.

20. Commencement.

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Belize Constitution (Belize Advisory Council)CAP. 4]

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CHAPTER 4

BELIZE ADVISORY COUNCIL (PROCEDURE) RULES

[18th January, 1997]

PART I PRELIMINARY

1. These Rules maybe cited as the

BELIZE ADVISORY COUNCIL (PROCEDURE) RULES.

2. In these Rules, unless the context otherwise requires-

“appellant” means a person who has appealed or who intends to appeal to the Council pursuant to Part II of these Rules;

“appellant” means a person who has applied or who intends to apply to the Council, or whose case has been referred to the Council, for the exercise of the prerogative of mercy pursuant to Parts III and IV of these Rules;

“capital case” means a case where the applicant has been sentenced to death;

“Constitution” means the Belize Constitution;

“Council” means the Belize Advisory Council established under section 54 of the Constitution;

“Department” means Department of Government;

“Head of Department” includes Permanent Secretary;

“non-capital case” means a case where the applicant has been sentenced to

S. I. No. 3 of 1997.

Short title.

Interpretation.

CAP. 4.

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any punishment other than death;

“public officer” has the meaning assigned to it in section 131 of the Constitution;

“Secretary” means Secretary to the Council.

PART II APPEALS BY PUBLIC OFFICERS

3. (1) Any person desiring to appeal to the Council against a decision referred to in section III of the Constitution shall, within one month after the communication of the decision to him, lodge with the Secretary a written notice of appeal and serve a copy thereof on the Solicitor General as well as on the Head of the Department to which the appellant belongs or belonged.

(2) The Council may on special cause being shown extend the time within which an appeal may be lodged for the purpose of sub-rule (1) above.

4. (1) The appellant shall, either along with his notice of appeal or within fourteen days thereafter, furnish to the Secretary his grounds of appeal and written submissions in support thereof.

(2) If the appellant wishes to rely on any case law or other authorities, a copy thereof shall be included in his written submissions.

5. (1) The Secretary shall within seven days of the receipt of the material referred to in Rule 4 above, send a copy thereof to the Solicitor General as well as to the Head of the Department to which the appellant belongs or belonged.

(2) The Solicitor General and the Head of Department concerned shall within one month of the receipt of the material aforesaid furnish the Secretary with their views and comments on the merits of the appeal.

Notice of Appeal.

Grounds of appeal and submissions in support.

Comments of Solicitor General and Head of Department.

Belize Constitution (Belize Advisory Council)CAP. 4]

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6. (1) The Secretary shall within ten days of the receipt of the last of the comments referred to in Rule 5 (2) above send a copy thereof to the appellant for further comments, if any.

(2) The appellant may within fourteen days of the receipt of the comments referred to in sub-rule (1) above send to the Secretary any counter arguments or submissions which he wishes the Council to take into account.

7. The Secretary shall, as soon as may be after the expiry of the period limited by Rule 6, include the appeal in the agenda of the next meeting of the Council.

8. (1) The Council shall consider and determine every appeal on the basis of written submissions made by both parties but may call for additional information or evidence if it deems necessary.

(2) It shall not be incumbent on the Council to grant the appellant or the other party an oral hearing.

(3) Any matters of law or procedure arising during the hearing of an appeal shall be determined by the Chairman who may consult any legally qualified member of the Council in that behalf.

(4) The Council may from time to time adjourn the hearing of an appeal without unduly delaying the final determination of the appeal.

9. The Secretary shall within fourteen days after the final determination of an appeal by the Council convey the decision in writing to the appellant as well as to the Solicitor General and the Head of the relevant Department.

10. The Council shall not award costs of appeal to the successful party or to any other person.

Reply by the appellant

Setting down of appeal.

Consideration of appeal.

Notification of decision to parties.

Costs.

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PART III PREROGATIVE OF MERCY - CAPITAL CASES

11. (1) In all capital cases, the Council shall proceed to hear a matter only after it has received from the Attorney General the documents and other material referred to in section 53 of the Constitution.

(2) If, before or during the hearing of a capital case, the Council is informed that the applicant has lodged an appeal with the Privy Council, the Council shall stay its proceedings until the final decision of the Privy Council is known.

(3) If the applicant does not within sixty days after the dismissal of his appeal by the Belize Court of Appeal, lodge an appeal with the Privy Council, the Council may proceed to consider his case with a view to advising the Governor-General whether to exercise the prerogative of mercy in his case.

(4) The applicant or any other person acting on his behalf shall have no right to obtain a copy of the material supplied to the Council by the Attorney General pursuant to section 53 of the Constitution.

(5) The applicant or any other person acting on his behalf may if they so desire make any written or oral submissions to the Attorney General within sixty days after the dismissal of his appeal by the Belize Court of Appeal.

(6) The Council shall consider every capital case on the basis of the material submitted to it by the Attorney General pursuant to Section 53 of the Constitution, but may in its discretion call for additional information and material if it considers necessary.

12. The Council shall with due expedition give its advice to the Governor-General together with a statement of the reasons on which the advice is based.

Procedure in Capital Cases.

Advice to Governor- General.

Belize Constitution (Belize Advisory Council)CAP. 4]

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13. The Secretary shall with the Governor-General’s consent promptly convey the decision of the Governor-General to the applicant as well as to the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Solicitor General and the Superintendent of Prisons.

PART IV PREROGATIVE OF MERCY-NON-CAPITAL CASES

14. (1) Every person in a non-capital case who desires the Governor-General in special or exceptional circumstances to consider the exercise of the prerogative of mercy in his favour shall submit a written application to the Secretary specifying-

(a) the offence(s) of which he was convicted;

(b) the sentence awarded and the name of the sentencing court;

(c) the date of conviction and sentence;

(d) the special or exceptional circumstances which the applicant wishes the Council to take into consideration; and

(e) any other information or material relevant to the case.

(2) Where the applicant is in prison the Superintendent of Prisons shall, on being requested to do so, render all reasonable assistance in the preparation and submission of the application.

15. (1) On receipt of the application referred to in Rule 14, the Secretary shall promptly invite the comments thereon of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Superintendent of Prisons, the Probation Officer, and such other person as the Council may consider necessary.

Notification of Decision.

Procedure in Non- Capital Cases.

Comments of Director of Public Prosecutions, etc.

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(2) Every person requested to furnish comments pursuant to sub-rule (1) above shall do so promptly but no later than one month thereafter.

16. (1) As soon as the Secretary has received all the information and comments referred to in Rule 15, he shall include the matter in the agenda of the next meeting of the Council.

(2) The Council shall consider the matter with due expedition and render its advice to the Governor-General on whether or not the prerogative of mercy should be exercised.

(3) No person shall have a right to obtain a copy of the comments and other material furnished to the Council pursuant to Rule 15.

(4) The Council shall not be obliged to grant an oral hearing to the applicant or to any other person acting on his behalf.

17. The Secretary shall with the Governor-General’s consent promptly convey the decision of the Governor-General to the applicant, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Superintendent of Prisons.

PART V MISCELLANEOUS

18. All proceedings of the Council shall be held in camera unless otherwise directed by the Chairman.

19. Any advice given by the Council to the Governor-General in relation to the prerogative of mercy shall be given in strict confidence.

20. These Rules shall come into force on 1st February, 1997.

Consideration of the Application.

Notification of decision.

Proceedings in Camera.

Advice to Governor-General in confidence.

Commencement.

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12 CAP. 4] Belize Constitution (Belize Advisory Council)

MADE by the Belize Advisory Council this 6th day of December, 1996.

(EDWIN L. FLOWERS, S.C.) Chairman

Belize Advisory Council

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13Belize Constitution (House of Representatives) Standing Orders [CAP. 4

CHAPTER 4

BELIZE CONSTITUTION (HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES)

STANDING ORDERS

ARRANGEMENT OF STANDING ORDERS

1. Title. 2. Oath of Allegiance. 3. Election of Speaker. 4. Election of Deputy Speaker. 5. Presiding in the House and in Committee. 6. The Mace. 7. Duties of the Clerk. 8. Duties of the Serjeant at Arms. 9. Language. 10. Quorum. 11. Days of Meeting. 12. Hours of Sitting. 13. Adjournment of the House. 14. Adjournment-Definite Matters of Urgent Public Importance. 15. Order of Business 16. Petitions. 17. Papers. 18. Nature of Questions.

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19. Notice of Questions. 20. Contents of Questions. 21. Manner of Asking and Answering Questions. 22. Personal Explanations. 23. Arrangement of Public Business. 24. Public Money. 25. Notice of Motions or Amendments. 26. Period of Notice. 27. Exemption from Notice. 28. Dispensing with Notice. 29. Privilege Motions. 30. Moving of Motions. 31. Seconding of Motions and Amendments. 32. Motions not Moved or Seconded. 33. Withdrawal of Motions. 34. Amendments to Motions – How Moved and Put. 35. Time and Manner of Speaking. 36. Right of Reply. 37. Interruptions. 38. Contents of Speeches. 39. Scope of Debate. 40. Anticipation. 41. Closure of Debate. 42. Rules for Members not Speaking. 43. Responsibility for Order in the House and in Committee.

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44. Order in the House and in Committee. 45. Decisions of Questions. 46. Collection of Voices. 47. Divisions. 48. Introduction and first Reading of Bills. 49. Appointment of Days for Stages for Bills. 50. Form of Bills. 51. Second Reading. 52. Committal of Bills. 53. Functions of Committees on Bills. 54. Procedure in Committee of the Whole House on a Bill. 55. Procedure in Select Committee on a Bill. 56. Procedure on Reporting of Bills from Committees of the Whole House. 57. Recommittal of Bills reported from Committee of the Whole House. 58. Procedure on Bills reported from Select Committee. 59. Third Reading of Bills. 60. Procedure on Senate Amendments. 61. Custody of Bills and Assent thereto. 62. Withdrawal of Bills. 63. Bills containing substantially the same Provisions. 64. Presentation and Second Reading of Appropriation Bill. 65. Committee of Supply. 66. Allottment of Time in Committee of Supply. 67. Procedure in Committee of Supply. 68. Amendments to Heads of Estimates in Committee of Supply.

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69. Third Reading of Appropriation Bill. 70. Supplementary Financial Provisions. 71. Supplementary Appropriation Bills. 72. Standing Committees. 73. Constitution of Standing Committees. 74. Powers and Duties of Standing Committees. 75. Chairmen of Standing Committees. 76. Special Select Committees. 77. Constitution and Chairmen of Select Committees. 78. Joint Select Committees. 79. Procedure in Select Committees. 80. Premature Publication of Evidence. 81. Reports from Select Committees. 82. Divisions in Select Committee. 83. Private Bills. 84. Absence of Members. 85. Employment of Members in Professional Capacity. 86. Report of Debates. 87. Strangers. 88. Press. 89. Amendment of Standing Orders. 90. Suspension of Standing Orders. 91. General Authority of the Speaker. 92. Agreement between both sides of the House. 93. Interpretation.

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CHAPTER 4

BELIZE CONSTITUTION (HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES)

STANDING ORDERS (Section 17* )

[15th October, 1966]

Title

1. These Standing Orders may be cited as the

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES STANDING ORDERS.

Oath of Allegiance

2. (1) When the House of Representatives first meets after a general election, the Clerk of the House, immediately following the election of a Speaker and Deputy Speaker, shall administer the oath or affirmation of allegiance, first to the Speaker and Deputy Speaker and then to the other Members of the House.

(2) At any other time, except in a case to which section 71 (2) of the Belize Constitution, applies, the oath or affirmation shall be administered to the Member by the Clerk of the House immediately after Prayers.

(3) The oath or affirmation shall be in the form set out in Schedule 3 to the Belize Constitution.

_________________ * This a reference to the Belize Constitution Act, 1963.

61 of 1966. 115 of 1998. 8 of 2000 76 of 2000 110 of 2001.

CAP. 4.

CAP. 4.

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Election of Speaker

3. (1) At the first meeting of the House after a general election and before the House proceeds to the despatch of any other business, or whenever it is necessary for the House to elect a Speaker by reason of a vacancy in the office occurring otherwise, the Clerk shall call upon the House to elect a Speaker.

(2) A Member, having first ascertained that the Member, or other person to be proposed, is willing to serve if elected, may, rising in his place and addressing the Clerk, propose any other Member (not being a Minister), or any other person who is not a Member of either chamber of the Legislature, to the House as Speaker of the House; and if that proposal be seconded, the Clerk, if no other such Member or person be proposed for the office, shall declare the Member or the person so proposed and seconded to be Speaker of the House.

(3) If another such Member or person, willing to serve if elected, be proposed and seconded, the Clerk shall propose the question that the Member who was first proposed should be the Speaker. If that proposal be agreed to, the Member or other person so chosen shall be Speaker, but if the proposal be negatived, the Clerk shall propose a like question in respect of any other such Member or person, who has been proposed and seconded, until the question is carried in favour of one of the Members, or other persons, so proposed.

Election of Deputy Speaker

4. (1) At the first meeting of the House of Representatives after a general election and before the House proceeds to the despatch of any other business except the election of Speaker, so soon as the Speaker has been elected the House shall proceed to the election of one of its Members, not being a Minister, to be Deputy Speaker of the House.

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(2) If the office of Deputy Speaker falls vacant at any time before the next dissolution of the Legislature, the House shall, as soon as convenient, elect another Member not being a Minister to that office.

(3) The election of the Deputy Speaker shall be conducted in a similar manner to the election of the Speaker, save that the Speaker shall preside.

Presiding in the House and in Committee

5. (1) The Speaker, or in his absence the Deputy Speaker, shall preside at the sittings of the House, and except as provided in paragraph (4) of Standing Order No. 65 (Committee of Supply), shall act as Chairman of Committees of the whole House.

(2) When the Speaker and Deputy Speaker are both absent, the Clerk shall call upon the House to elect, from amongst the Members present who are not Ministers, one to preside over that sitting of the House, and the election shall take place forthwith in the manner provided by these Standing Orders for the election of the Speaker.

(3) The Speaker or in his absence the Deputy Speaker may at any time ask any Member present, not being a Minister, to take the chair temporarily without formal communication to the House or to the Committee.

(4) Save as may be otherwise provided in these Standing Orders, the Deputy Speaker, or other Member presiding shall have all the authority and power of the Speaker when presiding or otherwise performing the functions of the Speaker.

(5) Whenever the unavoidable absence of the Speaker from any day’s sitting is announced by the Clerk at the Table, the Deputy Speaker shall take the Chair and shall be invested with all the powers of the Speaker until the Speaker resumes.

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The Mace

6. (1) The symbol of the dignity and authority of the House, entrusted by it to the Speaker, shall be the Mace.

(2) The Mace shall lie upon the Table during all sittings of the House, but when the House is in Committee the Mace shall be removed from the Table and placed under it.

Duties of the Clerk

7. (1) The Clerk of the House shall keep the Minutes of Proceedings of the House and of Committees of the whole House, and shall circulate copies thereof to the Members as early as practicable and, if possible, on the day following each sitting of the House.

(2) Minutes shall record the names of Members attending and all decisions of the House and shall be signed by the Speaker.

(3) In the case of divisions of the House or of a Committee of the whole House, the Minutes shall include the numbers voting for and against the question, the names of Members so voting, and the names (and the number) of Members who declined to vote on the question.

(4) The Clerk shall prepare from day to day, and keep on the Table of the House and in the Clerk’s office, an Order Book showing all business appointed for any future day, and any Notices of Questions or Motions which have been set down for a future day whether for a day named or not. The Order Book shall be open to the inspection of Members at all reasonable hours.

(5) The Clerk shall cause to be printed and circulated to every Member in respect of each sitting of the House an Order Paper setting out the business to be transacted at that sitting.

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(6) The Clerk shall be responsible for the custody of the votes, records, Bills and other documents laid before the House, which shall be open to inspection by Members of the House and other persons under such arrangements as may be sanctioned by the Speaker.

(7) It shall be the responsibility of the Clerk to provide every Select Committee of the House with a clerk and, if so required by the Committee, with a shorthand writer.

(8) At the end of each Session, the Clerk shall cause to be prepared and placed in the records of the House a bound volume containing the Minutes of Proceedings of that Session marked with all such corrections as the Speaker may have directed to be made therein.

(9) Where a Proclamation of the Governor-General under section 83 of the Belize Constitution, is published in the Gazette, the Clerk shall send to each Member of the House a copy of the Proclamation.

(10) The Clerk shall be responsible under the Speaker for the administration of the office and the control and discipline of the officers of the House subordinate to him.

Duties of the Serjeant at Arms

8. (1) It shall be the duty of the Serjeant at Arms to attend the Speaker, with the Mace, on entering and leaving the House and on such other occasions as may be ordered by the House or the Speaker.

(2) The Serjeant at Arms shall, during the sittings of the House and Committees of the whole House, maintain order under the direction of the Speaker or Chairman and execute the orders of the House and all processes issued by authority of the House or the Speaker and directed to him.

CAP. 4.

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(3) The Police Orderlies on duty in the House shall be under the direction of the Serjeant at Arms.

Language

9. (1) The proceedings and debates of the House shall be in the English language.

(2) Every petition shall be in the English language.

Quorum

10. (1) A quorum of the House, and of a Committee of the whole House, shall consist of seven Members (excluding the person presiding).

(2) If any Member draws the attention of the Speaker in the House, or of the Chairman in Committee of the whole House, to the fact that a quorum is not present, the Speaker or Chairman, as the case may be, shall direct Members within the precincts of the Chamber to be summoned.

(3) When the order to summon Members has been given in the House, the Speaker shall, after the expiration of ten minutes, count the House. If a quorum is not then present he shall adjourn the House without question put.

(4) When the order to summon Members has been given in Committee of the whole House, the Chairman shall, after the expiration of ten minutes, count the Committee. If he ascertains that a quorum is not present he shall leave the Chair, the House shall resume and the Speaker shall count the House. If a quorum is then present the House shall again resolve itself into Committee; but if a quorum is not present, the Speaker shall adjourn the House without question put.

(5) If, from the number of Members taking part in a division, including those Members who declined to vote, it appears that a quorum is not present,

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the division shall be invalid, and the business then under consideration shall stand over until the next sitting and the House or Committee shall be counted in accordance with paragraph (3) or paragraph (4) of this Standing Order.

Days of Meeting

11. (1) Subject to paragraph (2) of this Standing Order the House shall meet on Fridays, and every adjournment of the House shall be to the next Friday unless the House upon a Motion moved by a Minister or a member of the Constitution and Foreign Affairs, Privileges, Standing Orders, House and Regulations Committee otherwise decides. Notice of such a Motion shall not be required, and the question thereon shall be put without amendment or debate: Provided that in every year there shall be three periods of six weeks each, the first commencing from the Saturday preceding Holy Week, the second from the first day of August and the third from the seventeenth day of December, during which the House shall not meet except in pursuance of a summons issued under paragraph (2) of this Standing Order.

(2) If at any time when the House stands adjourned pursuant to its own order it is represented to the Speaker by a Minister or by a resolution of the Constitution and Foreign Affairs, Privileges, Standing Orders, House and Regulations Committee that there is urgent necessity for the House to meet upon a day earlier than the day to which the House stands adjourned, the Speaker may, if he is satisfied that such urgent necessity exists, direct the Clerk to summon a meeting of the House for such time on such day, whether Friday or otherwise, as the Speaker may determine.

(3) Every direction under paragraph (2) of this Standing Order shall be in writing and shall be signed by the Speaker and shall bear the date upon which it is given to the Clerk and shall specify the business to be transacted at such meeting.

(4) Forthwith upon receipt of any direction under paragraph (3) of this Standing Order, the Clerk shall inform every Member, as expeditiously as

115 of 1998.

115 of 1998.

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possible and personally if practicable, of the day and hour appointed by the Speaker for the holding of the special meeting of the House and of the business to be transacted at such meeting.

(5) Except by leave of the House, no business other than the business specified in the directive under paragraph (2) of this Standing Order shall be transacted at any special meeting of the House under the said paragraph.

Hours of Sitting

12. (1) Except as provided in these Standing Orders, every sitting of the House shall begin at 10.00 o’ clock in the forenoon and, subject to the provisions of this Standing Order, shall end not later than 6.00 o’clock in the afternoon.

(2) The Speaker may at anytime suspend the sitting for a period stated by him, and shall in any event suspend the sitting at 12 noon and order it to be resumed at 2 o’clock.

(3) The Speaker shall at 5.50 p.m. interrupt the business under discussion and its resumption shall be appointed for such day as the Minister in charge of arranging the business of the House shall direct, and if the House is in Committee at that time the Chairman shall leave the Chair forthwith and report to the House and the Committee shall be directed to sit again on such day as the Minister shall appoint. If a division is in progress at 5.50 o’ clock, the proceedings shall not be interrupted until the result of the division has been declared. Any other business, if unopposed, shall then be disposed of, and at its conclusion, or at 6.00 o’clock notwithstanding that there may be business then still under discussion, the Speaker shall adjourn the House without question put, and the business not disposed of shall stand over till the next sitting.

(4) If the Speaker or Chairman is of the opinion that the proceedings on which the House or Committee is engaged at 5.50 p.m. could be concluded by a short extension of time, he may defer interrupting the business until not

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later than 6.05 p.m. in which case the Speaker shall not adjourn the House without question put until such time after 6.00 o’clock as is equivalent to the period of deferment of the interruption.

(5) If any business, when called during the time of unopposed business, is opposed, it shall be appointed for such a day as the Minister in charge of arranging the business of the House shall direct. Any business which, when called during the time of unopposed business, is objected to by a Member, or upon which, when the question is put, a division is sought, shall be treated as opposed business.

(6) If all the business appointed at a sitting is concluded before 6.00 o’clock, the Speaker shall call upon a Minister or a member of the Constitution and Foreign Affairs, Privileges, Standing Orders, House and Regulations Committee to move “That this House do now adjourn.” If that question has not been agreed to at 6.00 o’clock the Speaker shall at that hour adjourn the House without question put.

(7) On the interruption of business the Closure may be moved; and if it is so moved, or if proceedings under Standing Order No. 41 (Closure of Debate) are then in progress, the Speaker or the Chairman shall not leave the Chair until the question consequent thereon, and on any further Motion as provided for in Standing Order No. 41 (Closure of Debate) have been decided, even though the divisions on such questions continue beyond 6.00 o’clock but in the latter event, immediately the last of such questions has been decided or, if in Committee, as soon as the Chairman’s report has been received, the Speaker shall adjourn the House without question put.

(8) A Minister may, without notice, either at the time appointed in Standing Order No. 15 (Order of Business) or on the interruption of business, move “That the proceedings on any specified business may be entered upon and proceeded with at this day’s sitting at any hour though opposed,” and any such Motion shall be decided without amendment or debate. The business so specified shall not be interrupted at 5.50 o’clock or, if already interrupted, shall

115 of 1998.

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be resumed, and may be entered upon at any hour though opposed. Upon the conclusion after 6.00 o’clock of all business so specified the Speaker shall adjourn the House without question put.

(9) The House may from time to time by resolution alter, either generally or in respect of a particular sitting, the hours set forth in this Standing Order.

Adjournment of the House

13. (1) A Minister or a member of the Constitution and Foreign Affairs, Privileges, Standing Orders, House and Regulations Committee may move “That this House do now adjourn” at any time after the conclusion of Questions at any sitting, but any other Member may only move such a Motion under Standing Order No. 14 (Adjournment-Definite Matter of Urgent Public Importance).

(2) Upon any Motion “That this House do now adjourn” moved under the preceding paragraph or paragraph (6) of Standing Order No. 12 (Hours of Sitting), any matter of public concern may be raised by any Member and a Minister may reply. Thereafter, if time permits, any other Member may similarly raise another matter subject to the same conditions. A debate on such a Motion shall not be interrupted at 5.50 o’clock, but shall cease at 6.00 o’clock, or, with the leave of the Speaker, at 6.15 o’clock.

Adjournment-Definite Matter of Urgent Public Importance

14. (1) Any Member other than a Minister may at the time appointed under Standing Order No. 15 (Order of Business) rise in his place and ask leave to move the adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance.

(2) A member who wishes so to ask leave to move the adjournment of the House shall, before the commencement of the sitting, hand to the Speaker a written notification of the matter which he wishes to discuss. The Speaker

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shall refuse to allow the claim unless he is satisfied that the matter is definite, urgent and of public importance and may properly be raised on a Motion for the adjournment of the House.

(3) If the Speaker is so satisfied, and either-

(a) leave of the House is given; or

(b) if it is not given, at least seven Members by rising indicate that they support the request,

the Motion shall stand over until 2.00 o’clock on the same day and at that hour any proceeding on which the House is engaged shall be postponed until the Motion for the adjournment is disposed of, or until 3.00 o’clock, whichever is the earlier. At 3.00 o’clock the Motion for the adjournment, if not previously disposed of, shall lapse and the proceedings which have been postponed shall be resumed and dealt with in accordance with the next paragraph of this Standing Order.

(4) At 3.00 o’clock or upon the earlier conclusion of the debate upon the Motion for the adjournment, the business which was postponed at 2.00 p.m. shall be resumed and any proceedings thereon, and upon any business standing on the Order Paper for that day’s sitting, shall not be interrupted until the lapse of a period of time after 5.50 o’clock equal to the duration of the proceedings upon the adjournment Motion under this Standing Order, and that period shall be added to the hours of 6.00 and 6.05 wherever they occur in Standing Order No. 12 (Hours of Sitting).

Order of Business

15. Unless the House otherwise directs, the business of each sitting day shall be transacted in the following order:

(a) Prayers,

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(b) Oath of Allegiance of a new Member,

(c) Announcements by the Speaker,

(d) Bills brought from the Senate,

(e) Petitions,

(f) Papers,

(g) Presentation of Reports from Select Committees,

(h) Questions to Ministers,

(i) Requests for leave to move the adjournment of the House on definite matters of urgent public importance,

(j) Statements by Ministers,

(k) Personal explanations,

(l) Introduction of Bills,

(m) Motions relating to the business or sittings of the House and moved by a Minister, and

(n) Public Business.

Petitions

16. (1) Every Petition intended to be presented to the House must conclude with a prayer setting forth the general object of the Petition.

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(2) A Petition shall not be presented to the House unless it shall have been endorsed by the Clerk as being in accordance with the rules in regard to Petitions.

(3) The Member presenting a Petition may state concisely the purport of the Petition.

(4) All Petitions shall be ordered to lie upon the Table without question put unless a Member when presenting a Petition move for it to be read or printed, or referred to a Select Committee. Any such Motion shall be decided forthwith without amendment or debate. The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to a Petition from the promoters of a Private Bill under Standing Order 83 (Private Bills).

(5) The House will not receive any Petition-

(a) which is not addressed to the House or which is not properly and respectfully worded; or

(b) which has not at least one signature on the sheet on which the prayer of the Petition appears and which has not at least the prayer at the head of each subsequent sheet of signatures.

Papers

17. (1) Every Paper shall be presented by a Minister and its presentation shall be recorded in the Minutes of Proceedings.

(2) A Minister presenting a Paper may make a short explanatory statement of its contents.

(3) All Papers presented to the House shall be ordered to lie upon the Table without question put and any Motion for the printing thereof as a House

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Paper shall be determined without amendment or debate.

(4) All Instruments made under the authority of any law, if required to be laid before the House, shall be laid on the Table of the House as soon as may be after being made.

Nature of Questions

18. Questions may be put to a Minister relating to any matter, subject or Department in respect of which the Minister is charged with responsibility.

Notice of Questions

19. (1) A question shall not be asked without notice, unless it is of an urgent character or relates to the business of the day, and unless the Member has obtained the leave of the Speaker to ask it.

(2) Notice of a question may be handed by a Member to the Clerk when the House is sitting, or may be sent to or left at the office of the Clerk at any time during the hours prescribed for the purpose. Every such notice must be signed by the Member giving it.

(3) A Member who desires an oral answer to a question shall mark his notice with an asterisk and such a question shall be put down for a day to be named by the Member being a day not earlier than five clear days after notice of the question was given. A question not so marked may be put down for the next sitting day of the House and the answer when received shall be circulated with the Minutes of Proceedings.

Contents of Questions

20. (1) The right to ask a question shall be subject to the following general rules, as to the interpretation of which the Speaker shall be the sole judge -

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(a) the proper object of a question is to obtain information on a question of fact within the official cognisance of the Minister to whom it is addressed, or to ask for official action;

(b) a question shall not include the names of persons, or any statements of fact, unless they be necessary to render the question intelligible;

(c) if a question contains a statement of fact, the Member asking it shall make himself responsible for the accuracy of the statement, and no question shall be based upon a newspaper report or upon an unofficial publication;

(d) no Member shall address the House upon any question, and a question shall not be made the pretext for debate;

(e) not more than one subject shall be referred to in any one question, and a question shall not be of excessive length;

(f) a question shall not contain arguments, inferences, opinions, imputations, epithets, ironical expressions or hypothetical cases;

(g) a question shall not be asked-

(i) which raises an issue already decided in the House, or which has been answered fully during the current Session, or to which an answer has been refused;

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(ii) seeking information about matters which are in their nature secret;

(iii) regarding proceedings in a Committee which have not been placed before the House by a report from the Committee;

(iv) which deals with matters referred to a Commission of Enquiry or within the jurisdiction of the Chairman of a Select Committee;

(v) as to the character or conduct of any person except in his official or public capacity;

(vi) about any matter then pending before any Court of justice, or which reflects on the decision of a Court of justice;

(vii) reflecting on the character or conduct of any person whose conduct can only be challenged on a substantive motion under Standing Order 38 (Contents of Speeches);

(viii) asking whether statements in the Press, or of private individuals, or unofficial bodies are accurate;

(ix) the answer to which can be found by reference to available official publications;

(x) referring discourteously to or seeking information about, the internal affairs of any Territory within the Commonwealth or of a

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friendly Foreign Country;

(xi) dealing with the action of a Minister for which he is not responsible to the Legislature;

(xii) seeking, for purposes of argument, information on matters of past history; or

(xiii) raising questions of policy too large to be dealt with in the limits of an answer to a question;

(h) a question shall not solicit the expression of an opinion, on the solution of an abstract legal question, or of a hypothetical proposition.

(2) If the Speaker is of the opinion that any question of which a Member has given notice to the Clerk infringes the provisions of any Standing Order or is in any way an abuse of the right of questioning, he may direct-

(a) that the Member concerned be informed that the question is out of order; or

(b) that the question be entered in the Order Book with such alterations as he may direct.

Manner of Asking and Answering Questions

21. (1) At the time appointed for the oral asking and answering of questions under Standing Order No. 15 (Order of Business), the Speaker shall call in turn upon each Member in whose name a question stands upon the Order Paper, in the order in which the questions are printed, or in any such other order as the Speaker may on any particular occasion determine. Each Member so called shall rise in his place and ask the question by reference to its number on the Order Paper, and the Minister questioned shall give his reply.

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(2) After the answer to a question has been given, supplementary questions may, at the discretion of the Speaker, be put for the purpose of elucidating the answer given orally, but the Speaker may refuse any such question which in his opinion introduces matters not relative to the original question, or which infringes any of the provisions of Standing Order No. 20 (Contents of Questions), and may in that case direct that such question be not reported in the Official Report.

(3) When all the questions for which an oral answer is required have been called, the Speaker, if time permits, shall call again any question which has not been asked by reason of the absence of the Member in whose name it stands; in which case another Member may, if deputed by the absent Member, on his behalf either ask the question or request its postponement. The Speaker shall also call again any question which has not been answered by reason of the absence of the Minister to whom it is addressed.

(4) A Minister may decline to answer a question, if the publication of the answer would in his opinion be contrary to the public interest.

(5) Not more than three questions requiring an oral answer shall appear on the Order Paper in the name of the same Member for the same day, and any question in excess of this number shall not be called by the Speaker but shall be answered as provided in paragraph (7) of this Order, save that no postponement shall be allowed.

(6) No question shall be asked after 11.00 o’clock in the forenoon, except any question which the Speaker has allowed to be asked without notice under paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 19 (Notice of Questions).

(7) Questions which have not received an oral answer by 11.00 o’clock in the forenoon shall be answered in writing by the Minister to whom the question was addressed, and copies of the answer shall be sent immediately after that hour to the Clerk of the House, who shall send a copy to the Member in whose name the question stood upon the Order Paper and shall cause the

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answer to be circulated with the Minutes of Proceedings, unless at any time before 11.00 o’clock in the forenoon a Member having a question on the Order Paper but whose name has not yet been called by the Speaker signifies to the Clerk at the Table his desire to postpone the question to a later sitting or to withdraw it.

Personal Explanations

22. With the leave of the Speaker and by the indulgence of the House, a Member may make a personal explanation of not more than ten minutes duration at the time appointed under Standing Order No. 15 (Order of Business) although there is no question before the House; but no controversial matter may be brought forward nor may debate arise upon the explanation.

Arrangement of Public Business

23. (1) Public Business shall consist of Motions and Public Bills.

(2) Subject to the provision of these Standing Orders, Government Business shall have precedence on every day.

(3) Government Business shall consist of Motions proposed to be made and Bills sponsored by Ministers, and shall be set down in such order as the Government think fit.

(4) Private Members’ business shall be set down on the Order Paper for a particular day in the order in which it was entered in the Order Book for that day, and business so entered shall take precedence over any business postponed from the previous day.

Public Money

24. Except on the recommendation or with the consent of the Governor- General, to be signified by a Minister and recorded in the Minutes of Proceedings,

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the House shall not-

(a) proceed with any Bill (including any amendment to a Bill) which in the opinion of the Speaker, makes provision for-

(i) imposing or increasing or reducing or abolishing any tax,

(ii) imposing or increasing any charge on the revenue or other funds of the country or for altering any such charge otherwise than by reducing it,

(iii) compounding or remitting any debt due to the country;

(b) proceed upon any Motion (including any amendment to a Motion) the effect of which, in the opinion of the Speaker, would be to make provision for any of the purposes aforesaid; or

(c) receive any Petition which, in the opinion of the Speaker, requests that provision be made for any of the purposes aforesaid.

Notice of Motions or Amendments

25. (1) Where under any Standing Order notice of Motion or of an amendment is required, such notice shall be given in writing signed by the Member and addressed to the Clerk of the House.

Such notice shall be handed to the Clerk, or sent to, or left at, the Clerk’s office during the hours prescribed for the purpose.

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(2) If the Speaker is of opinion that any notice of Motion which has been received by the Clerk infringes the provisions of any Standing Order or is in any other way out of order, he may direct-

(a) that the Member concerned be informed that the notice of Motion is out of order; or

(b) that the notice of Motion be entered in the Order Book with such alterations as he may direct.

(3) Not more than three notices of Motion in the name of the same Member may by entered on the Order Paper of any sitting. The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to a Member who is a Minister.

(4) Copies of Motions and amendments sent to the Clerk shall be circulated by him to Members, whether or not they be matters of which notice is required, and, in the case of amendments to Bills, shall be arranged, so far as may be, in the order in which they will be proposed.

Period of Notice

26. (1) Except with the consent of the Speaker, notice of a Government Motion shall not be placed upon the Order Paper of any sitting earlier than the day following the day on which the notice was given to the Clerk of the House.

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (6) of Standing Order No. 81 (Reports from Select Committees), notice of a private Member’s Motion shall not be entered in the Order Book, or placed upon the Order Paper, for a day earlier than four clear days from the day on which the notice was given to the Clerk.

Exemption from Notice

27. Unless the Standing Orders otherwise provide, notice shall be given of

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any Motion which it is proposed to make, with the exception of the following:

(a) a Motion for the amendment of any Motion;

(b) a Motion for the adjournment of the House or of a debate;

(c) a Motion for the election of a temporary presiding officer under paragraph (2) of Standing Order No. 5 (Presiding in the House and in Committee);

(d) a Motion for the suspension of Standing Orders put with the leave of the Speaker;

(e) a Motion for the withdrawal of strangers;

(f) a Motion that the House resolve itself into Committee;

(g) a Motion made in Committee of the whole House, other than the Committee of Supply;

(h) a Motion for the suspension of a Member;

(i) a Motion that a petition be read, printed or referred to a Select Committee;

(j) a Motion for the printing of a paper under paragraph (3) of Standing Order No. 17 (Papers);

(k) a Motion relating to a matter of privilege;

(l) a Motion arising out of any item of business made immediately after that item is disposed of and before

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the next item is entered upon;

(m) a Motion to recommit a Bill under paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 57 (Recommittal of Bills reported from Committee of the whole House);

(n) a Motion in respect of which notice has been dispensed with under Standing Order No. 28 (Dispensing with Notice);

(o) a Motion for the withdrawal of a Bill under Standing Order No. 62 (Withdrawal of Bills);

(p) a Motion that the Report of a Select Committee be referred to a Committee of the whole House, or a Motion that such Report be printed as a House Paper.

Dispensing with Notice

28. Notice shall not be dispensed with in the case of a Motion or in respect of any proceedings for which notice is required, except with the consent of the Speaker and the assent of not less than three-fourths of the Members present at the time.

Privilege Motions

29. (1) A Motion directly concerning the privileges of the House shall take precedence of all other public business.

(2) A Member who wishes to raise a matter which he believes to affect the privileges of the House shall do so as soon as possible after the matter comes to his attention. Such Member shall inform the Speaker of his wish, stating the facts to which he wishes to draw attention, at least one hour before the commencement of the sitting at which he wishes to raise the matter.

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(3) When a Member is called by the Speaker to raise a matter of privilege he shall briefly state the facts to which he wishes to draw the attention of the House and the grounds on which he believes that those facts affect the privileges of the House.

(4) The Speaker shall then state whether, in his opinion, the matter may or may not affect the privileges of the House:

Provided that if he deems it necessary he may defer his decision until the next sitting of the House.

(5) If the opinion of the Speaker is that the matter raised may affect the privileges of the House a Member may without notice move a Motion based on that matter of privilege and the Motion shall be debated forthwith.

(6) If during a sitting of the House a matter suddenly arises which appears to involve the privileges of the House and which calls for the immediate intervention of the House, the proceedings may be interrupted, save during the course of a division, by a Motion based on such matter.

(7) No member moving a Motion under this Standing Order may speak for more than fifteen minutes.

Moving of Motions

30. (1) On a Motion made and when necessary seconded, the Speaker shall propose the question to the House, and after debate (if any), shall then put the question for the decision of the House.

(2) If a Motion embodies two or more separate propositions, the propositions may be proposed by the Speaker as separate questions.

(3) If a Member desires to vary the terms of a Motion standing in his name, he may do so by giving an amended notice of Motion, provided that

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such amendment does not, in the opinion of the Speaker, materially alter any principle embodied in the original Motion or the scope thereof. Such amended notice of Motion shall run from the time at which the original notice of Motion was given.

Seconding of Motions and Amendments

31. (1) In the House the question upon a Motion or amendment shall not be proposed by the Speaker unless such Motion or amendment has been seconded:

Provided that Government business shall not require seconding.

(2) In Committee a seconder shall not be required.

Motions not Moved or Seconded

32. (1) If a Member other than a Minister does not, when called, move a Motion or amendment which stands in his name such Motion or amendment shall be removed from the Order Paper unless deferred by leave of the House or moved by another Member duly authorised by that Member; but Government business may be moved by any Minister.

(2) No question shall be proposed upon a Motion or amendment, which under these Standing Orders is required to be seconded, if it is not so seconded.

Withdrawal of Motions

33. (1) A Motion may be withdrawn, at the request of the mover, after it has been moved, by leave of the House or Committee, before the question is fully put thereon, provided there is no dissentient voice.

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(2) A Motion so withdrawn may not be moved again during the same Session.

(3) If an amendment has been proposed to a Motion, the original Motion cannot be withdrawn until the amendment has been disposed of.

Amendments to Motions - How Moved and Put

34. (1) When any Motion is under consideration in the House or in a Committee thereof, an amendment may be proposed to the Motion if it is relevant thereto.

(2) An amendment may be proposed to any such amendment if it is relevant thereto.

(3) An amendment to a Motion may be moved and seconded at any time after the question upon the Motion has been proposed by the Speaker or Chairman, and before it has been put by the Speaker or Chairman at the conclusion of the debate upon the Motion. When all amendments have been disposed of the Speaker shall then put the question on the original Motion or the Motion as amended as the case may require.

(4)

(a) On every amendment the question to be proposed shall be “That this amendment be made”.

(b) When two or more amendments are proposed to be moved to the same Motion, the Speaker shall call upon the movers in the order in which their amendments relate to the text of the Motion, or in case of doubt in such order as he shall decide.

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(5)

(a) Any amendment to an amendment which a Member wishes to propose may be moved and seconded at any time after the question upon the original amendment has been proposed, and before it has been put at the conclusion of the debate on the original amendment.

(b) An amendment to an amendment shall be disposed of in the same way as an amendment to a Motion, the question to be proposed being “That this amendment to the amendment be made”.

(c) When every such amendment to an amendment has been disposed of, the Speaker shall put the question on the original amendment or on the original amendment as amended as the case may require.

(6) Any amendment, whether in the House or in Committee of the whole House, shall be put into writing by the mover and delivered to the Clerk before the question is proposed thereon.

(7) When the question upon an amendment to a Motion has been proposed by the Speaker or Chairman an earlier part of the Motion may not be amended unless the amendment under discussion is withdrawn.

(8) Any amendment may, by leave of the House, be withdrawn at the request of the mover before the question is fully put thereon, provided that there is no dissentient voice.

(9) An amendment shall not raise any question which, by these Standing Orders, can only be raised by a substantive Motion after notice.

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Time and Manner of Speaking

35. (1) A Member desiring to speak shall rise in his place and if called upon shall address his observations to the Speaker or Chairman. No Member shall speak unless called by the Speaker or Chairman.

(2) If two or more Members rise at the same time, the Speaker or Chairman shall call upon the Member who first catches his eye.

(3) Subject to paragraph (5) of this Standing Order, no Member shall speak more than once on any question except-

(a) when the House is in Committee; or

(b) in explanation as prescribed in paragraph (4) of this Standing Order; or

(c) to a point of order, as provided in Standing Order No 37 (Interruptions);

(d) in the case of the mover of a substantive Motion, or the member in charge of a Bill in reply:

Provided that any Member may, without prejudice to his right to speak at a later period of the debate, second a Motion or amendment by rising in his place and stating merely that it is his intention to second the Motion or amendment.

(4) A Member who has spoken on a question may again be heard to offer explanations of some material part of his speech which he alleges has been misquoted or misrepresented, but he shall not introduce new matter.

(5) A Member who has spoken may speak again when a new question has been proposed by the Speaker or Chairman, such as a proposed

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amendment or a Motion for the adjournment of the debate.

(6) Except with the leave of the Speaker, a Member shall not read his speech; but he may read extracts from written or printed papers or books in support of his argument, and may refresh his memory by reference to notes.

(7) No Member may speak on any question after it has been put to the vote by the Speaker or Chairman.

Right of Reply

36. (1) The mover of a Motion may reply after all the other Members present have had an opportunity of addressing the House and before the question is put, and after such reply no other Member may speak, except as provided in paragraph (2) of this Order.

(2) A Minister may conclude a debate on any Motion which is critical of the Government, or reflects adversely on or is calculated to bring discredit upon the Government or an Officer thereof.

Interruptions

37. A Member shall not interrupt another Member except-

(a) by rising to a point of order, whereupon the Member speaking shall resume his seat and the Member interrupting shall simply direct attention to the point which he desires to bring to notice and submit it to the Speaker or Chairman for decision; or

(b) to elucidate some matter raised by that Member in the course of his speech, provided that the Member speaking is willing to give way and resumes his seat and that the Member wishing to interrupt is called by

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the Chair; or

(c) by rising to claim closure under Standing Order No. 41 (Closure of Debate).

Contents of Speeches

38. (1) Subject to the provisions of these Standing Orders, debate upon any Motion, Bill or amendment shall be relevant to such Motion, Bill or amendment and a Member shall confine his observations to the subjects under discussion.

(2) Reference shall not be made to any matter on which a judicial decision is pending in such a way as might, in the opinion of the Chair, prejudice the interests of parties thereto.

(3) It shall be out of order to attempt to revive in any debate a matter or reconsider any specific question (other than a matter or question relating to a Bill which has been recommitted or returned with any amendment by the other Chamber) upon which the House has come to a conclusion during the current Session, except upon a substantive Motion for rescission which Motion shall not be brought sooner than six months after the date on which the House reached its decision.

(4) It shall be out of order to use offensive or insulting language about Members of either Chamber of the Legislature.

(5) No Member shall impute in proper motives to any other Member of either Chamber.

(6) A Member shall not refer to another Member by name, but by the name of the electoral area for which he has been elected.

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(7) Her Majesty’s name or the Governor-General’s name shall not be used to influence the House.

(8) The conduct of Her Majesty and Members of the Royal Family, the Governor-General, the Speaker, the President of the Senate, Members of the National Assembly, judges and other persons engaged in the administration of justice shall not be raised except upon a substantive Motion moved for the purpose; and in any amendment, question to a Minister, or debate on a Motion dealing with any other subject any reference to the conduct of any such person as aforesaid shall be out of order.

Scope of Debate

39. (1) When an amendment proposes to leave out words and to add or insert other words in their place, debate upon the question “That this amendment be made” may relate to both the words proposed to be left out and those proposed to be added or inserted.

(2) On an amendment proposing only to leave out words or to add or insert words, debate shall be confined to the omission, addition or insertion of such words respectively.

(3) Where during the course of a debate a Motion is made (a) for the adjournment of the debate or of the House, or (b) in Committee that the Chairman do report progress or do leave the Chair, unless it appears to the Chair that that Motion is an abuse of the rules of the House or an infringement of the rights of the minority, the question on the Motion for the adjournment as aforesaid shall be put forthwith without amendment or debate; and a Member who has moved or seconded such a Motion shall not be entitled to move or second any similar Motion during the same debate; but this paragraph shall not be construed as restricting the customary right of the Minister in charge of arranging the business of the House to move the adjournment of the House on the conclusion of the business of the day.

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Anticipation

40. (1) It shall be out of order to anticipate a Bill by discussion upon a Motion dealing with the subject matter of that Bill.

(2) It shall be out of order to anticipate a Bill or a notice of Motion by discussion upon an amendment, or a Motion for the adjournment of the House.

(3) In determining whether discussion is out of order on the grounds of anticipation, regard shall be had by the Chair to the probability of the matter anticipated being brought before the House within a reasonable time.

Closure of Debate

41. (1) After a question has been proposed any Member may at any time during the course of debate rise in his place and claim to move “That the question be now put” and unless it appears to the Chair that that Motion is an abuse of the rules of the House or an infringement of the rights of the minority, the question “That the question be now put” shall be put forthwith. No debate on that Motion shall be allowed, and if the Motion is carried, the debate then before the House shall cease and the question before the House shall be put forthwith.

(2) When the Motion “That the question be now put” has been carried, and the question consequent thereon has been decided, any Member may claim that any other question already proposed from the Chair be now put and if the assent of the Chair is given, every such question shall be put forthwith and decided without amendment or debate.

(3) A Motion under this Standing Order shall not be decided in the affirmative if it appears on a division that less than ten Members voted in the majority in support of the Motion.

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Rules for Members not Speaking

42. A Member present in the House during a debate-

(a) shall enter or leave the House with decorum;

(b) shall maintain silence while another Member is speaking, and shall not interrupt, except in accordance with these Standing Orders; and

(c) shall otherwise conduct himself in a fit and proper manner.

Responsibility for Order in the House and in Committee

43. (1) The speaker in the House and the Chairman in Committee shall be responsible for the observance of the rules of order in the House and Committee respectively, and their decision upon any Point of order shall not be open to appeal and shall not be reviewed by the House except upon a substantive Motion made after notice.

(2) When the Speaker, or Chairman, rises during a debate any Member then speaking or wishing to speak shall immediately resume his seat, and the House, or the Committee shall be silent.

Order in the House and in Committee

44. (1) The Speaker or the Chairman, after having called the attention of the House or of the Committee, to the conduct of a Member who persists in irrelevance, or tedious repetition either of his own arguments or of the arguments used by other Members in debate, may direct him to discontinue his speech and to resume his seat.

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(2) Any Member may, after the Speaker or Chairman, as the case may be, has under paragraph (1) of this Standing Order once called the attention of the House or Committee to the conduct of a member who persists in irrelevance or tedious repetition of his own arguments or of the arguments used by other Members in the debate, move that the Member be no longer heard and such Motion shall be put forthwith without amendment or debate.

(3) The Speaker or the Chairman shall order any Member to withdraw immediately from the House during the remainder of the day’s sitting and may direct such steps to be taken, as are required, to enforce such order-

(a) where the conduct of such Member is grossly disorderly; or

(b) where such Member has used objectionable, abusive, insulting or offensive words or language or unparliamentary expressions, and, on being called to order, has refused to withdraw such words or language or expressions, and has not offered an apology; for the use thereof to the satisfaction of the House.

(4) If an order under paragraph (2) of this Standing Order be not complied with at once, or if, on any occasion, the Speaker or the Chairman considers that his powers under that paragraph are inadequate, he may name such Member in pursuance of paragraph (5) or paragraph (6) of this Standing Order.

(5) If a Member shows disregard for the authority of the Chair, or abuses the rules of the House by persistently and wilfully obstructing the business of the House or otherwise, the Speaker shall direct the attention of the House thereto, mentioning by name the Member concerned. The Speaker shall then call upon a Minister to move “That Mr. ......................be suspended from the service of the House”, and the Speaker shall forthwith put the question, no

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seconder being required and no amendment, adjournment or debate being allowed.

(6) If the offence has been committed in a Committee of the whole House, the Chairman shall forthwith suspend the proceedings of the Committee and, as soon as the House has resumed, shall report the circumstances to the House, whereupon the procedure provided for in the preceding paragraph shall be followed.

(7) If a Member is suspended under any provisions of this Standing Order, his suspension shall continue until it is terminated by resolution of the House or, if no such resolution is come to, until the end of the Session.

(8) Not more than one Member shall be named at the same time, unless several Members present together have jointly disregarded the authority of the Chair.

(9) A Member who is ordered to withdraw under the provisions of paragraph (3) of this Standing Order, or who is suspended under the provisions of paragraphs (4) to (6) of this Standing Order, shall forthwith leave the House and its precincts. A Member who is suspended shall not be entitled to attend any sitting of the House, or enter the House or its precincts, until the termination of his suspension.

(10) If any Member, who is ordered to withdraw or who is suspended under this Standing Order, refuses at any time to obey the direction of the Speaker to withdraw from the House and its precincts, the Speaker shall call the attention of the House to the fact that recourse to force is necessary in order to compel obedience to his direction, and the Member named by him as having so refused to obey his direction shall thereupon, without further question put, be suspended from the service of the House during the remainder of the Session.

(11) If resort to force is necessary, the Speaker may suspend the sitting during the removal of the Member and invoke the assistance of any police

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officer in ejecting the offending Member and such officer shall, for the purposes of this Order, be deemed to be an Officer of the House.

(12) In the case of grave disorder arising in the House, the Speaker may, if he thinks it necessary to do so, adjourn the House without question put, or suspend the sitting for a time to be named by him.

(13) Repealed by Statutory Instrument [115 of 1998]

(14) Nothing in this Order shall be taken to deprive the House of the power of proceedings against any Member according to any resolution of the House.

Decision of Questions

45. (1) Save as otherwise provided in section 73 of the Belize Constitution, or in these Standing Orders, all questions proposed for decision in the House or in any Committee shall be determined by a majority of the votes of those present and voting.

(2) Where the Speaker is not an Elected Member of the House, he shall have neither an original vote nor a casting vote, and if upon any question before the House the votes are equally divided the Motion shall be declared lost.

(3) The Speaker, if an Elected Member of the House, or any other Member presiding in the absence of the Speaker, shall have an original vote, but not a casting vote.

Collection of Voices

46. (1) At the conclusion of a debate upon any question the Speaker or Chairman shall put that question for the decision of the House, and shall collect the voices of Ayes and of the Noes, after which no further debate may take

115 of 1998.

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place upon that question.

(2) The result shall be declared by the Speaker or Chairman stating “I think the Ayes have it” or “I think the Noes have it” as the case may be, but any Member may challenge the opinion of the Chair by claiming a division.

Divisions

47. (1) In a division the Clerk shall call each Member’s name separately and such Member shall indicate how he desires to vote. The Clerk shall thereupon record the vote accordingly.

(2) Every Member present, unless he expressly says that he declines to vote, shall record his vote either for the Ayes or the Noes.

(3) The Clerk shall announce the number of Members who have voted for, and of those who voted against, the proposal, and the number of Members who declined to vote. Subject to the provisions of paragraph (4) of this Standing Order and of paragraph (5) of Standing Order No. 10 (Quorum), the Speaker or other Member presiding, or the Chairman in Committee of the whole House, shall then declare the result of the division.

(4) The Clerk shall enter on the Minutes of Proceedings the record of each Member’s vote, and shall add a statement of the number and the names of all the members present who declined to vote.

(5) If a Member states that he voted in error or that his vote has been counted wrongly, he may claim to have his vote altered provided that such claim is made as soon as the Clerk has announced the numbers and before the Chair has declared the result of the division. Upon such claim being made the Speaker, or Chairman, at his sole discretion, shall either direct the Clerk to alter that Member’s vote or direct that a fresh division be held.

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Introduction and First Reading of Bills

48. (1) Subject to the provisions of Standing Order No. 24 (Public Money), any Member of the House may move for leave to introduce a Bill of which he has given notice.

(2) Subject to the provisions of Standing Order No. 24 (Public Money), a Bill may be presented to the House on behalf of the Government after notice without an order of the House for its introduction.

(3) A notice of the presentation of a Bill on behalf of the Government may be entered on the Order Paper for the day following the day on which it was received by the Clerk of the House.

(4) A Bill, whether presented in pursuance of an order of the House after leave given or without such order, shall be handed to the Clerk by the Member who gave notice of the Bill. The Clerk shall read aloud the title of the Bill, which, without question put, shall be recorded in the Minutes of Proceedings as having been read a first time and ordered to be printed.

(5) Copies of the Bill, as printed, shall be made available to every Member.

(6) When a Bill has been read a first time, it shall stand committed to a Standing Committee.

(7) The Standing Committee to whom a Bill has been referred shall report to the House whether or not they recommend that such a Bill ought to be read a second time or with such amendments as they may recommend; and they shall have power to state their reasons for recommending that a Bill ought not to be read a second time. If a Standing Committee does not report to the House within 30 days, the House may in its discretion proceed to read a Bill a second time.

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(8) When a Bill has been brought from the Senate and in the case of a Private Bill a Member of the House has signified to the Clerk of the House his willingness to take charge of the Bill, that Bill shall be recorded in the Minutes of Proceedings as having been read a first time and ordered to be printed, and shall stand committed to a Standing Committee.

Appointment of Days for Stages of Bills

49. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Standing Order, the Member in charge of the Bill may, at the conclusion of the proceedings on any stage of the Bill, either name a day to be appointed for the next stage of the Bill or move that the next stage be taken forthwith.

(2) An interval of not less than ten days must elapse between the first and second reading of a Bill, unless the House, on motion made and question put, agree to proceed with the Bill at an earlier date or forthwith.

(3) Subject to paragraph (2) of this Order, no Bill shall be read a second time until it has been printed and circulated to Members and published in the Gazette.

Form of Bills

50. (1) The Clerk shall be responsible for preparing each Bill for the printer from the draft handed in to him by the Member in Charge of the Bill, and shall satisfy himself-

(a) that the Bill is divided into successive clauses numbered consecutively;

(b) that the Bill has in the margin a short summary of each clause; and

(c) that the provisions of the Bill do not appear to go

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beyond its title.

(2) A Bill maybe accompanied by a short explanatory statement of its contents.

Second Reading of Bills

51. (1) On the second reading of a Bill a debate may arise covering the general merits and principles of the Bill.

(2) To the question “That the Bill be now read a second time” an amendment may be proposed, without notice, to leave out the word “now” and add at the end of the question “upon this day six months”, or an amendment may be moved to leave out all the words after the word “that” in order to add words stating the object and motive on which the opposition to the Bill is based, but such words must be strictly relevant to the general merits and principles of the Bill and may not deal with its details.

Committal of Bills

52. (1) When a Bill has been read a second time it shall stand committed to a Committee of the whole House, unless the House, on Motion made, commits it to a Select Committee. Such Motion shall not require notice and must be made immediately after the Bill has been read a second time, and the question thereon shall be put without amendment or debate and may, though opposed, be decided after 5.50 p.m. The said Motion may be proposed by any Member.

(2) When a Bill has been committed to a Select Committee, no further proceedings shall be taken thereon until the Select Committee has presented its report to the House.

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Functions of Committees on Bills

53. (1) Any Committee to which a Bill is committed after it has been read a second time shall not discuss the general merits and principles of the Bill but only its details.

(2) Any such Committee shall have power to make such amendments therein as they shall think fit, provided that the amendments, including new clauses and new schedules, are relevant to the subject matter of the Bill, but if any such amendments are not within the title of the Bill, they shall amend the title accordingly, and shall report the same specially to the House.

Procedure in Committee of the Whole House on a Bill

54. (1) On the order being read for a Committee of the whole House on a Bill, the Speaker shall leave the Chair without question put.

(2) The Chairman in Committee of the whole House shall call the number of each clause in succession. If no amendment is proposed thereto, or when all proposed amendments have been disposed of, he shall propose the question “That the clause (or the clause as amended) stand part of the Bill” and, when all Members who wish to speak thereon have spoken, he shall put that question to the Committee for its decision.

(3) Any proposed amendments of which notice has not been given shall be handed to the Chairman in writing.

(4) The following provisions shall apply to amendments relating to Bills:

(a) an amendment must be relevant to the subject matter of the Bill, and to the subject matter of the clause to which it relates;

(b) an amendment must not be inconsistent with any

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clause already agreed to or with any previous decision of the Committee;

(c) an amendment must not be such as to make the clause which it proposes to amend, unintelligible or ungrammatical;

(d) if an amendment refers to, or is not intelligible without, a subsequent amendment or schedule, notice of the subsequent amendment or schedule must be given before or when the first amendment is moved so as to make the series of amendments intelligible as a whole;

(e) in order to save time and repetition of arguments, the Chairman may allow a single discussion to cover a series of interdependent amendments;

(f) the Chairman may refuse to allow an amendment, which is, in his opinion, frivolous or meaningless, to be moved;

(g) the Chairman may at any time during the discussion of a proposed amendment withdraw it from the consideration of the Committee if, in his opinion, the discussion has shown that the amendment violates the provisions of this Standing Order.

(5) The provisions of paragraphs (4) and (5) of Standing Order No. 34 (Amendments to Motions-How moved and put) shall apply to the discussion of amendments to Bills, with the substitution, where appropriate, of the word “Clause” for the word “Motion” or the word “Question”, and of the word “Chairman” for the word “Speaker” and the word “Committee” for the word “House” throughout.

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(6) A Clause may be postponed, unless a decision has already been taken upon an amendment thereto. Postponed clauses shall be considered after the remaining clauses of the Bill have been considered and before new clauses are brought up.

(7) Any proposed new clause shall be considered after the clauses of the Bill have been disposed of and before consideration of any schedule to the Bill: Provided that a new clause proposed in substitution for a clause which has been disagreed to may be considered immediately after such disagreement.

(8) On the title of any new clause being read by the Clerk the clause shall be deemed to have been read a first time. The question shall then be proposed “That the clause be read a second time”; if this is agreed to, amendments may then be proposed to the new clause. The final question to be proposed shall be “That the clause (or the clause as amended) be added to the Bill”.

(9) Schedules shall be disposed of in the same way as clauses, and any proposed new schedules shall be considered after the schedules to the Bill have been disposed of, and shall be treated in the same manner as a new clause.

(10) When every clause and schedule and proposed new clause or schedule has been dealt with, the preamble, if there is one, shall be considered and the question put “That the preamble to the Bill be approved”. No amendment to the preamble shall be considered which is not made necessary by a previous amendment to the Bill.

(11) If any amendment to the title of the Bill is made necessary by an amendment to the Bill, it shall be made at the conclusion of the proceedings detailed above, but no question shall be put that the title (as amended) stand part of the Bill; nor shall any question be put upon the enacting formula.

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(12) At the conclusion of the proceedings in Committee on a Bill, the Chairman shall put the question “That the Bill (or the Bill as amended) be reported to the House” which question shall be decided without amendment or debate.

(13) If any Member, before the conclusion of proceedings on a Bill, moves to report progress and such Motion is carried, or if the proceedings in a Committee of the whole House have not been finished at the moment of interruption, the Chairman shall leave the Chair of the Committee and the Member in charge of the Bill shall report progress to the House and ask leave to sit again, and name a day for the resumption of the proceedings.

(14) A Committee having met to consider a Bill shall proceed with its consideration, except that during the proceedings on a Bill the Member in charge of the Bill may, subject to the discretion of the Chairman, move a Motion “That the Committee do not proceed further with the Bill”. If the Motion is carried, the Committee shall then report the Bill to the House as so far amended or without amendment as the case may be, and make a special report explaining its proceedings on the Bill, and the special report and the Bill shall be ordered to lie upon the Table without question put.

Procedure in Select Committee on a Bill

55. A Select Committee on a Bill shall be subject to Standing Orders No. 79 (Procedure in Select Committees) and Nos. 45 (Decision of Questions), 46 (Collection of Voices) and 47 (Divisions) but, before reporting the Bill to the House, it shall go through the Bill as provided in Standing Order No. 54 (Procedure in Committee of the whole House on a Bill).

Procedure on Reporting of Bills from Committee of the Whole House

56. (1) So soon as a Committee of the whole House has agreed that a Bill be reported, the Chairman shall leave the Chair of the Committee and the House shall resume, and the Member in charge of the Bill shall report it to the

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House.

(2) When a Bill has been reported from a Committee of the whole House, it shall be ordered to be read a third time.

Recommittal of Bills reported from Committee of the Whole House

57. (1) If any Member desires to delete or amend any provisions contained in a Bill as reported from a Committee of the whole House or to introduce any new provision therein, he may, at any time before a Member rises to move the third reading of the Bill, move that the Bill be recommitted either wholly or in respect only of some particular part or parts of the Bill or some proposed new clause or new schedule. No notice of such Motion shall be required, the question shall be put without amendment or debate and, if the Motion is agreed to, the Bill shall stand so recommitted. The House may then, upon Motion made, resolve itself into Committee to consider the business so recommitted either forthwith or upon a later day.

(2) When the whole Bill has been recommitted, the Committee shall go through the Bill as provided in Standing Order No. 54 (Procedure in Committee of the whole House on a Bill).

(3) When the Bill has been recommitted in respect only of some particular part or parts or of some proposed new clause or new schedule, the Committee shall consider only the matter so recommitted and any amendment which may be moved thereto.

(4) At the conclusion of the proceedings in Committee on a Bill recommitted under the provisions of this Standing Order, the Chairman shall put the question “That the Bill (or the Bill as amended on recommittal) be reported to the House”which question shall be decided without amendment or debate. So soon as the Bill has been reported, the Member in charge of the Bill may either name a future day for the third reading of the Bill or move that it be read a third time forthwith.

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Procedure on Bills reported from Select Committee

58. (1) When a Bill has been reported from a Select Committee, the House may proceed to consider the Bill as reported from the Select Committee upon a Motion “That the report of the Select Committee on the ............................Bill be adopted”, moved under paragraph (6) of Standing Order No. 81 (Reports from Select Committees). If no amendment is proposed to such Motion, the question on the Motion shall be decided forthwith without debate.

(2) If that Motion is agreed to without amendment, the House may proceed to the third reading of the Bill as reported from the Select Committee.

(3) Upon a Motion to adopt the report of the Select Committee on a Bill, any Member may propose an amendment to add, at the end of the Motion, the words “subject to the recommittal of the Bill (either wholly or in respect only of some particular part or parts of the Bill or of some proposed new clause or new schedule) to a Committee of the whole House”, and if that Motion is agreed to with such an amendment, the Bill shall stand so recommitted and the House may then resolve itself into a Committee to consider the business so recommitted.

(4) A Committee of the whole House upon a Bill recommitted under the provisions of this standing Order shall proceed in accordance with paragraph (2) or paragraph (3) of Standing Order No. 57 (Recommittal of Bills reported from Committee of the whole House), and the conclusion of its proceedings and the remaining proceedings on the Bill shall be subject to paragraph (4) of that Order.

Third Reading of Bills

59. (1) On the third reading of a Bill no amendments may be proposed to the question “that the Bill be now read a third time and passed” and the question shall be put without debate.

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(2) Corrections of errors or oversights may be made by the Speaker before the question for the third reading of the Bill is put from the Chair.

(3) When a Bill which originated in the House has been read the third time, a printed copy of it, signed by the Clerk of the House and endorsed by the Speaker, shall be sent to the Senate, together with a message informing the Senate that the Bill has been passed by the House and desiring the concurrence of the Senate.

(4) When a Bill which originated in the Senate has been read a third time and passed by the House without amendment, the Clerk of the House of Representatives shall retain the Bill and a message shall be sent to the Senate “That the House of Representatives has agreed to the ..........................Bill without amendment” and a printed copy shall be submitted to the Governor General for his Assent.

(5) When a Bill which originated in the Senate has been read a third time and passed by the House with amendment or amendments, the Clerk of the House shall cause the said amendment or amendments made to the Bill by the House to be entered in the original copy of the Bill received from the Senate which copy, signed by the Clerk and endorsed by the Speaker, shall then be returned to the Senate, with a message desiring the concurrence of the Senate in the amendment or amendments made by the House of Representatives.

(6) When the Senate has returned to the House-

(a) a Bill to which paragraph (3) of this Standing Order applies with a message that the Bill has been read the third time and passed without amendment; or

(b) a Bill to which paragraph (5) of this Standing Order applies with a message that the Senate has agreed to the amendments made thereto by the House,

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the Clerk shall submit a printed copy to the Governor- General for his Assent.

Procedure on Senate Amendments

60. (1) When a Bill is returned from the Senate with amendments, the consideration of such amendments may, with the consent of the Speaker, be entered upon forthwith, or may be put down for such future day as the Member in charge of the Bill shall appoint.

(2) Upon a motion being made “That the Senate amendments to the Bill be now considered”, an amendment may be proposed to that question, to leave out the word “now”, and add at the end of the question “upon this day six months” or some other date.

(3) When the House proceeds to the consideration of Senate amendments, each amendment shall be read by the Clerk and may be agreed to, or agreed to with amendment, or disagreed to. Upon any such amendment being disagreed to, an amendment may be made to the Bill in lieu thereof, but no amendment may be proposed to a Senate amendment save an amendment strictly relevant thereto, nor may an amendment be moved to the Bill, unless the amendment be relevant to or consequent upon either the acceptance or rejection of a Senate amendment.

(4) When the House has concluded the consideration of the Senate amendments-

(a) if such amendments have been agreed to, a message shall be sent to the Senate informing them “That the House of Representatives has agreed to the amendments to the .......................... Bill”, and a printed copy of the Bill as amended shall be submitted to the Governor-General for his Assent;

(b) if such amendments have been amended, the Bill as

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amended, endorsed by the Speaker, shall be returned to the Senate together with a message informing the Senate that the House has passed the Bill with amendments to which they desire the concurrence of the Senate;

(c) if such amendments have been disagreed to, the Bill shall be returned to the Senate with a message informing the Senate “That the House of Representatives have disagreed to the Senate amendments to the........................................Bill”.

(5) When the House has disagreed to a Senate amendment, if the Senate returns the Bill with a message that it insists upon the amendment the House may either-

(a) agree to the said amendment, in which case the provisions of paragraph (4) (a) of this Standing Order shall apply; or

(b) amend such amendments in which case the provisions of paragraph (4) (b) of this Standing Order shall apply; or

(c) postpone the consideration of the Senate amendment for six months or any other period decided by the House; or

(d) order the withdrawal of the Bill; or

(e) subject to the Provisions of sections 78, 79 and 80 of the Belize Constitution, present the Bill as passed by the House of Representatives to the Governor-General for his Assent notwithstanding the

CAP. 4.

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disagreement of the Senate.

Custody of Bills and Assent thereto

61. (1) The Clerk of the House shall have custody of-

(a) every Bill passed by the House and agreed to by the Senate;

(b) every Bill passed by the Senate and agreed to by the House;

and shall, as soon as possible, present every such Bill to the Governor-General for his Assent.

(2) The Clerk, when directed by the Speaker, shall present to the Governor-General for his Assent any Bill passed by the House but not agreed to by the Senate, if under section 78 or 79 of the Belize Constitution, the Bill can be presented to the Governor-General for his Assent notwithstanding that the Senate has not consented to the Bill.

Withdrawal of Bills

62. A Bill may be withdrawn by leave of the House or, as the case may be, of the Committee either-

(a) before the commencement of Public Business; or

(b) when any stage of the Bill is reached in the Order of Business, if before the Question is fully put, the mover so requests and there is no dissentient voice.

CAP. 4.

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Bills containing substantially the same Provisions

63. Once the second reading of any Bill has been agreed to or negatived, no question shall be proposed during the same Session for the second reading of any other Bill containing substantially the same provisions.

Presentation and Second Reading of Appropriation Bill

64. (1) Any Bill containing the estimated financial requirements for expenditure on all the services of the Government of this Country for the current or succeeding financial year shall be known as an Appropriation Bill.

(2) Estimates containing the details of the said financial requirements shall be presented at the same time as any such Bill.

(3) Immediately after the presentation of an Appropriation Bill, the Minister presenting the same shall, notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order No. 49 (Appointment of days for stages of Bills), be entitled to move the second reading of the Appropriation Bill. A seconder shall not be required.

(4) The motion for such second reading shall be the occasion for the Minister of Finance to make his annual financial statement or budget speech. After the Minister has made his Budget Speech, no other Member shall speak then on the motion and the Minister of Finance shall name the day upon which debate on the second reading shall be resumed.

(5) After the motion for the second reading of the Appropriation Bill has been resumed under paragraph (4) of this Standing Order, the debate shall be confined to the financial and economic state of the Country and the general principles of Government policy and administration as indicated by the Appropriation Bill and the Estimates.

(6) When the Appropriation Bill is read a second time, a Minister may move that the House resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House to be

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called the Committee of Supply to consider the Bill and the Estimates, and thereupon and without question put, the House shall go into Committee, or may name a date for consideration of the Bill and the Estimates in Committee.

Committee of Supply

65. (1) There shall be a Committee of the whole House, to be called the Committee of Supply, the deliberations of which shall not take place in public.

(2) The Estimates shall, upon presentation to the House, stand referred to the Committee of Supply, and the Appropriation Bill, on being read a second time, shall stand committed to that Committee. The Committee shall also consider and report on all proposals for expenditure from public revenue or other funds which are not included in the Estimates, including proposals for supplementary or unforseen expenditure, and any other matter which may be referred to it by resolution of the House.

(3) Save as provided in paragraph (5) of Standing Order No. 64 (Presentation and Second Reading of Appropriation Bill), not less than forty-eight hours’notice shall be given for the House to resolve itself into Committee of Supply, except in case of emergency signified to the House by a Minister.

(4) The Chairman of the Committee of Supply shall be the Minister of Finance.

Allotment of Time in Committee of Supply

66. (1) There may be allotted a maximum number of days to be determined by the Minister responsible for Finance after such consultation with Members as he may deem fit, for discussion of the Appropriation Bill with the Estimates in the Committee of Supply or for consideration of any vote on account.

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(2) Upon any day allotted under paragraph (1) of this Standing Order, no dilatory motion shall be moved, except by a Minister, upon any proceedings upon the Appropriation Bill; and such proceedings shall not be interrupted or postponed under any Standing Order.

(3) The Speaker may name the hour upon any day allotted under paragraph (1) of this Standing Order at which proceedings upon any Head of Expenditure in the Schedules to the Appropriation Bill, or any Schedule of, or on the clauses of the Bill, shall be concluded. If in the case of any Head or Schedule or of the clauses the hour so named is reached before the business concerned is disposed of, the Chairman shall put forthwith any question necessary to dispose of that business:

Provided that, if in the case of any Head or Schedule the proceedings thereon are concluded before the hour named, the next business may be entered upon forthwith.

Procedure in Committee of Supply

67. (1) On the consideration of the Appropriation Bill in the Committee of Supply the clauses of the Bill shall stand postponed until after consideration of the Schedule or Schedules.

(2) On consideration of the Schedules each Head of Expenditure shall be considered with the appropriate Estimate, and any reference in these Standing Orders to a sub-head or an item means a sub-head or an item in the Estimates for the Head then under discussion.

(3) On the consideration of a Schedule, the Chairman shall call the title of each Head of Expenditure in turn, and shall propose the question “That the sum of $ ..................................for Head...................................... stand part of the Schedule”, and unless an amendment is proposed under the provisions of the next succeeding Standing Order, a debate may take place on that question.

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(4) When all the Heads in a Schedule have been disposed of, the Chairman shall put forthwith, without amendment or debate, the question “That the Schedule (as amended) stand part of the Bill.”

(5) When every Schedule has been disposed of, the Chairman shall call successively each clause of the Bill and shall forthwith propose the question “That the clause stand part of the Bill” and, unless a consequential amendment is moved, the question shall be disposed of without amendment or debate.

(6) No amendment may be moved to any clause except any amendment consequential on an alteration in the total sum appropriated by any Schedule. Any such consequential amendment shall be moved by a Minister only, and may be moved without notice, and the question thereon shall be put forthwith without amendment or debate. When the question on the last of any such amendments to a clause has been decided, the Chairman shall forthwith put the question “That the clause as amended stand part of the Bill” and that question shall then be decided without amendment or debate.

(7) When the question upon every clause of the Bill has been decided, the Chairman shall put the question to the Committee that the Bill (as amended) be reported to the House, which question shall be decided without amendment or debate. Upon such question being agreed to, the chairman shall leave the Chair and the House shall resume, and the Member in charge of the Bill shall report it to the House.

Amendments to Heads of Estimates in Committee of Supply

68. (1) No amendment shall be moved in the Committee of Supply under this Standing Order until one clear day after that on which notice of the amendment was given to the Clerk of the House.

(2) An amendment to any Head of Expenditure to increase the sum allotted thereto whether in respect of any item or sub-head or of the Head itself may only be moved by a Minister who shall signify to the Committee the

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recommendation or consent of the Governor-General to the increase in accordance with paragraph (4) (g) of Standing Order No. 54 (Procedure in Committee of the whole House on a Bill). Every such amendment shall take the form of a motion “That Head..................................................be increased by $....................(in respect of sub-head.......................item........................) (sub-head............................)”.

(3) An amendment to increase a Head whether in respect of any item or sub-head or of the Head itself shall take precedence over an amendment to reduce the Head in the same respect, and, if it is carried, no amendment to reduce the Head in that respect shall be called.

(4) An amendment to any Head of Expenditure to reduce the sum allotted thereto in respect of an item therein may be moved by any Member, and shall take the form of a motion “That Head................................be reduced by $..............................in respect of (or by leaving out) sub-head ...................item...................”.

(5) An amendment to reduce a Head in respect of any sub-head or by leaving out a sub-head shall only be in order if the sub-head is not itemised.

(6) An amendment to reduce a Head without reference to a subhead therein shall only be in order if the Head is not divided into sub-heads.

(7) An amendment to leave out a Head shall not be in order, and shall not be placed on the Order Paper.

(8) In the case of each Head, amendments in respect of items or sub-heads under that Head shall be placed upon the Order Paper, and considered in the order in which the items or sub-heads to which they refer, stand under the Head in the Estimates.

(9) When notice has been given of two or more amendments to reduce the same item, sub-head, or Head they shall be placed upon the Order Paper,

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and considered in the order of the magnitude of the reductions proposed, the amendment proposing the largest reduction being placed first in each case.

(10) Debate on every amendment shall be confined to the item, sub-head or Head to which the amendment refers, and after an amendment to an item or sub-head has been disposed of, no amendment or debate on a previous item or sub-head of that Head shall be permitted.

(11) When all amendments standing on the Order Paper in respect of any particular Head of Expenditure have been disposed of, the Chairman shall again propose the question: “That the sum of $......................for Head............... stand part of the Schedule”, or shall propose the amended question “That the (increased) (reduced) sum of $........................for Head..........................stand part of the Schedule”, as the case may require. There shall be no debate on any such question.

Third Reading of Appropriation Bill

69. So soon as the Appropriation Bill has been reported to the House, a Motion for the third reading shall be made by a Minister.

Supplementary Financial Provisions

70. (1) If a Minister presents a Paper setting out the details of any proposals for expenditure likely to be incurred in the course of the current financial year either in respect of a service or of several services for which no provision has been made in an Appropriation Act for that year or in respect of further financial provision beyond the total sum already sanctioned for a particular Head or for particular Heads, it shall stand referred to the Committee of Supply without question put and shall be appointed to be considered on a day to be named by the Minister presenting the Paper, subject to the provisions of paragraph (3) of Standing Order No. 65 (Committee of Supply).

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(2) On the day named under paragraph (1) of this Order, the Committee of Supply shall stand as the first item of Public Business and the House shall resolve itself into the Committee without question put.

(3) When the House has resolved itself into a Committee of Supply to consider such a Paper, a Minister may move without notice (the recommendation or consent of the Governor-General being first signified) “That the Committee approves the proposal (or proposals) set out in Paper No . ...................to which Motion amendments may be moved to add words either leaving out or reducing an item or a sub-head of any particular proposal or if there be more than one proposal leaving out any particular proposal :

Provided that when an amendment has been proposed to leave out or reduce any item or sub-head no amendment may be moved to an earlier item or sub-head and that when an amendment to leave out a proposal (or, where there is only one proposal, the question “That the Committee approves the proposal set out in Paper No . ...................”) has been proposed, no amendment to an item or sub-head in that proposal may be moved.

(4) When the Motion “That the Committee approves the proposal (or proposals) set out in Paper No . ..........................or that Motion as amended, has been agreed to, the Chairman shall leave the Chair and the Member in charge shall report that the Committee has come to a Resolution and move “That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution” and the question thereon shall be put forthwith without amendment or debate.

(5) If the consideration of the proposal or proposals in a Paper has not been concluded by the hour at which the Chairman is directed under Standing Order No.12 (Hours of Sitting) to leave the Chair, the Member in charge shall after reporting any Resolutions that may have been agreed to report progress and ask leave to sit again and shall then name a day for the resumption of the Committee.

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Supplementary Appropriation Bills

71. (1) If from time to time, whether in the course of a particular financial year or after its close, a supplementary Appropriation Bill is presented appropriating only proposals which have been approved by the Committee of Supply and agreed to by the House under Standing Order No. 70 (Supplementary Financial Provisions), then the debate on the second reading of the said Bill shall be strictly confined to the matter for which additional expenditure is required; and, when the question thereon has been agreed to, the Bill shall not be committed and the question “That the Bill be now read a third time” shall be put forthwith without amendment or debate.

(2) The proceedings on any such Bill shall not be interrupted under the provisions of Standing Order No. 12 (Hours of Sitting) and may be entered upon after 5.50 p.m. although opposed.

Standing Committees

72. (1) When the House first meets after any general election or as soon thereafter as may be convenient, the following Select Committees (in these Standing Orders referred to as Standing Committees) shall be appointed:

(a) Finance and Economic Development;

(b) Public Utilities, Transport and Communications Committee;

(c) Health and Human Development Committee, including Rural Development and Culture;

(d) Education, Sports and Housing Committee;

(e) Constitution and Foreign Affairs, Privileges and Standing Orders, House and Regulations Committee;

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(f) Works Committee;

(g) Public Service, Labour, Industry and Trade Committee;

(h) Natural Resources and Evironment Committee;

(i) National Security and Immigration Committee;

(j) Agriculture and Fisheries Committee;

(k) Public Accounts Committee;

(l) Tourism Archaeology and Broadcasting Committee;

(m) Ombudsman Reports Committee.

and such other Standing Committees as may be necessary for the consideration of Bills or other business committed or referred to a Standing Committee.

(2) The quorum of a Standing Committee may be fixed by order of the House and unless so fixed shall when the number of members exceeds three be three.

(3) Members of the public shall be allowed sufficient opportunity to present their views at the meetings of all Standing Committees.

(4) The Bills and Reports committed to a Standing Committee shall be distributed among the Committees by the Speaker.

(5) In all Standing Committees Government Bills shall have precedence and shall be considered in whatever order Ministers may decide.

(6) All Standing Committees shall have leave to print and circulate

8 of 2000.

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among Members of the House the minutes of their proceedings and clauses of Bills as amended by them.

Constitution of Standing Committees

73. (1) Each of the said Standing Committees shall consist of not less than three and not more than nine members to be nominated by a Committee of Selection to consist of not less than six members to be chosen by the Speaker as soon as may be after the beginning of each Session:

Provided that no Minister shall be appointed to a Standing Committee which deals with any subject or matter assigned to that Minister.

(2) The Committee of Selection, in nominating members of a Standing Committee, shall have regard to the composition of the House in order to ensure, so far as possible, that the balance of parties in the House is reflected in the Committee:

Provided that each Standing Committee shall have at least two members who do not support the Government (unless there are no members, or insufficient members, of the House of Representatives who do not support the Government):

(3) The Committee of Selection shall also have power to add not more than five members to a Standing Committee in respect of any Bill referred to it, to serve on the Committee during the consideration of such Bill, and in adding such members shall have regard to their qualifications.

(4) Every member of a Standing Committee may appoint an alternative member of the House who may attend the meeting of the Committee in the event of the inability of such member to attend, and every alternate so appointed shall have the same power and authority (including but not limited to the right to vote) as enjoyed by the member by whom he was so appointed.

115 of 1998.

115 of 1998.

115 of 1998.

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Powers and Duties of Standing Committees

74. (1) All proposed legislation, messages, petitions, reports, motions and other matters relating to the subjects hereinafter mentioned under the title of each Standing Committee shall be referred by the House to such Committee for examination, consideration and report to the House, and the Committee shall, as far as practicable, make such report within sixty days:-

1. Finance and Economic Development Committee.

(a) Taxation and fiscal matters;

(b) Banking, currency and insurance;

(c) Customs, excise, imports and exports;

(d) Exchange control;

(e) Salaries, pensions and provident funds;

(f) Public debt and public loans;

(g) Economic development;

(h) Any other subjects assigned under the Constitution to the Minister responsible for Finance or the Minister responsible for Budget Planning and Management and Economic Development in their capacity as such Ministers.

2. Public Utilities, Transport and Communications Committee.

(a) Public Utilities;

115 of 1998. 8 of 2000.

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(b) Transport;

(c) Communications;

(d) Any other subjects assigned under the Constitution to the Minister responsible for Public Utilities, Transport and Communications.

3. Health and Human Development Committee, including Rural Development and Culture.

(a) All subjects assigned under the Constitution to the Minister responsible for Health;

(b) All subjects assigned under the Constitution to the Ministers responsible for Human Development, Women, Youth, Rural Development and Culture.

4. Education, Sports and Housing Committee.

(a) All subjects assigned under the Constitution to the Minister responsible for Education and Sports;

(b) All subjects assigned under the Constitution to the Minister responsible for Housing in his capacity as such Minister.

5. Constitution and Foreign Affairs Privileges, Standing Orders, House and Regulations Committee.

(a) Constitution;

(b) Civil liabilities and administration of justice;

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(c) Legal affairs;

(d) Relations of Belize with the Commonwealth countries and foreign countries;

(e) International conferences;

(f) Foreign representation;

(g) Subject to Standing Order No. 29 (5), all matters which appear to affect the powers or privileges of the House;

(h) Standing Orders of the House and such other matters relating thereto as may be referred to the Committee by the House;

(i) Order of Business of the House;

(j) Recesses and adjournments of the House;

(k) All matters relating to the remuneration and allowances and the comfort and convenience of Members of the House;

(l) Employment of officers and other persons by the House;

(m) All such orders, rules, regulations and by-laws which are required by any law to be laid before the House.

This Committee shall bring to the attention of the House any order, rule, regulation or by-law -

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(a) which involves the expenditure of public moneys or imposes or fixes fees for licences or for services;

(b) which cannot be challenged in the Courts on the ground that it is ultra vires, or is only temporarily so challengeable;

(c) the making of which appears to constitute an unusual or unexpected use of the powers conferred by the law under which it was made;

(d) which purports to have retroactive effect although the law under which it was made does not in terms give the Minister such a power;

(e) the publication or the laying before the House of which appears to have been unduly delayed; or

(f) the purport or form of which appears to require elucidation.

6. Works Committee.

(a) Public works;

(b) All other matters assigned under the Constitution to the Minister responsible for Works.

7. Public Service, Labour, Industry and Trade Committee.

(a) Public Service;

(b) Labour matters;

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(c) Trade, Industry and Commerce;

(d) Home affairs;

(e) Local Government;

(f) Any other subjects assigned under the Constitution to the Minister responsible for Industry and Commerce, Public Service and Labour.

8. Natural Resources and Environment Committee.

All matters assigned under the Constitution to the Minister responsible for Natural Resources and the Environment.

9. National Security and Immigration Committee.

All matters assigned under the Constitution to the Minister responsible for National Security and Immigration.

10. Agriculture and Fisheries Committee.

(a) All matters assigned under the Constitution to the Minister responsible for Agriculture and Fisheries;

(b) Cooperatives.

11. Public Accounts Committee.

The Public Accounts Committee shall have the duty of examining, considering and reporting on -

(a) the accounts showing the appropriation of the sums granted by the National Assembly to meet the public

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expenditure of the country;

(b) such other accounts as may be referred to the Committee by the House or under any Law; and

(c) the report of the Auditor General on any such accounts.

12. Tourism, Archaeology and Information Committee.

(a) Archaeology;

(b) Salvaging of Wrecks;

(c) All matters related to Tourism;

(d) Information and Broadcasting.

13. Ombudsman Reports Committee.

(a) Reports by the Ombudsman made under the Ombudsman Act;

(b) Any other matters incidental to or connected with (a) above.

(1:01)Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1) of this Order, the Standing Committees established in that paragraph shall have the power, in respect of all matters assigned to them, other than proposed legislation, to hold meetings on their own initiative without having the matter referred to them by the House, and for that purpose, a meeting shall be duly called if a requisition under the hand of the Chairman, or, if the Chairman is unable for any reason to do so, under the hands of any three members of the

8 of 2000.

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Committee, is sent to the other members of the Committee. Paragraph 2 of this Order shall apply to a meeting held pursuant to this paragraph.

(2) The Standing Committees set out in paragraph (1) this order shall also have the power to oversee the expenditure, administration and policy of government departments and their associated public bodies, falling within the subjects assigned to the respective Standing Committees, and in exercise of this power the Standing Committees may, subject to paragraph (3) below -

(a) send for persons, papers and records and specialists advisers, where necessary, to elucidate matters of complexity within the Committee’s terms of reference;

(b) communicate to any other such Committee its evidence and any other documents relating to matters of common interest;

(c) meet concurrently with any such Committee for the purposes of deliberating, taking evidence, or considering draft reports; and

(d) sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, adjourn from place to place, and report from time to time.

(3) Where a Minister of Government is requested to attend the Committee he shall comply with such request unless prevented from doing so on good and reasonable grounds, in which case he shall arrange for his Permanent Secretary or other senior public officer to attend on his behalf.

(4) Unless the House otherwise orders, all Members nominated to a Committee appointed under this order shall continue to be members of that Committee for the remainder of the National Assembly.

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Chairmen of Standing Committees

75. (1) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (2) of this Standing Order, each Standing Committee shall select its Chairman from among the members thereof. In the temporary absence of the Chairman the member next in rank in the order named in the election of the Committee, and so on, as often as the case shall happen, shall act as Chairman. In the case of a permanent vacancy in the Chairmanship of any such Committee, the Committee of Selection shall appoint another Chairman.

(2) The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee shall be chosen from among the members who do not support the Government (except at times when there is no such member).

Special Select Committees

76. (1) A Select Committee other than a Standing Committee shall be known as a Special Select Committee. It shall be appointed by Order of the House which shall specify the terms of reference of the Committee and shall consist of such Members as may be directed by Order of the House and, in the absence of such direction shall consist of such Members as may be chosen by the Speaker.

(2) The quorum of a Special Select Committee shall be such as shall be specified in the Order of the House or, in the absence of such Order, by the Speaker.

Constitution and Chairmen of Select Committees

77. (1) Every Select Committee shall be so constituted as to ensure, so far as is possible, that the balance of parties in the House is reflected in the Committee:

Provided that a Select Committees shall have at least two members

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who do not support the Government (unless there are no members or insufficient members of the House who do not support the Government).

(2) Where a Member of a Select Committee dies or for any other reason his seat becomes vacant, then, subject to the preceding paragraph, the Speaker or the Committee of Selection in the case of a Standing Committee shall appoint another Member in his place.

(3) Except as is otherwise provided by these Standing Orders or by special direction of the House, a Select Committee shall elect a Chairman from among its Members.

(4) Every member of a Select Committee may appoint an alternative member of the House who may attend the meetings of the Committee in the event of inability of such member to attend, and every alternate so appointed shall have the same power and authority (including but not limited to the right to vote) as enjoyed by the member by whom he was so appointed.

Joint Select Committees

78. (1) The House may for the purposes of any Select Committee appoint not more than six Members to sit with Members of the Senate as a joint Select Committee.

(2) The quorum of a joint Select Committee shall be such as the Committee may decide.

(3) Except as is otherwise provided by these Standing Orders or by special direction of the House, a joint Select Committee shall elect a Chairman from among its members.

(4) A joint Select Committee may be appointed at the request of either House with the approval of the other House.

115 of 1998.

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Procedure in Select Committees

79. (1) Except as otherwise provided in Standing Orders Nos. 72 to 75 inclusive (Standing Committees), this Standing Order shall apply to all Select Committees.

(2) If the Chairman is unable to be present at any meeting, the Committee shall elect another Chairman whose tenure of office shall be for the day of his election.

(3) Unless the House otherwise directs, every Select Committee shall have power to send for persons, papers and records.

(4) A Select Committee shall not have power to delegate any of its functions to its Chairman or any other member.

(5) Unless the House otherwise directs, three Members shall be the quorum. In ascertaining whether there is a quorum present, the Member in the Chair shall not be excluded.

(6) The deliberations of a Select Committee shall be confined to the matter referred to it by the House and any extension or limitation thereof made by the House, and, in the case of a Select Committee on a Bill, to the Bill committed to it and relative amendments.

(7) Where, by resolution of the House or under these Standing Orders, the Speaker or a Minister is Chairman of a Select Committee, the Speaker or the Minister shall appoint the time and place for the holding of the first meeting of the Committee. In all other cases the first meeting of a Select Committee shall be summoned by the Speaker and the first business to be transacted thereat shall be the Election of a Chairman of the Committee; if at such meeting a Chairman is not elected, the Speaker shall appoint a Member of the Committee to be the Chairman.

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(8) Subsequent meetings shall be held at such time and place as the Select Committee may determine; provided that, if the Committee fail to do so, the Chairman shall, in consultation with the Clerk of the House, appoint such time and place.

(9) Subject to any order of the House or resolution of the Committee,the sitting of a Select Committee shall be held in private.

(10) Except by leave of the House no Select Committee may sit while the House is sitting, but a Select Committee may sit any time when the House is adjourned or the sitting of the House is suspended.

(11) When it is intended to examine any witnesses the Member requiring such witnesses shall deliver to the clerk of the Committee the name, residence and occupation of any witnesses he desires to examine and the Committee shall decide if and when to summon the witnesses.

(12) If the Committee desires to summon any witnesses, the Chairman shall supply the name, residence and occupation of every such witness to the Clerk of the House at least seven days before his evidence is required. The Clerk shall then, subject to the directions of the Speaker, summon every such witness on behalf of the House.

(13) The evidence of every witness shall be taken down verbatim and sent in proof to the witness.The witness shall be at liberty, within fourteen days from that on which the Clerk sent out the proof, to suggest corrections due to inaccurate reporting, and the evidence shall be printed with such of the corrections as may be approved by the Chairman.

(14) The Committee may at its discretion refuse to hear any irrelevant evidence or any recalcitrant witness.

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(15)

(a) Any Member of a Select Committee may bring up a report for its consideration, and all such reports shall be entered in full upon the minutes of proceedings of the Committee. When all the reports have been brought up, the Chairman shall propose the reports in order until one is accepted as a basis for discussion, beginning with his own report and proceeding with the remainder in the order in which they were brought up. The question to be proposed by the Chairman on any report shall be “That the Chairman’s (or Mr. ....................’s) report be read a second time paragraph by paragraph”. When this question has been agreed to, it shall not be proposed on any further reports, but any portions thereof may be offered as amendments to the report under consideration, if they are relevant to it.

(b) The Committee shall then proceed to go through the report paragraph by paragraph and paragraphs (1) to (7) of Standing Order No. 54 (Procedure in Committee of the whole House on a Bill) shall apply to such consideration as if the report were a Bill and the paragraphs thereof the clauses of the Bill.

(c) Upon the conclusion of the consideration of the report paragraph by paragraph and when all proposed new paragraphs have been considered, the Chairman shall put the question that this report be the report of the Committee to the House.

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Premature Publication of Evidence

80. (1) The proceedings of and the evidence taken before, any Select Committee, and any documents presented to, and decisions of, such a Committee shall not be published by any Member thereof or by any other person before the Committee has presented its report to the House.

(2) Any Member who contravenes the provisions of paragraph (1) of this Standing Order shall be liable, as the House may determine, either-

(a) to the censure of the House, or

(b) to be dealt as if he had committed a breach of order contrary to paragraph (5) of Standing Order No.44 (Order in the House and in Committee), in which case the provisions of paragraphs (5) to (14) inclusive of that Order shall apply; and in addition the Member may be prosecuted for an offence contrary to the provisions of the Legislative Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act 1962.*

Reports from Select Committees

81. (1) Every Select Committee shall, before the end of every Session, make a report to the House upon the matters referred to it; but where a Select Committee finds itself unable to conclude its investigation before the end of the Session, it may so report to the House.

________________________ *This Act was omitted from the Revised Edition of the Laws of Belize 1980-1990 and from the Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2000.

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(2) A report of a Select Committee may contain the opinions and observations of the Committee, and may be accompanied by the minutes of evidence taken before the Committee.

(3) A Select Committee may make a special report relating to its powers, functions and proceedings on any matters that it thinks fit to bring to the notice of the House.

(4) The report of a Select Committee shall be presented to the House by the Chairman or other Member deputed by the Committee, and shall be ordered to be laid on the Table, and be printed, without question put.

(5) The minutes of proceedings of a Select Committee shall record-

(a) the names of the Members present each day of the sitting of the Committee;

(b) the names of the witnesses examined;

(c) in the event of a division taking place,the question proposed, the names of the proposer and the respective votes thereon of the Members present and the names of the Members (if any) who declined to vote.

(5) The minutes of the proceedings of a Select Committee shall be printed with the report of the Committee, unless the House otherwise direct, and the Clerk shall preserve the original thereof as part of the records of the House.

(6) The Report of a Select Committee may be taken into consideration by the House on a motion “That the Report of the Select Committee on ................................................be adopted”. Such a motion may be moved by any Member after one clear day’s notice.

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Divisions in Select Committees

82. (1) Every division in a Select Committee shall be taken by the Clerk to the Committee asking each Member of the Committee separately how he desires to vote and recording the votes accordingly.

(2) In taking the division, the names of all Members of the Committee present shall be called in alphabetical order.

(3) When a division is claimed in a Select Committee every Member of the Committee present shall, unless he expressly states that he declines to vote, record his vote either for Ayes or Noes. The Clerk to the Committee shall enter in the Minutes of the proceedings the record of each Member’s vote and shall add a statement of the names of Members who declined to vote.

(4) As soon as the Clerk has collected the votes he shall state the number of Members voting for the Ayes and Noes respectively and the Chairman shall then declare the result of the division. The Chairman shall not have an original vote but in the event of an equality of votes he shall give a casting vote.

(5) If a Member of the Committee states that he voted in error or that his vote has been wrongly counted he may claim to have his vote altered, provided that such request is made as soon as the Clerk has announced the numbers and before the Chairman has declared the result of the division.

Private Bills

83. (1) Every Bill, not being a Government measure, intended to affect or benefit some particular person, association or corporate body (in this Standing Order called a “Private Bill”) shall contain a clause saving the rights of Her Majesty the Queen, Her Heirs and Successors, all bodies politic and corporate, and all others except such as are mentioned in the Bill and those claiming by, from, or under, them, and may be introduced into the House under the provisions of this Standing Order:

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Provided that the provisions of paragraph (1) of this Order shall not apply to measures to incorporate churches, and from the commencement of this proviso, churches shall be incorporated as companies limited by guarantee under the Companies Act.

(2) Any Bill, not being a Government measure, which in the opinion of the Speaker appears to affect directly private rights or property may be introduced into the House as a Private Bill under the provisions of this Standing Order.

(3) A Private Bill shall be introduced by a Member, only-

(a) on petition from the promoters stating the objects of and reasons for the Bill; and

(b) after notice of the Bill has been given-

(i) by not less than three successive publications of the Bill in the Gazette, and

(ii) by three successive publications in a newspaper circulating in the Country of a notice containing a statement of the objects of and the reasons for the Bill.

(4) The Petition shall be presented by being lodged with the Clerk, and shall be read at the first ordinary sitting of the House after it is so lodged, and thereupon the Speaker shall put the question that the promoters be allowed to proceed.

(5) Subject to paragraph (6) of this Standing Order, when leave to proceed has been granted, the promoters shall, within the next ensuing three months after such leave has been granted, lodge with the Clerk of the House-

110 of 2000.

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(a) two copies of the Bill;

(b) a certificate under the hand of the Accountant General certifying that the sum of two hundred and fifty dollars (or such less sum as the Clerk may in writing approve), to meet the expenses of printing, has been deposited with the Accountant General;

(c) a bond duly executed by two sufficient persons obliging them to pay on demand to the Clerk any excess over the deposited sum, required for such expenses.

(6) The Clerk shall cause the Bill lodged with him to be printed as early as possible, and, at the first ordinary sitting of the House after the printing is completed, the Speaker, if he is satisfied that the notices required by paragraph (3) of this Standing Order have been given, shall put the question that the Bill be read a first time, upon which no discussion shall be allowed. After the Bill is read a first time, it shall stand upon the Order Paper for the second reading at the next ordinary sitting of the House.

(7) Upon the day ordered for second reading, the Speaker shall, unless the House otherwise orders, put the question that the Bill be read a second time.

(8) After the Bill has been read a second time, it shall stand referred to a Special Select Committee to be chosen by the Speaker. The Speaker shall appoint the Chairman of the Committee.

(9)

(a) Every Special Select Committee on such a Bill shall require proof of the facts and other allegations set forth in the Bill as showing that it is expedient that the

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Bill should be passed, and may take such oral or other evidence as it may think requisite; and thereafter, if the Select Committee finds that the said facts and allegations are not proved, it shall report to the House accordingly, and thereupon no further proceedings shall be taken with reference to the Bill unless the House makes a special order to the contrary.

(b) If the Special Select Committee finds that the said facts and allegations have been proved, the Committee shall consider the several clauses of the Bill and may strike out clauses, add new clauses, and make any other amendments which it shall deem necessary, and in respect of such new clauses and other amendments shall describe their purport in a Special Report to the House. No new clauses or amendments shall be allowed in such a Bill which are foreign to the objects of and reasons for the Bill or which are beyond its scope.

(10) No person, other than a Member of the House, shall be heard in opposition to any Private Bill, unless he has previously lodged a petition with the Clerk showing the nature of his objections to the Bill, and stating whether his objections extend to the whole or some part of the preamble (if any), or to the clauses of the said Bill, and praying that he may be heard by himself or his Counsel against the Bill.

(11) Subject to the provisions of this Standing Order, all petitions against a Bill, where such petitions contain a prayer that the petitioners be heard by themselves or Counsel, shall stand referred to the Special Select Committee, and the Committee shall hear all such opposers who appear to have a locus standi.

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(12) When it is intended to examine any witnesses before the Special Select Committee, the provisions of paragraphs (11) and (12) of Standing Order 79 (Procedure in Select Committees) shall apply.

(13) The Special Select Committee shall examine the Bill and make such amendments thereto as it thinks proper, and shall report to the House that it has examined the Bill, and (if the fact be so) made amendments thereto, and shall make to the House such recommendations, if any, as it thinks fit.

(14) After the report of the Special Select Committee has been presented to and adopted by the House in accordance with Standing Order No. 57 the Speaker shall put the question, without amendment or debate, that the Bill be read a third time.

(15) As soon as practicable after any Private Bill is passed, rejected, dropped or abandoned, the Clerk of the House shall make out an account showing, according to the scale prescribed or approved by the Minister, the expenses of printing, and shall transmit the same, signed by him, to the Accountant General who thereupon shall, if the amount of the account is less than two hundred and fifty dollars, transfer such amount from the deposited sum of two hundred and fifty dollars to the general revenue of this Country, and pay the balance to the depositors, their executors or administrators.

(16) If the account for the expenses of printing exceeds two hundred and fifty dollars the Accountant General shall transfer the whole of the deposited sum to the credit of the general revenue of this Country, and the Attorney General shall, in the event of the promoters failing to pay the Accountant General the balance after being requested so to do, take proceedings to enforce payment of such balance.

Absence of Members

84. (1) Any Member who is prevented from attending a meeting of the House shall acquaint the Clerk as early as possible of his inability to attend.

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(2) If, without the leave of the Speaker obtained in writing before the end of the last of the sittings referred to in this paragraph, any Member is absent from the House for more than six consecutive sittings occurring during the same Session, and within a period of not longer than three calendar months, such Member shall vacate his seat in the House under section 59 (2) of the Belize Constitution.

Employment of Members in Professional Capacity

85. No Member of the House shall appear before the House or any Committee thereof as Counsel or Attorney-at-Law for any party or in any capacity for which he is to receive a fee or reward.

Report of Debates

86. (1) An Official Report of the proceedings, and of all speeches made, in the House shall be prepared under the supervision of the Clerk, acting under such instructions as the Speaker from time to time may give.

(2) The report shall be published in such form as the Speaker may direct, and a copy thereof shall be sent to each Member as soon as practicable.

Strangers

87. (1) Strangers may be present in the Chamber of the House in the places set apart for them, under such rules as the Speaker may make from time to time for that purpose.

(2) If, at any sitting of the House, any Member shall move that strangers withdraw, the Speaker shall forthwith put the question “That strangers do withdraw” without permitting any debate or amendment.

(3) The Speaker may, whenever he thinks fit, order the withdrawal of strangers from any part of the Chamber and its precincts, and may order

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the doors of the Chamber to be closed.

(4) Strangers must preserve silence, and must conduct themselves in a fit and proper manner during a sitting.

(5) Strangers must withdraw from the Chamber and its precincts when called upon by the Speaker to do so.

Press

88. (1) The Speaker may grant a general permission to the representative of any journal or newspaper or other medium of public information to attend the sittings of the House under such rules as he may make from time to time for that purpose.

(2) If such rules are contravened, such permission may be revoked.

Amendment of Standing Orders

89. (1) Unless the Speaker shall otherwise direct, not less than eight days’ notice of a motion to amend the Standing Orders shall be given, and the notice shall be accompanied by a draft of the proposed amendments.

(2) The motion shall be set down for the earliest convenient sitting after the expiration of the notice.

(3) When the Motion is reached, the mover shall move the Motion, and after it has, if necessary, been seconded, the Motion shall be referred forthwith, without any question being put thereon, to the Standing Orders Committee, and no further proceedings shall be taken on any such Motion until the Committee has reported thereon.

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Suspension of Standing Orders

90. (1) Any one or more of these Standing Orders may, after notice or with the leave of the Speaker, be suspended on a Motion made by a Member at any sitting and agreed to by not less than three-fourths of the Members then present.

(2) A Motion under this Standing Order shall be decided without amendment or debate.

General Authority of the Speaker

91. (1) The Speaker shall have power to regulate the conduct of business in all matters not provided for in these Standing Orders.

(2) The decision in all cases for which these Standing Orders do not provide, shall lie within the discretion of the Speaker, and shall not be open to challenge.

(3) The Speaker shall be responsible for the management and general administration of the Chamber.

Agreement between both sides of the House

92. Where agreement has been reached by leave of the Speaker between the Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition with regard to the transaction of any of the business of the House for any sitting or period, such agreement shall be announced in the House by the Speaker and the Speaker shall, the provisions of these Standing Orders notwithstanding, conduct such business in accordance with the terms of the said agreement.

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Interpretation

93. In these Standing Orders “Clerk of the House” and “Clerk” mean the person appointed under section 67 of the Belize Constitution, and includes the person deputed to act for him.

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100 Belize Constitution (Senate) Standing OrdersCAP. 4]

CHAPTER 4

BELIZE CONSTITUTION (SENATE) STANDING ORDERS

ARRANGEMENT OF PARAGRAPHS

1. Title.

2. Oath of Allegiance.

3. Election of President.

4. Election of Vice-President.

5. Presiding in the Senate and in Committee.

6. Duties of the Clerk of the Senate.

7. Language.

8. Quorum.

9. Days of Sitting.

10. Hours of Sitting.

11. Adjournment of the Senate.

12. Adjournment - Definite Matters of Urgent Public Importance.

13. Order of Business.

14. Petitions.

15. Papers.

16. Nature of Questions.

17. Notice of Questions.

18. Contents of Questions.

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19. Manner of Asking and Answering Questions.

20. Personal Explanations.

21. Arrangement of Public Business.

22. Public Money.

23. Notice of Motions or Amendments.

24. Period of Notice.

25. Exemption from Notice.

26. Dispensing with Notice.

27. Privilege Motions.

28. Moving of Motions.

29. Seconding of Motions and Amendments.

30. Motions not moved or seconded.

31. Withdrawal of Motions.

32. Amendments to Motions - How Moved and Put.

33. Time and Manner of Speaking.

34. Right of Reply.

35. Interruptions.

36. Contents of Speeches.

37. Scope of Debate.

38. Anticipations.

39. Closure of Debate.

40. Rules for Members not Speaking.

41. Time Limit of Speeches.

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42. Responsibility for orders in the Senate and in Committee.

43. President to be heard in Silence.

44. Orders in the Senate and in Committee.

45. Decision of Questions.

46. Collection of Voices.

47. Division.

48. Procedure on Bills - Introduction and First Reading of Bills.

49. Appointment of Days for Stages of Bill.

50. Form of Bills.

51. Second Reading of Bills.

52. Committal of Bills.

53. Functions of Committees on Bill.

54. Procedure in Committee of the whole Senate on a Bill.

55. Procedure in Select Committee on a Bill.

56. Procedure on reporting of Bills from Committee of the whole Senate.

57. Recommittal of Bills Reported from Committee of the whole Senate.

58. Procedure on Bills Reported from Select Committee.

59. Third Reading.

60. Procedure on House of Representatives Amendments.

61. Withdrawal of Bills.

62. Bills containing substantially the same provisions.

63. Money Bills.

64. Sessional Select Committees.

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65. Standing Orders Committee.

66. House Committee.

67. Committee of Privileges.

68. Regulations Committee.

68:01.Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee.

69. Special Select Committees.

70. Constitution and Chairman of Select Committee.

71. Joint Select Committees.

72. Procedure in Select Committees.

73. Divisions in Select Committee.

74. Premature Publication of Evidence.

75. Reports from Select Committees.

76. Private Bills.

77. Miscellaneous - Absence of Members.

78. Employment of Members in Professional Capacity.

79. Report of Debates.

80. Strangers.

81. Press.

82. Amendment of Standing Orders.

83. Suspension of Standing Orders.

84. General Authority of the President.

85. Absence of the President.

86. Interpretation. ______________

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CHAPTER 4

BELIZE CONSTITUTION (SENATE) STANDING ORDERS (Section 17) *

[15th July, 1967]

Title

1. These Standing Orders may be cited as the

SENATE STANDING ORDERS.

Oath of Allegiance

2. (1) When the Senate first meets after a general election, the Clerk of the Senate shall, immediately following the election of a President and Vice-President, administer the oath or affirmation of allegiance, first to the President and Vice-President and then to the other Senators.

(2) At any other time, except in a case to which section 71 (3) of the Belize Constitution applies, the oath or affirmation shall be administered immediately after the Prayers.

(3) The oath or affirmation shall be in the form set out in Schedule 3 to the Belize Constitution.

Election of President

3. (1) At the first meeting of the Senate after a general election and before the Senate proceeds to the despatch of any other business, or whenever it is necessary for the Senate to elect a President by reason of a vacancy in the office occurring otherwise, the Clerk shall call upon the Senate to elect a

34 of 1967. 19 of 2002.

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President.

(2) A Senator, having first ascertained that the Senator, or other person to be proposed, is willing to serve if elected, may, rising in his place and addressing the Clerk, propose any other Senator (not being a Minister), or any other person who is not a Member of either Chamber of the Legislature, to the Senate as President of the Senate; and if that proposal be seconded, the Clerk, if no other such Senator or person be proposed for the office, shall declare the Senator or the person so proposed and seconded to be President of the Senate.

(3) If another such Senator or person, willing to serve if elected, be proposed and seconded, the Clerk shall propose the question that the Senator who was first proposed should be the President. If that proposal be agreed to, the Senator or other person so chosen shall be President, but if the proposal be negatived, the Clerk shall propose a like question in respect of any other such Senator or person, who has been proposed and seconded, until the question is carried in favour of one of the Senators, or other persons, so proposed.

Election of Vice-President

4. (1) At the first meeting of the Senate after a general election and before the Senate proceeds to the despatch of any other business except the election of President, so soon as the President has been elected the Senate shall proceed to the election of one of its Senators, not being a Minister, to be Vice-President of the Senate.

(2) If the office of Vice-President falls vacant at any time before the next dissolution of the Legislature, the Senate shall, as soon as convenient, elect another Senator not being a Minister to that office.

(3) The election of the Vice-President shall be conducted in a similar manner to the election of the President, save that the President shall preside.

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Presiding in the Senate and in Committee

5. (1) The President, or in his absence the Vice-President, or in their absence a Senator (not being a Minister) elected by the Senate for the sitting, shall preside at the sittings of the Senate and shall act as Chairman of Committee of the whole Senate.

(2) Save as otherwise provided in these Standing Orders, the Vice-President, or other Senator presiding, shall have all the authority and power of the President when presiding or otherwise performing the functions of the President.

(3) The President or in his absence the Vice-President may, without any formal communication to the Senate or to the Committee, as the case may be, ask any Senator present (not being a Minister) to take the Chair temporarily.

(4) Whenever the unavoidable absence of the President from any day’s sitting is announced by the Clerk at the Table, the Vice President shall take the Chair and shall be invested with all the powers of the President until the President resumes.

Duties of the Clerk of the Senate

6. (1) The Clerk of the Senate shall keep the Minutes of Proceedings of the Senate and of Committees of the whole Senate, and shall circulate copies thereof to the Senators as early as practicable and, if possible, on the day following each sitting of the Senate.

(2) The Minutes shall record the names of Senators attending, all decisions of the Senate, and details of every division held, and shall be signed by the President.

(3) In the case of divisions of the Senate or of a Committee of the whole Senate, the Minutes shall include the numbers voting for and against the

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question, the names of Senators so voting, and the names (and the number) of Senators who declined to vote on the question.

(4) The Clerk shall prepare from day to day, and keep on the Table of the Senate and in the Clerk’s office, an Order Book showing all business appointed for any future day, and any Notices of Questions or Motions which have been set down for a future day whether for a day named or not. The Order Book shall be open to the inspection of Senators at all reasonable hours.

(5) The Clerk shall cause to be printed and circulated to every Senator in respect of each sitting of the Senate an Order Paper setting out the business to be transacted at that sitting.

(6) The Clerk shall be responsible for the custody of the votes, records, Bills and other documents laid before the Senate, which shall be open to inspection by Senators and other persons under such arrangements as may be sanctioned by the President.

(7) It shall be the responsibility of the Clerk to provide every Select Committee of the Senate with a clerk and, if so required by the Committee, with a shorthand writer.

(8) At the end of each Session, the Clerk shall cause to be prepared and placed in the records of the Senate a bound volume containing the Minutes of Proceedings of that Session, marked with all such corrections as the President may have directed to be made therein.

(9) Where a Proclamation of the Governor-General under section 83 of the Belize Constitution, is published in the Gazette, the Clerk shall send to each Senator a copy of the Proclamation.

(10) The Clerk shall be responsible, under the President for the administration of the office and the control and discipline of the officers of the Senate subordinate to him.

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Language

7. (1) The proceedings and debates of the Senate shall be in the English language.

(2) Every petition shall be in the English language.

Quorum

8. (1) A quorum of the Senate and of a Committee of the whole Senate shall consist of three Senators (excluding the Senator in the Chair).

(2) If any Senator draws the attention of the President or of the Chairman in Committee of the whole Senate to the fact that a quorum is not present, the President or Chairman, as the case may be, shall direct Senators within the precincts of the Chamber to be summoned.

(3) When the order to summon Senators has been given in the Senate, the President shall, after the expiration of ten minutes, count the Senate. If a quorum is not then present he shall adjourn the Senate without question put.

(4) When the order to summon Senators has been given in Committee of the whole Senate, the Chairman shall, after the expiration of ten minutes, count the Committee. If he ascertains that a quorum is not then present, he shall leave the Chair, the Senate shall resume and the President shall count the Senate. If a quorum is then present the Senate shall again resolve itself into Committee; but if a quorum is not present, the President shall adjourn the Senate without question put.

(5) If, from the number of Senators taking part in a division, including those Senators who declined to vote, it appears that a quorum is not present, the division shall be invalid, and the business then under consideration shall stand over until the next sitting, and the Senate or Committee shall be counted in accordance with paragraph (3) or paragraph (4) of this Standing Order.

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Days of Meeting

9. (1) Subject to paragraph (2) of this Standing Order the Senate shall meet on Tuesdays, and every adjournment of the Senate shall be to the next Tuesday unless the Senate upon a Motion moved by a Senator otherwise decides. Notice of such a Motion shall not be required, and the question thereon shall be put without amendment or debate: Provided, that in every year there shall be three periods of six weeks each, the first commencing from the Saturday preceding Holy Week, the second from the first day of August, and the third from the seventeenth day of December, during which the Senate shall not meet except in pursuance of a summons issued under paragraph (3) of this Standing Order.

(2) If at any time when the Senate stands adjourned pursuant to its own order it is represented to the President by a Minister or the Senator responsible for Government Business that there is urgent necessity for the Senate to meet upon a day earlier than the day to which the Senate stands adjourned, the President may, if he is satisfied that such urgent necessity exists, direct the Clerk to summon a meeting of the Senate for such time on such day, whether Tuesday or otherwise, as the President may determine.

(3) Every direction under paragraph (2) of this Standing Order shall be in writing and shall be signed by the President and shall bear the date upon which it is given to the Clerk and shall specify the business to be transacted at such meeting.

(4) Forthwith upon receipt of any direction under paragraph (3) of this Standing Order, the Clerk shall inform every member, as expeditiously as possible and personally if practicable, of the day and hour appointed by the President for the holding of the special meeting of the Senate and of the business to be transacted at such meeting.

(5) Except by leave of the Senate, no business otherwise than the business specified in the directive under paragraph (2) of this Standing Order

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shall be transacted at any special meeting of the Senate under the said paragraph.

Hours of Sitting

10. (1) Except as provided in these Standing Orders, every sitting of the Senate shall begin at 10.30 o’ clock in the forenoon and, subject to the provisions of this Standing Order, shall end not later than 4.30 p.m.

(2) The President may at any time suspend the sitting for a period stated by him, and shall in any event suspend the sitting at 12 noon and order it to be resumed at 2 p.m.

(3) The President shall at 4.20 p.m. interrupt the business under discussion and its resumption shall be appointed for such day as the Minister in charge of arranging the business of the Senate shall direct, and if the Senate is in Committee at that time the Chairman shall leave the Chair forthwith and report to the Senate and the Committee shall be directed to sit again on such day as the said Minister shall appoint. If a division is in progress at 4.20 p.m., the proceedings shall not be interrupted until the result of the division has been declared. Any other business, if unopposed, shall then be disposed of, and at its conclusion, or at 4.30 p.m. notwithstanding that there may be business then still under discussion, the President shall adjourn the Senate without question put, and the business not disposed of shall stand over till the next sitting.

(4) If the President or Chairman is of the opinion that the proceedings on which the Senate or Committee is engaged at 4.20 p.m. could be concluded by a short extension of time, he may defer interrupting the business until not later than 4.35 p.m. in which case the President shall not adjourn the Senate without question put until such time after 4.30 o’clock as is equivalent to the period of deferment of the interruption.

(5) If any business, when called during the time of unopposed business, is opposed, it shall be appointed for such a day as the Minister or the Senator in charge of arranging the business of the Senate shall direct. Any business

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which, when called during the time of unopposed business, is objected to by a Senator, or upon which, when the question is put, a division is sought, shall be treated as opposed business.

(6) If all the business appointed at a sitting is concluded before 4.30 p.m., the President shall call upon a Minister or the Senator responsible for Government Business to move “That the Senate do now adjourn”. If that question has not been agreed to at 4.30 p.m. the President shall at that hour adjourn the Senate without question put.

(7) On the interruption of business the Closure may be moved; and if it is so moved, or if proceedings under Standing Order No. 39 (Closure of Debate) are then in progress, the President or the Chairman shall not leave the Chair until the question consequent thereon, and on any further Motion as provided for in Standing Order No.39 (Closure of Debate) have been decided, even though the divisions on such questions continue beyond 4.30 p.m., but in the latter event, immediately the last of such questions has been decided or, if in Committee, as soon as the Chairman’s report has been received, the President shall adjourn the Senate without question put.

(8) A Minister or the Senator responsible for Government Business may, without notice, either at the time appointed in Standing Order No. 13 (Order of Business) or on the interruption of business, move “That the proceedings on any specified business may be entered upon and proceeded with at this day’s sitting at any hour though opposed”, and any such Motion shall be decided without amendment or debate. The business so specified shall not be interrupted at 4.20 p.m., or, if already interrupted, shall be resumed, and may be entered upon at any hour though opposed. Upon the conclusion after 4.30 p.m. of all business so specified the President shall adjourn the Senate without question put.

(9) The Senate may from time to time by resolution alter, either generally or in respect of a particular sitting, the hours set forth in this Standing Order.

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Adjournment of the Senate

11. (1) A Minister or in the absence of a Minister the Senator in charge of Government Business may move “that this Senate do now adjourn” at any time after the conclusion of Questions at any sitting, but any other Senator may only move such a Motion under Standing Order No. 12 (Adjournment - Definite Matter of Urgent Public Importance).

(2) Upon any Motion “That the Senate do now adjourn” moved by a Minister or the Senator responsible for Government Business under the preceding paragraph or paragraph (6) of Standing Order No. 10 (Hours of Sitting), any matter for which the Cabinet is responsible may be raised by any Senator who has obtained the right to do so on that day, and the Minister responsible for the matter raised or, in his absence, any other Senator to whom such responsibility has been delegated by the Minister, shall reply. Thereafter, if time permits, any other Senator who has obtained the right may similarly raise another matter subject to the same conditions. A debate on such a Motion shall not be interrupted at 4.20 p.m., but shall cease at 4.30 p.m. or, with leave of the President, at 4.45 p.m.

(3) Any Senator who wishes to raise a matter under the provisions of paragraph (2) of this Standing Order at a particular sitting shall give notice of the matter in writing to the Clerk for transmission to the President not less than two days before the sitting concerned, and the Clerk shall also transmit a copy of the notice to the appropriate Minister and the Senator responsible for Government business. Subject to the giving of such notice, the right to raise a matter shall be allotted for each sitting through such arrangements as the President may make.

Adjournment - Definite Matter of Urgent Public Importance

12. (1) No Senator other than a Minister may move the adjournment of the Senate except in accordance with the following paragraphs of this Standing Order.

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(2) A Senator who wishes to ask leave to move the adjournment of the Senate for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance shall, before the commencement of the sitting, hand to the President a written notification of the matter which he wishes to discuss. The President shall refuse to allow the claim unless he is satisfied-

(a) that the matter is definite;

(b) that the matter is urgent;

(c) that the matter is of public importance; and

(d) that the matter may properly be raised on a Motion for the adjournment of the Senate.

(3) If the President is so satisfied and either-

(a) leave of the Senate is given; or

(b) if it is not given, at least two Senators by rising indicate that they support the request,

the Motion shall stand over until such hour on the same day as the President may appoint, and at that hour any proceeding on which the Senate is engaged shall be postponed until the Motion for the adjournment is disposed of, or until such Motion has continued for the period of one hour, whichever is earlier. When the debate on the Motion for the adjournment has continued for a period of one hour, the Motion for the adjournment shall lapse and the proceedings which were postponed shall be resumed and dealt with in accordance with the relevant Standing Orders. The Senate’s ordinary hours of sitting shall be extended by a period of time equivalent to the period of time spent in respect of the debate on the Motion for the adjournment of the Senate for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance.

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(4) Not more than one Motion for the adjournment of the Senate under this Standing Order may be allowed at one sitting.

Order of Business

13. Unless the Senate otherwise directs, the business of each sitting day shall be transacted in the following order:

(1) Prayers;

(2) Oath of Allegiance of a new Senator;

(3) Announcements by the President;

(4) Bills brought from the House of Representatives;

(5) Petitions;

(6) Papers;

(7) Presentation of Reports from Select Committees;

(8) Questions to Ministers;

(9) Requests for leave to move the adjournment of the Senate on definite matters of urgent public importance;

(10) Statements by Ministers;

(11) Personal Explanations;

(12) Introduction of Bills;

(13) Motions relating to the Business or Sittings of the Senate and

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moved by a Minister or the Senator in charge of Government Business, and

(14) Public Business.

Petitions

14. (1) Every Petition intended to be presented to the Senate must conclude with a prayer setting forth the general object of the Petition.

(2) A Petition shall not be presented to the Senate unless it shall have been endorsed by the Clerk as being in accordance with the rules in regard to Petitions.

(3) The Senator presenting a Petition may state concisely the purport of the Petition.

(4) All Petitions shall be ordered to lie upon the Table without question put unless a Senator when presenting a Petition moves for it to be read or printed, or referred to a Select Committee. Any such motion shall be decided forthwith without amendment or debate. The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to a Petition from the promoters of a Private Bill under Standing Order 76 (Private Bills).

(5) The Senate shall not receive any Petition-

(a) which is not addressed to the Senate or which is not properly and respectfully worded; or

(b) which has not at least one signature on the sheet on which the prayer of the Petition appears and which has not at least the prayer at the head of each subsequent sheet of signatures; or

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(c) which, in the opinion of the President requests that provision be made for imposing or increasing or reducing or abolishing any tax, for imposing or increasing any charge on the revenues or other funds of Belize or for altering any such charge otherwise than by reducing it, or for compounding or remitting any debt due to Belize unless on the recommendation or with the consent of the Governor-General, signified by a Minister or the Senator responsible for Government Business.

Papers

15. (1) Every Paper shall be presented by a Minister or the Senator in charge of Government Business and its presentation shall be recorded in the Minutes of Proceedings.

(2) A Minister or the Senator in charge of Government Business presenting a Paper may make a short explanatory statement of its contents.

(3) All Papers presented to the Senate shall be ordered to lie upon the Table without question put, and any Motion for the printing thereof as a Senate Paper shall be determined without amendment or debate.

(4) All Instruments made under the authority of any law, if required to be laid before the Senate, shall be laid on the Table of the Senate as soon as may be after being made.

Nature of Questions

16. Questions may be put to a Minister relating to any matter, subject or Department in respect of which the Minister is charged with responsibility.

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Notice of Questions

17. (1) A question shall not be asked without notice, unless it is of an urgent character or relates to the business of the day, and unless the Member has obtained the leave of the President to ask it.

(2) Notice of a question maybe handed by a Senator to the Clerk when the Senate is sitting, or may be sent to or left at the office of the Clerk at any time during the hours prescribed for the purpose. Every such notice must be signed by the Senator giving it.

(3) A Senator who desires an oral answer to a question shall mark his notice with an asterisk and such a question shall be put down for a day to be named by the Senator being a day not earlier than five clear days after notice of the question has been given. A question not so marked may be put down for the next sitting day of the Senate and the answer, when received, shall be circulated with the Minutes of Proceedings.

Contents of Questions

18. (1) The right to ask a question shall be subject to the following general rules, as to the interpretation of which the President shall be the sole judge:

(a) the proper object of a question is to obtain information on a question of fact within the official cognisance of the Minister to whom it is addressed, or to ask for official action;

(b) a question shall not include the names of persons, or any statements of fact, unless they be necessary to render the question intelligible;

(c) if a question contains a statement of fact, the Senator asking it shall make himself responsible for the

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accuracy of the statement, and no question shall be based upon a newspaper report or upon an unofficial publication;

(d) no Senator shall address the Senate upon any question, and a question shall not be made the pretext for a debate;

(e) not more than one subject shall be referred to in any one question, and a question shall not be of excessive length;

(f) a question shall not contain arguments, inferences, opinions, imputations, epithets, ironical expressions or hypothetical cases;

(g) a question shall not be asked-

(i) which raises an issue already decided in the Senate, or which has been answered fully during the current Session, or to which an answer has been refused;

(ii) seeking information about matters which are in their nature secret;

(iii) regarding proceedings in a Committee which have not been placed before the Senate by a report from the Committee;

(iv) which deals with matters referred to a Committee of Enquiry or within the jurisdiction of the Chairman of a Select Committee;

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(v) as to the character or conduct of any person except in his official or public capacity;

(vi) about any matter then pending before any Court of justice, or which reflects on the decision of a Court of justice;

(vii) reflecting on the character or conduct of any person whose conduct can only be challenged on a substantive motion under Standing Order 36 (Contents of Speeches);

(viii) asking whether statements in the Press, or of private individuals, or unofficial bodies are accurate;

(ix) the answer to which can be found by reference to available official publications;

(x) referring discourteously to, or seeking information about, the internal affairs of any Territory within the Commonwealth or of a friendly Foreign Country;

(xi) dealing with the action of a Minister for which he is not responsible to the Legislature;

(xii) seeking, for purposes of argument, information on matters of past history; or

(xiii) raising questions of policy too large to be dealt with in the limits of an answer to a question;

(h) a question shall not solicit the expression of an opinion,

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on the solution of an abstract legal question, or of a hypothetical proposition.

(2) If the President is of the opinion that any question of which a Senator has given notice to the Clerk infringes the provisions of any Standing Order or is in any way an abuse of the right of questioning, he may direct-

(a) that the Senator concerned be informed that the question is out of order; or

(b) that the question be entered in the Order Book with such alterations as he may direct.

Manner of Asking and Answering Questions

19. (1) At the time appointed for the oral asking and answering of questions under Standing Order No. 13 (Order of Business), the President shall call in turn upon each Senator in whose name a question stands upon the Order Paper, in the order in which the questions are printed, or in any such other order as the President may on any particular occasion determine. Each Senator so called shall rise in his place and ask the question by reference to its number on the Order Paper, and the Minister questioned shall give his reply.

(2) After the answer to a question has been given, supplementary questions may, at the discretion of the President, be put for the purpose of elucidating the answer given orally, but the President may refuse any such question which in his opinion introduces matters not relative to the original question, or which infringes any of the provisions of Standing Order No. 18 (Contents of Questions), and may in that case direct that such question be not reported in the Official Report.

(3) When all the questions for which an oral answer is required have been called, the President, if time permits, shall call again any question which has not been asked by reason of the absence of the Senator in whose name it

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stands; in which case another Senator may, if deputed by the absent Senator, on his behalf either ask the question or request its postponement. The President shall also call again any question which has not been answered by reason of the absence of the Minister to whom it is addressed.

(4) A Minister may decline to answer a question, if the publication of the answer would in his opinion be contrary to the public interest.

(5) Not more than three questions requiring an oral answer shall appear on the Order Paper in the name of the same Senator for the same day, and any question in excess of this number shall not be called by the President but shall be answered as provided in paragraph (7) of this Standing Order, save that no postponement shall be allowed.

(6) No question shall be asked later than forty-five minutes after the opening of the sitting, except any question which the President has allowed to be asked without notice under paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 17 (Notice of Questions).

(7) In any case where, forty-five minutes after the opening of the sitting of the Senate, a question has not received an oral answer, it shall be answered in writing by the Minister to whom the question was addressed, and copies of the answer shall be sent immediately after that hour to the Clerk of the Senate, who shall send a copy to the Senator in whose name the question stood upon the Order Paper and shall cause the answer to be circulated with the Minutes of Proceedings, unless, at any time earlier than forty-five minutes after the opening of the sitting, a Senator having a question on the Order Paper but whose name has not yet been called by the President, signifies to the Clerk at the Table his desire to postpone the question to a subsequent sitting of the Senate or to withdraw it.

Personal Explanations

20. With the leave of the President and by the indulgence of the Senate, a

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Senator may make a personal explanation of not more than ten minutes duration at the time appointed under Standing Order No. 13 (Order of Business) although there is no question before the Senate; but no controversial matter may be brought forward nor any debate arise upon the explanation.

Arrangement of Public Business

21. (1) Public Business shall consist of Motions and Public Bills.

(2) Subject to the provisions of these Standing Orders, Government Business shall have precedence on every day.

(3) Government Business shall consist of Motions proposed to be made and Bills sponsored by Ministers, and shall be set down in such order as the Government think fit.

(4) Private Senators’ business shall be set down on the Order Paper for a particular day in the order in which it was entered in the Order Book for that day, and business so entered shall take precedence over any business postponed from a previous day.

Public Money

22. Except on the recommendation or with the consent of the Governor-General, to be signified by a Minister and recorded in the Minutes of Proceedings, the Senate shall not-

(a) proceed with any Bill (including any amendment to a Bill) which, in the opinion of the President, makes provision for-

(i) imposing or increasing or reducing or abolishing any tax,

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(ii) imposing or increasing any charge on the revenue or other funds of the country or for altering any such charge otherwise than by reducing it,

(iii) compounding or remitting any debt due to the country;

(b) proceed upon any Motion (including any amendment to a Motion) the effect of which, in the opinion of the President, would be to make provision for any of the purposes aforesaid; or

(c) receive any Petition which, in the opinion of the President requests that provision be made for any of the purposes aforesaid.

Notice of Motions or Amendments

23. (1) Where under any Standing Order notice of Motion or of an amendment is required, such notice shall be given in writing signed by the Senator and addressed to the Clerk of the Senate; such notice shall be handed to the Clerk, or sent to, or left at, the Clerk’s office during the hours prescribed for the purpose.

(2) If the President is of opinion that any notice of Motion which has been received by the Clerk infringes the provision of any Standing Order or is in any other way out of order, he may direct-

(a) that the Senator concerned be informed that the notice of Motion is out of order; or

(b) that the notice of Motion be entered in the Order Book with such alterations as he may direct.

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(3) Not more than three notices Of Motion in the name of the same Senator may be entered on the Order Paper of any sitting. The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to a Senator who is a Minister.

(4) Copies of Motions and amendments sent to the Clerk shall be circulated by him to Senators, whether or not they be matters of which notice is required, and, in the case of amendments to Bills, shall be arranged, so far as may be, in the order in which they will be proposed.

Period of Notice

24. (1) Except with the consent of the President, notice of a Government Motion shall not be placed upon the Order Paper of any sitting earlier than the day following the day on which the notice was given to the Clerk.

(2) Except as provided in Standing Order No. 75 (Reports from Select Committees), a notice of a private Senator’s Motion shall not be entered in the Order Book, or placed upon the Order Paper, for a day earlier than four clear days from the day on which the notice was given to the Clerk.

Exemption from Notice

25. Unless the Standing Orders otherwise provide, notice shall be given of any Motion which it is proposed to make, with the exception of the following:

(a) a Motion for the amendment of any Motion;

(b) a Motion for the adjournment of the Senate or of a debate;

(c) a Motion for the election of a temporary presiding officer under paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 5 (Presiding in the Senate and in Committee);

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(d) a Motion for the suspension of Standing Orders put with the leave of the President;

(e) a Motion for the withdrawal of strangers;

(f) a Motion that the Senate resolve itself into Committee;

(g) a Motion made in Committee of the whole Senate;

(h) a Motion for the suspension of a Senator;

(i) a Motion that a petition be read, printed or referred to a Select Committee;

(j) a Motion for the printing of a paper under paragraph (3) of Standing Order No. 15 (Papers);

(k) a Motion relating to a matter of privilege;

(l) a Motion arising out of any item of business made immediately after that item is disposed and before the next item is entered upon;

(m) a Motion to recommit a Bill under paragraph (1) of Standing Order No.57 (Recommittal of Bills reported from Committee of the whole Senate)

(n) a Motion in respect of which notice has been dispensed with under Standing Order No. 26 (Dispensing with Notice);

(o) a Motion for the withdrawal of a Bill under Standing Order No. 61 (Withdrawal of Bills);

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(p) a Motion that the Report of a Select Committee be referred to a Committee of the whole Senate, or a Motion that such Report be printed as a Senate Paper.

Dispensing with Notice

26. Notice shall not be dispensed with in the case of a Motion or in respect of any proceedings for which notice is required, except with the consent of the President and the assent of the majority of Senators present at the time.

Privilege Motions

27. (1) A Motion directly concerning the privileges of the Senate shall take precedence of all other public business.

(2) A Senator who wishes to raise a matter which he believes to affect the privileges of the Senate shall do so as soon as possible after the matter comes to his attention. Such Member shall inform the President of his wish, stating the facts to which he wishes to draw attention, at least one hour before the commencement of the sitting at which he wishes to raise the matter.

(3) When a Senator is called by the President to raise a matter of privilege he shall briefly state the facts to which he wishes to draw the attention of the Senate and the grounds on which he believes that those facts affect the privileges of the Senate.

(4) The President shall then state whether, in his opinion, the matter may or may not affect the privileges of the Senate:

Provided that if he deems it necessary he may defer his decision until the next sitting of the Senate.

(5) If the opinion of the President is that the matter raised may affect the privileges of the Senate a Member may without notice move a Motion

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based on that matter of privilege and the Motion shall be debated forthwith.

(6) If during a sitting of the Senate a matter suddenly arises which appears to involve the privileges of the Senate and which calls for the immediate intervention of the Senate, the proceedings may be interrupted, save during the progress of a division, by a Motion based on such matter.

(7) No Senator moving a Motion under this Standing Order may speak for more than fifteen minutes.

Moving of Motions

28. (1) On a motion made and when necessary seconded, the President shall propose the question to the Senate, and after debate (if any), shall then put the question for the decision of the Senate.

(2) If a Motion embodies two or more separate propositions, the propositions may be proposed by the President as separate questions.

(3) If a Senator desires to vary the terms of a Motion standing in his name, he may do so by giving an amended notice of Motion, provided that such amendment does not, in the opinion of the President, materially alter any principle embodied in the original Motion or the scope thereof. Such amended notice of Motion shall run from the time at which the original notice of Motion was given.

Seconding of Motions and Amendments

29. (1) In the Senate the question upon a Motion or amendment shall not be proposed by the President unless such Motion or amendment has been seconded:

Provided that Government Business shall not require seconding.

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(2) In Committee a seconder shall not be required.

Motions not Moved or Seconded

30. (1) If a Senator other than a Minister does not, when called, move a Motion or amendment which stands in his name such Motion or amendment shall be removed from the Order Paper unless deferred by leave of the Senate or moved by another Senator duly authorised by that Senator; but Government Business may be moved by any Minister.

(2) No question shall be proposed upon a Motion or amendment, which under these Standing Orders is required to be seconded, if it is not so seconded.

Withdrawal of Motions

31. (1) A Motion may be withdrawn, at the request of the mover, after it has been moved, by leave of the Senate or Committee, before the question is fully put thereon, provided there is no dissentient voice.

(2) A Motion so withdrawn may not be moved again during the same Session.

(3) If an amendment has been proposed to a Motion, the original Motion cannot be withdrawn until the amendment has been disposed of.

Amendments to Motions - How Moved and Put

32. (1) When any Motion is under consideration in the Senate or in a Committee thereof, an amendment may be proposed to the Motion if it is relevant thereto.

(2) An amendment may be proposed to any such amendment if it is relevant thereto.

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(3) An amendment to a Motion may be moved and seconded at any time after the question upon the Motion has been proposed by the President or Chairman, and before it has been put by the President or Chairman at the conclusion of the debate upon the Motion. When all amendments have been disposed of the President shall then put the question on the original Motion or the Motion as amended as the case may require.

(4)

(a) On every amendment the question to be proposed shall be “That this amendment be made”.

(b) When two or more amendments are proposed to be moved to the same Motion, the President shall call upon the movers in the order in which their amendments relate to the text of the Motion, or in case of doubt, in such order as he shall decide.

(5)

(a) Any amendment to an amendment which a Senator wishes to propose may be moved and seconded at any time after the question upon the original amendment has been proposed, and before it has been put at the conclusion of the debate on the original amendment.

(b) An amendment to an amendment shall be disposed of in the same way as an amendment to a Motion, the question to be proposed being “That this amendment to the amendment be made”.

(c) When every such amendment to an amendment has been disposed of, the President shall, as the case may

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require, either put the question upon the original amendment or shall put the question on the original amendment as amended.

(6) Any amendment, whether in the Senate or in Committee of the whole Senate, shall be put into writing by the mover and delivered to the Clerk before the question is proposed thereon.

(7) When the question upon an amendment to a Motion has been proposed by the President or Chairman an earlier part of the Motion may not be amended unless the amendment under discussion is withdrawn.

(8) Any amendment may, by leave of the President, be withdrawn at the request of the mover before the question is fully put thereon, provided that there is no dissentient voice.

(9) An amendment shall not raise any question which, by these Standing Orders, can only be raised by a substantive Motion after notice.

Time and Manner of Speaking

33. (1) A Senator desiring to speak shall rise in his place and if called upon shall address his observations to the President or Chairman. No Senator shall speak unless called by the President or Chairman.

(2) If two or more Senators rise at the same time, the President or Chairman shall call upon the Senator who first catches his eye.

(3) Subject to paragraph (5) of this Standing Order, no Senator shall speak more than once on any question except-

(a) when the Senate is in Committee; or

(b) in explanation as prescribed in paragraph (4) of this

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Standing Order; or

(c) to a point of order, as provided in Standing Order No.35 (Interruptions);

(d) in the case of the mover of a substantive Motion or the Senator in charge of a Bill in reply:

Provided that any Senator may, without prejudice to his right to speak at a later period of the debate, second a Motion or amendment by rising in his place and stating merely that it is his intention to second the Motion or amendment.

(4) A Senator who has spoken on a question may again be heard to offer explanations of some material part of his speech which he alleges has been misunderstood or misrepresented, but he shall not introduce new matter.

(5) A Senator who has spoken may speak again when a new question has been proposed by the President or Chairman, such as a proposed amendment or a Motion for the adjournment of the debate.

(6) Except with the leave of the President a Senator shall not read his speech; but he may read extracts from written or printed papers or books in support of his argument, and may refresh his memory by reference to notes.

(7) No Senator may speak on any question after it has been put to the vote by the President or Chairman.

Right of Reply

34. (1) The mover of a Motion may reply after all the other Senators present have had an opportunity of addressing the Senate and before the question is put, and after such reply no other Senator may speak, except as provided in paragraph (2) of this Order.

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(2) A Minister may conclude a debate on any Motion which is critical of the Government, or reflects adversely on or is calculated to bring discredit upon the Government or an officer thereof.

Interruptions

35. A Senator shall not interrupt another Senator except-

(a) by rising to a point of order, whereupon the Senator speaking shall resume his seat and the Senator interrupting shall simply direct attention to the point which he desires to bring to notice and submit it to the President or Chairman for decision; or

(b) to elucidate some matter raised by that Senator in the course of his speech, provided that the Senator speaking is willing to give way and resumes his seat and that the Senator wishing to interrupt is called by the Chair; or

(c) by rising to claim closure under Standing Order No. 39 (Closure of Debate).

Contents of Speeches

36. (1) Subject to the provisions of these Standing Orders, debate upon any Motion, Bill or amendment shall be relevant to such Motion, Bill or amendment, and a Senator shall confine his observations to the subject under discussion.

(2) Reference shall not be made to any matter on which a judicial decision is pending, in such a way as might, in the opinion of the Chair, prejudice the interests of parties thereto.

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(3) It shall be out of order to attempt to revive in any debate a matter or reconsider any specific question (other than a matter or question relating to a Bill which has been recommitted or returned with any amendment by the other Chamber) upon which the Senate has come to a conclusion during the current Session, except upon a substantive Motion for recission which Motion shall not be brought sooner than six months after the date on which the Senate reached its decision.

(4) It shall be out of order to use offensive or insulting language about members of either Chamber.

(5) No Senator shall impute improper motives to any member of either Chamber.

(6) Ministers shall be referred to by the title of their appointment and other Senators by name.

(7) Her Majesty’s name or the Governor-General’s name shall not be used to influence the Senate.

(8) The conduct of Her Majesty, Members of the Royal Family, the Governor-General, Members of the Senate or the House of Representatives, or of judges or other persons engaged in the administration of justice shall not be raised except upon a substantive Motion moved for the purpose; and in any amendment, question to a Minister, or debate on a Motion dealing with any other subject any reference to the conduct of any such person as aforesaid shall be out of order.

Scope of Debate

37. (1) When an amendment proposes to leave out words and to add or insert words in their place, debate upon the question “That this amendment be made” may relate to both the words proposed to be left out and those proposed to be added or inserted.

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(2) On an amendment proposing only to leave out words or to add or insert words, debate shall be confined to the omission, addition or insertion of such words respectively.

(3) Where during the course of a debate a Motion is made (a) for the adjournment of the debate or of the Senate, or (b) in Committee that the Chairman do report progress or do leave the Chair, unless it appears to the Chair that that Motion is an abuse of the rules of the Senate or an infringement of the rights of the minority, the question on the motion for the adjournment as aforesaid shall be put forthwith without amendment or debate; and a Senator who has moved or seconded such a Motion shall not be entitled to move or second any similar Motion during the same debate; but this paragraph shall not be construed as restricting the customary right of the Minister in charge of arranging the business of the Senate to move the adjournment of the Senate on the conclusion of the business of the day.

Anticipation

38. (1) It shall be out of order to anticipate a Bill by discussion upon a Motion dealing with the subject matter of that Bill.

(2) It shall be out of order to anticipate a Bill or a notice of Motion by discussion upon an amendment, or a Motion for the adjournment of the Senate.

(3) In determining whether discussion is out of order on the grounds of anticipation, regard shall be had by the Chair to the probability of the matter anticipated being brought before the Senate within a reasonable time.

Closure of Debate

39. (1) After a question has been proposed any Senator may at any time during the course of debate rise in his place and claim to move “That the question be now put” and unless it appears to the Chair that that Motion is an abuse of the rules of the Senate or an infringement of the rights of the minority, the question

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“That the question be now put” shall be put forthwith. No debate on the motion shall be allowed, and if the Motion is carried, the debate then before the Senate shall cease and the question before the Senate shall be put forthwith.

(2) When the Motion “That the question be now put” has been carried, and the question consequent thereon has been decided, any Senator may claim that any other question already proposed from the Chair be now put and if the assent of the Chair is given every such question shall be put forthwith and decided without amendment or debate.

(3) A Motion under this Standing Order shall not be decided in the affirmative if it appears on a division that less than three Senators voted in the majority in support of the Motion.

Rules for Members not Speaking

40. A Senator present in the Senate during a debate-

(a) shall enter or leave the Senate with decorum;

(b) shall maintain silence while another Senator is speaking, and shall not interrupt, except in accordance with these Standing Orders; and

(c) shall otherwise conduct himself in a fit and proper manner.

Time Limit of Speeches

41. (1) The mover of an original motion shall be limited in the duration of his speech in presenting his Motion to seventy-five minutes.

(2) Subject to the preceding paragraph of this Standing Order, a Senator shall not be entitled to address the Senate or a Committee of the whole

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Senate for more than forty-five minutes on any subject:

Provided that the Senate or the Committee may by Motion made and carried without amendment or debate, extend once only the time limited by this Standing Order for such period not exceeding thirty minutes as may be agreed to by the Senate.

(3) The ruling of the President, or the Chairman, as the case may be, as to the time taken by any Senator, shall be final.

Responsibility for order in the Senate and in Committee

42. The President in the Senate and the Chairman in Committee shall be responsible for the observance of the rules of order in the Senate and Committee respectively, and their decision upon any point of order shall not be open to appeal and shall not be reviewed by the Senate except upon a substantive Motion made after notice.

President to be heard in Silence

43. When the President, or Chairman, rises during a debate any Senator then speaking or wishing to speak shall immediately resume his seat, and the Senate, or the Committee, shall be silent.

Order in the Senate and in Committee

44. (1) The President or the Chairman, after having called the attention of the Senate, or of the Committee, to the conduct of a Senator who persists in irrelevance, or tedious repetition either of his own arguments or of the arguments used by other Senators in debate, may direct him to discontinue his speech and to resume his seat.

(2) Any Senator may, after the President or Chairman, as the case may be, has under paragraph (1) of this Standing Order once called the attention

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of the Senate or Committee to the conduct of a Senator who persists in irrelevance or tedious repetition of his own arguments or of the arguments used by other Senators in the debate, move that the Senator be no longer heard and such Motion shall be put forthwith without amendment or debate.

(3) The President or the Chairman shall order any Senator to withdraw immediately from the Senate during the remainder of the day’s sitting and may direct such steps to be taken, as are required, to enforce such order-

(a) where the conduct of such Senator is grossly disorderly; or

(b) where such Senator has used objectionable, abusive, insulting or offensive words or language or unparliamentary expressions, and, on being called to order, has refused to withdraw such words or language or expressions, and has not offered an apology for the use thereof to the satisfaction of the Senate.

(4) If an order under paragraph (3) of this Standing Order be not complied with at once, or if, on any occasion, the President or the Chairman considers that his powers under that paragraph are inadequate, he may name such Senator in pursuance of paragraph (5) or paragraph (6) of this Standing Order.

(5) If a Senator disregards the authority of the Chair, or abuses the rules of the Senate by persistently and wilfully obstructing the business of the Senate or otherwise, the President shall direct the attention of the Senate thereto, mentioning by name the Senator concerned. The President shall then call upon a Minister, and if no Minister be present any other Senator to move “That Mr. .……………………………… be suspended from the service of the Senate”, and the President shall forthwith put the question, no seconder being required and no amendment, adjournment or debate being allowed.

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(6) If the offence specified in paragraph (5) of this Standing Order has been committed in a Committee of the whole Senate, the Chairman shall forthwith suspend the proceedings of the Committee and, as soon as the Senate has resumed, shall report the circumstances to the Senate, whereupon the procedure provided for in the preceding paragraph shall be followed.

(7) If a Senator is suspended under any provisions of this Standing Order, his suspension shall continue until it is terminated by resolution of the Senate or if no such resolution is come to, until the end of the session.

(8) Not more than one Senator shall be named at the same time, unless several Senators present together have jointly disregarded the authority of the Chair.

(9) A Senator who is ordered to withdraw under the provisions of paragraph (3) of this Standing Order, or who is suspended under the provisions of paragraphs (5) to (7) of this Order, shall forthwith leave the Senate and its precincts. A Senator who is suspended shall not be entitled to attend any sitting of the Senate, or enter the Senate or its precincts, until the termination of his suspension.

(10) If any Senator, who has been ordered to withdraw or who has been suspended under this Standing Order, refuses at any time to obey the direction of the President to withdraw from the Senate and its precincts, the President shall call the attention of the Senate to the fact that recourse to force is necessary in order to compel obedience to his direction, and the Senator named by him as having so refused to obey his direction shall thereupon without further question be suspended from the service of the Senate during the remainder of the Session.

(11) If resort to force is necessary, the President may suspend the sitting during the removal of the Senator and invoke the assistance of any police officer in ejecting the offending Senator and such officer shall, for the purpose of this Order, be deemed to be an officer of the Senate.

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[CAP. 4 139Belize Constitution (Senate) Standing Orders

(12) A Senator, who is directed to withdraw or who is suspended under this Standing Order, shall not be entitled to attend the sitting from which he was directed to withdraw or in a case of suspension to attend any sitting or enter the precincts of the Senate until the termination of his suspension.

(13) In the case of grave disorder arising in the Senate, the President may, if he thinks it necessary to do so, adjourn the Senate without question put, or suspend the sitting for a time to be named by him.

(14) Any remuneration to which a Senator is entitled as a Senator shall cease for the period of his suspension.

(15) Nothing in this Standing Order shall be taken to deprive the Senate of the power of proceeding against any Senator according to any resolution of the Senate.

Decision of Questions

45. (1) Save as otherwise provided in section 73 of the Belize Constitution Act, or in these Standing Orders all questions proposed for decision in the Senate or in Committee shall be determined by a majority of the votes of those present and voting.

(2) Where the President is not a Senator, he shall have neither an original vote nor a casting vote, and if upon any question before the Senate the votes are equally divided, the Motion shall be declared lost.

(3) The President, if a Senator, or any other Senator presiding in the absence of the President, shall have an original vote but not a casting vote.

Collection of Voices

46. (1) At the conclusion of a debate upon any question the President or Chairman shall put that question for the decision of the Senate, and shall collect

CAP. 4.

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the voices of the Ayes and of the Noes, after which no further debate may take place upon that question.

(2) The result shall be declared by the President or Chairman stating “I think the Ayes have it” or “I think the Noes have it” as the case may be, but any Senator may challenge the opinion of the Chair by claiming a division.

Division

47. (1) In a division the Clerk shall call each Senator’s name separately and such Senator shall indicate how he desires to vote. The Clerk shall thereupon record the vote accordingly.

(2) Every Senator present, unless he expressly says that he declines to vote, shall record his vote either for the Ayes or the Noes.

(3) The Clerk shall announce the number of Senators who have voted for, and of those who voted against, the proposal, and the number of Members who declined to vote. Subject to the provisions of paragraph (2) of Standing Order No. 45 (Decision of Questions), the President or other Senator presiding, or the Chairman in Committee of the whole Senate shall then, subject to paragraph (5) of Standing Order No. 8 (Quorum), declare the result of the division.

(4) The Clerk shall enter in the Minutes of Proceedings the record of each Senator’s vote, and shall add a statement of the number and the names of all the Senators present who declined to vote.

(5) If a Senator states that he voted in error or that his vote has been counted wrongly, he may claim to have his vote altered provided that such claim is made as soon as the Clerk has announced the numbers and before the Chair has declared the result of the division. Upon such claim being made the President, or Chairman, at his sole discretion, shall either direct the Clerk to alter that Senator’s vote or direct that a fresh division be held.

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[CAP. 4 141Belize Constitution (Senate) Standing Orders

Procedure on Bills - Introduction and First Reading of Bills

48. (1) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (4) of this Standing Order any Senator may move for leave to introduce a Bill of which he has given notice.

(2) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (4) of this Standing Order, a Bill may be presented to the Senate on behalf of the Government after notice without an order of the Senate for its introduction.

(3) A notice of the presentation of a Bill on behalf of the Government may be entered on the Order Paper for the day following the day on which it was received by the Clerk of the Senate.

(4) A Bill, whether presented in pursuance of an order of the Senate after leave given or without such order, shall be handed to the Clerk by the Senator who gave notice of the Bill. The Clerk shall read aloud the title of the Bill, which, without question put, shall be recorded in the Minutes of Proceedings as having been read a first time and ordered to be printed and published in the Gazette.

(5) Copies of the Bill, as printed and published in the Gazette, shall be made available to every Senator.

(6) When a Bill has been brought from the House of Representatives and a Senator has signified to the Clerk of the Senate his willingness to take charge of the Bill, that Bill shall be recorded in the Minutes of Proceedings as having been read a first time and ordered to be printed and circulated, and shall be put down for second reading on a day to be named by the Senator in charge of the Bill.

Appointment of Days for Stages of Bill

49. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Standing Order, the Senator in

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charge of a Bill may, at the conclusion of the proceedings on any stage of the Bill, either name a day to be appointed for the next stage of the Bill or move that the next stage be taken forthwith.

(2) An interval of not less than five days must elapse between the first and second reading of a Bill, unless the Senate, on motion made and question put, agree to proceed with the Bill at an earlier date or forthwith.

(3) Subject to paragraph (2) of this Order, no Bill shall be read a second time until it has been printed and circulated to Senators.

Form of Bills

50. (1) The Clerk shall be responsible for preparing each Bill for the printer from the draft handed in to him by the Senator in charge of the Bill, and shall satisfy himself-

(a) that the Bill is divided into successive clauses numbered consecutively;

(b) that the Bill has in the margin a short summary of each clause;

(c) that the provisions of the Bill do not appear to go beyond its title.

(2) A Bill may be accompanied by a short explanatory statement of its contents.

Second Reading of Bills

51. (1) On the second reading of a Bill a debate may arise covering the general merits and principles of the Bill.

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(2) To the question “That the Bill be now read a second time” an amendment may be proposed to leave out the word “now” and add at the end of the question “upon this day six months”, or an amendment may be moved to leave out all the words after the word “that” in order to add words stating the object and motive on which the opposition to the Bill is based, but such words must be strictly relevant to the general merits and principles of the Bill and may not deal with its details.

Committal of Bill

52. (1) When a Bill has been read a second time it shall stand committed to a Committee of the whole Senate, unless the Senate on Motion made commits it to a Select Committee. Such Motion shall not require notice and must be made immediately after the Bill has been read a second time, and the question thereon shall be put without amendment or debate and may, though opposed, he decided after 4.20 p.m. The said Motion may be proposed by any Senator.

(2) When a Bill has been committed to a Select Committee, no further proceedings shall be taken thereon until the Select Committee has presented its report to the Senate.

Functions of Committees on Bill

53. (1) Any Committee to which a Bill is committed shall not discuss the general merits and principles of the Bill but only its details.

(2) Any such Committee shall have power to make such amendments therein as the Committee shall think fit, provided that the amendments, including new clauses and new schedules, are relevant to the subject matter of the Bill, but if any such amendments are not within the title of the Bill, the Committee shall amend the title accordingly, and shall report the same specially to the Senate.

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Procedure in Committee of the whole Senate on a Bill

54. (1) On the order being read for a Committee of the whole Senate on a Bill, the President shall leave the Chair without question put.

(2) The Chairman in Committee of the whole Senate shall call the number of each clause in succession. If no amendment is proposed thereto, or when all proposed amendments have been disposed of, he shall propose the question “That the clause (or the clause as amended) stand part of the Bill” and, when all Senators who wish to speak thereon have spoken, he shall put that question to the Committee for its decision.

(3) Any proposed amendments of which notice has not been given shall be handed to the Chairman in writing.

(4) The following provisions shall apply to amendments relating to Bills:

(a) an amendment must be relevant to the subject matter of the Bill, and to the subject matter of the clause to which it relates;

(b) an amendment must not be inconsistent with any clause already agreed to or with any previous decision of the Committee;

(c) an amendment must not be such as to make the clause which it proposes to amend, unintelligible or ungrammatical;

(d) if an amendment refers to, or is not intelligible without a subsequent amendment or schedule, notice of the subsequent amendment or schedule must be given before or when the first amendment is moved so as to make the series of amendments intelligible as a

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whole;

(e) in order to save time and repetition of arguments, the Chairman may allow a single discussion to cover a series of interdependent amendments;

(f) the Chairman may refuse to allow an amendment to be moved which is, in his opinion, frivolous or meaningless;

(g) the Chairman may at any time during the discussion of a proposed amendment withdraw it from the consideration of the Committee if, in his opinion, the discussion has shown that the amendment violates the provisions of this Standing Order.

(5) The provisions of paragraphs (4) and (5) of Standing Order No. 32 (Amendments to Motions - How Moved and Put) shall apply to the discussion of amendments to Bills, with the substitution, where appropriate, of the word “clause” for the word “Motion” or the word “Question”, and of the word “Chairman” for the word “President” and the word “Committee” for the word “Senate” throughout.

(6) A clause may be postponed, unless a decision has already been taken upon an amendment thereto. Postponed clauses shall be considered after the remaining clauses of the Bill have been considered and before new clauses are brought up.

(7) Any proposed new clause shall be considered after the clauses of the Bill have been disposed of and before consideration of any schedule to the Bill: Provided that a new clause proposed in substitution for a clause which has been disagreed to may be considered immediately after such disagreement.

(8) On the title of any new clause being read by the Clerk, the clause

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shall be deemed to have been read a first time. The question shall then be proposed “That the clause be read a second time”; if this is agreed to, amendments may then be proposed to the new clause. The final question to be proposed shall be “That the clause (or the clause as amended) be added to the Bill”.

(9) Schedules shall be disposed of in the same way as clauses, and any proposed new schedule shall be considered after the schedules to the Bill have been disposed of, and shall be treated in the same manner as a new clause.

(10) When every clause and schedule and proposed new clause or schedule has been dealt with, the preamble, if there is one, shall be considered and the question put “That the preamble to the Bill be approved”. No amendment to the preamble shall be considered which is not made necessary by a previous amendment to the Bill.

(11) If any amendment to the title of the Bill is made necessary by an amendment to the Bill, it shall be made at the conclusion of the proceedings detailed above, but no question shall be put that the title (as amended) stand part of the Bill; nor shall any question be put upon the enacting formula.

(12) At the conclusion of the proceedings in Committee on a Bill, the Chairman shall put the question “That the Bill (or the Bill as amended) be reported to the Senate”, which question shall be decided without amendment or debate.

(13) If any Senator, before the conclusion of proceedings on a Bill, moves to report progress and such Motion is carried, or if the proceedings in a Committee of the whole Senate have not been finished at the moment of interruption, the Chairman shall leave the Chair of the Committee and the Senator in charge of the Bill shall report progress to the Senate and ask leave to sit again, and name a day for the resumption of the proceedings.

(14) A Committee having met to consider a Bill shall proceed with its

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consideration, except that during the proceedings on a Bill the Senator in charge of the Bill may, subject to the discretion of the Chairman, move a Motion “That the Committee do not proceed further with the Bill”. If the Motion is carried, the Committee shall then report the Bill to the Senate as so far amended or without amendment as the case may be, and make a special report explaining its proceedings on the Bill, and the special report and the Bill shall be ordered to lie upon the Table without question put.

Procedure in Select Committee on a Bill

55. A Select Committee on a Bill shall be subject to Standing Orders No. 72 (Procedure in Select Committees) and Nos. 45 (Decision of Questions), 46 (Collection of Voices) and 47 (Divisions) but, before reporting the Bill to the Senate, it shall go through the Bill as provided in Standing Order No. 54 (Procedure in Committee of the whole Senate on a Bill).

Procedure on reporting of Bills from Committee of the whole Senate

56. (1) So soon as a Committee of the whole Senate has agreed that a Bill be reported the Chairman shall leave the Chair of the Committee and the Senate shall resume, and the Senator in charge of the Bill shall report it to the Senate.

(2) Subject to these Standing Orders, when a Bill has been reported from a Committee of the whole Senate, it shall be ordered to be read a third time.

Recommittal of Bills Reported from Committee of the whole Senate

57. (1) If any Senator desires to debate or amend any provision contained in a Bill as reported from a Committee of the whole Senate or to introduce any new provision therein, he may, at any time before a Senator rises to move the third reading of the Bill, move that the Bill be recommitted either wholly or in respect only of some particular part or parts of the Bill or some proposed new clause or new schedule. No notice of such Motion shall be required, the question

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shall be put without amendment or debate and, if the Motion is agreed to, the Bill shall stand so recommitted. The Senate may then, upon Motion made, resolve itself into Committee to consider the business so recommitted either forthwith or upon a later date.

(2) When the whole Bill has been recommitted, the Committee shall go through the Bill as provided in Standing Order No. 54 (Procedure in Committee of the whole Senate on a Bill).

(3) When the Bill has been recommitted in respect only of some particular part or parts or of some proposed new clause or new schedule, the Committee shall consider only the matter so recommitted and any amendment which may be moved thereto.

(4) At the conclusion of the proceedings in Committee on a Bill recommitted under the provisions of this Standing Order, the Chairman shall put the question “That the Bill (or the Bill as amended on recommittal) be reported to the Senate”, which question shall be decided without amendment or debate. So soon as the Bill has been reported, the Senator in charge of the Bill may either name a future day for the third reading of the Bill or move that it be read a third time forthwith.

Procedure on Bills Reported from Select Committee

58. (1) When a Bill has been reported from a Select Committee, the Senate may proceed to consider the Bill as reported from the Select Committee upon a Motion “That the report of the Select Committee on …………………..... Bill be adopted: moved under paragraph (7) of Standing Order No. 75 (Reports from Select Committees). If no amendment is proposed to such Motion, the question on the Motion shall be decided forthwith without debate.

(2) If that Motion is agreed to without amendment, the Senate may proceed to the third reading of the Bill as reported from the Select Committee.

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(3) Upon a Motion to adopt the report of the Select Committee on a Bill, any Senator may propose an amendment to add, at the end of the Motion, the words “subject to the recommittal of the Bill (either wholly or in respect only of some particular part or parts of the Bill or some proposed new clause or new schedule) to a Committee of the whole Senate”, and if that Motion is agreed to with such an amendment, the Bill shall stand so recommitted and immediately thereafter the Senate may then resolve itself into a Committee to consider the business so recommitted.

(4) A Committee of the Whole Senate upon a Bill recommitted under the provisions of this Standing Order shall proceed in accordance with paragraph (2) or paragraph (3) of Standing Order No. 56 (Recommittal of Bill reported from Committee of the whole Senate), and the conclusion of its proceedings and the remaining proceedings on the Bill shall be subject to paragraph (4) of that Order.

Third Reading

59. (1) On the third reading of a Bill no amendments may be proposed to the question “That the Bill be now read a third time and passed” and the question shall be put without debate.

(2) Corrections of errors or oversights may be made by the President before the question for the third reading of the Bill is put from the Chair.

(3) When a Bill originating in the Senate has been read a third time, a printed copy of it, signed by the Clerk and endorsed by the President, shall be forwarded by the Clerk of the Senate to the Clerk of the House of Representatives, together with a message informing the House that the Bill has been passed by the Senate and desiring the concurrence of the House of Representatives.

(4) When a Bill which originated in the House of Representatives has been read a third time and passed by the Senate without amendment, the Clerk

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of the Senate shall return the Bill to the House of Representatives, together with a message “That the Senate has agreed to the …………………… Bill without amendment”.

(5) When a Bill which originated in the House of Representatives has been read a Third Time and passed by the Senate with amendment or amendments, the Clerk of the Senate shall cause the said amendment or amendments made to the Bill by the Senate to be entered in the original copy of the Bill received from the House of Representatives which copy, signed by the Clerk endorsed by the President, shall then be returned to the House of Representatives, with a message desiring the concurrence of the House of Representatives, in the amendment or amendments made by the Senate.

Procedure on House of Representatives Amendments

60. (1) When a Bill is returned from the House of Representatives with amendments, the consideration of such amendments may with the consent of the President be entered upon forthwith, or may be put down for each future day as the Senator in charge of the Bill shall appoint.

(2) Upon a Motion being made “That the House of Representatives amendments to the ………………Bill be now considered”, an amendment may be proposed to that question, to leave out the word “now” and add at the end of the question “upon this day six months” or some other date.

(3) When the Senate proceeds to the consideration of House of Representatives amendments, each amendment shall be read by the Clerk and may be agreed to, agreed to with amendment or disagreed to. Upon any such amendment being disagreed to an amendment may be made to the Bill in lieu thereof, but no amendment may be proposed to a House of Representatives amendment save an amendment strictly relevant thereto nor may an amendment be moved to the Bill, unless the amendment be relevant to or consequent upon either the acceptance or rejection of a House of Representatives amendment.

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(4) When the Senate has concluded the consideration of the House of Representatives amendments -

(a) if such amendments have been agreed to, the Bill shall be returned to the House of Representatives with a message informing the House “That the Senate has agreed to the amendments to the …………………….Bill”.

(b) if such amendments have been amended, the Bill as amended, endorsed by the President, shall be returned to the House of Representatives together with a message informing the House that the Senate has passed the Bill with amendments to which they desire the concurrence of the House;

(c) if such amendments have been disagreed to, the Bill shall be returned to the House of Representatives with a message informing the House “That the Senate has disagreed to the House of Representatives amendments to the .........………........ Bill”.

(5) When the Senate has disagreed to a House of Representatives amendment, if the House of Representatives return the Bill with a message that it insists upon the amendment the Senate may either-

(a) agree to the said amendment, in which case the provisions of paragraph (4) (a) of this Standing Order shall apply; or

(b) amend such amendments in which case the provisions of paragraph (4) (b) of this Standing Order shall apply; or

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(c) postpone the consideration of the House of Representatives amendment for six months; or

(d) order the withdrawal of the Bill.

Withdrawal of Bills

61. A Bill may be withdrawn by leave of the Senate (or, as the case may be, of the Committee) either.

(a) before the commencement of Public Business; or

(b) when any stage of the Bill is reached in the Order of Business, if before the question is fully put, the mover so requests and there is no dissentient voice.

Bills containing substantially the same provisions

62. Once the second reading of any Bill has been agreed to or negatived, no question shall be proposed during the same Session for the second reading of any other Bill containing substantially the same provisions.

Money Bills

63. When a Money Bill, as defined in section 80 of the Belize Constitution, has been read a second time, it shall stand committed to a Committee of the whole Senate unless on Motion made, of which no notice shall be required, the Senate decides that the Bill shall not be so committed, whereupon the President shall forthwith put the question that the Bill be now read a third time and that question shall be decided without amendment or debate.

Sessional Select Committees

64. (1) There shall be the following Sessional Select Committees-

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(a) The Standing Orders Committee;

(b) The House Committee;

(c) The Committee of Privileges;

(d) The Regulations Committee;

(e) Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee.

(2) Members of the Sessional Select Committees shall be appointed by the President as soon as may be after the beginning of each Session.

Standing Orders Committee

65. (1) The Standing Orders Committee shall have the duty of considering from time to time and reporting on all such matters relating to Standing Orders as may be referred to it by the Senate.

(2) The President shall be a Member, and the Chairman, of the Standing Orders Committee.

(3) The Standing Orders Committee shall consist of four Members inclusive of the Chairman.

House Committee

66. (1) The House Committee shall consider, and advise the President upon-

(a) all matters relating to the renumeration and allowances, and the comfort and convenience of Senators;

(b) the employment of officers and other persons by the

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Senate.

(2) The President shall be a Member, and the Chairman, of the House Committee.

(3) The House Committee shall consist of four Members inclusive of the Chairman.

(4) The said Committee shall from time to time report its minutes of proceedings to the Senate.

Committee of Privileges

67. (1) There shall be referred to the Committee of Privileges any matter which appears to affect the powers or privileges of the Senate, and it shall be the duty of the Committee to consider any matter so referred and to report thereon to the Senate.

(2) The President shall be a Member, and the Chairman, of the Committee of Privileges.

(3) The Committee of Privileges shall consist of four members inclusive of the Chairman.

Regulations Committee

68. (1) The Regulations Committee shall have the duty of considering all such regulations (as defined by the Interpretation Act for the time being in force) as under the authority of any law are to be laid before the Senate, and to bring to the special attention of the Senate, any regulation or draft-

(a) which involves the expenditure of public moneys or imposes or fixes fees for licences or for services;

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(b) which cannot be challenged in the Courts on the ground that it is ultra vires, or is only temporarily so challengeable;

(c) the making of which appears to constitute an unusual or unexpected use of the powers conferred by the law under which it was made;

(d) which purports to have retroactive effect although the law under which it was made does not in terms give the Minister such a power;

(e) the publication or the laying before the Senate of which, appears to have been unduly delayed;

(f) in respect of which there has been unjustifiable delay in notifying the President that the instrument had come into operation before it was laid before the Senate; or

(g) the purport or form of which appears to require elucidation.

(2) The Regulations Committee shall not consider or report on the merits or policy of any regulations.

(3) The Regulations Committee shall consist of four Members inclusive of the Chairman.

Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee

68:01 The Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee shall be a Committee of the Whole Senate and shall have the duty of considering any of the following constitutional and foreign affairs measures, namely -

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(a) any Bill to alter any provision of Part II of the Constitution in accordance with subsection (5A) of section 69 of the Belize Constitution;

(b) whether the Senate should authorise the ratification of any treaty by the Government of Belize , including any treaty for the final settlement of the territorial dispute between Belize and the Republic of Guatemala;

(c) whether there should be established in Belize any new military base of operations for any foreign military forces after the 2nd January, 2002;

(d) whether the Senate should approve the appointment of any person as an Ambassador, High Commissioner, the Chief Justice, a Justice of the Supreme Court, a Justice of the Court of Appeal, the Contractor General or the Ombudsman.

(2) The Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee shall consist of all the members of the Senate, and the President of the Senate shall be the Chairman of the Committee.

(3) The powers and functions of the Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee under this Order shall be exercised through a Resolution supported by a simple majority of all the Senators.

Special Select Committees

69. (1) A Select Committee other than a Sessional Select Committee shall be known as a Special Select Committee. It shall be appointed by order of the Senate which shall specify the terms of reference of the Committee and shall consist of such and so many Senators as may be directed by order of the

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Senate and, in the absence of such direction, shall consist of such Senators as may be chosen by the President.

(2) The quorum of a Special Select Committee shall be such as shall be specified in the order of the Senate or, in the absence of such Order, by the President.

Constitution and Chairman of Select Committee

70. (1) Every Select Committee shall be so constituted as to ensure, so far as is possible, that the balance of parties in the Senate is reflected in the Committee.

(2) Where a Member of a Select Committee dies or for any other reason his seat becomes vacant, then, subject to the preceding paragraph, the President shall appoint another Senator in his place.

(3) Except as is otherwise provided by these Standing Orders or by special direction of the Senate, a Select Committee shall elect a Chairman from among its Members.

Joint Select Committees

71. (1) The Senate may for the purposes of any Select Committee appoint not more than six Members to sit with Members of the House of Representatives as a joint Select Committee.

(2) The quorum of a joint Select Committee shall be such as the Committee may decide.

(3) Except as is otherwise provided by these Standing Orders or by special direction of the Senate, a joint Select Committee shall elect its Chairman from among its Members.

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(4) A joint Select Committee may be appointed at the request of either House with the approval of the other House.

Procedure in Select Committees

72. (1) Except as otherwise provided in Standing Orders No. 64 to No. 68 inclusive (Sessional Select Committees), this Standing Order shall apply to all Select Committees.

(2) If the Chairman is unable to be present at any meeting, the Committee shall elect another Chairman whose tenure of office shall be for the day of his election.

(3) Unless the Senate otherwise directs the Standing Orders Committee and the House Committee shall not have, but every other Select Committee shall have, power to send for persons, papers and records.

(4) A Select Committee shall not have power to delegate any of its functions to its Chairman, or any other Senator.

(5) Unless the Senate otherwise directs, three Senators shall be the quorum. In ascertaining whether there is a quorum present, the Senator in the Chair shall not be excluded.

(6) The deliberations of a Select Committee shall be confined to the matter referred to it by the Senate and any extension or limitation thereof made by the Senate, and, in the case of a Select Committee on a Bill, to the Bill committed to it and relative amendments.

(7) Where, by resolution of the Senate or under these Standing Orders, the President or a Minister is Chairman of a Select Committee, the President or the Minister shall appoint the time and place for the holding of the first meeting of the Committee. In all other cases, the first meeting of a Select Committee shall be summoned by the President and the first business to be transacted

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thereat shall be the Election of a Chairman of the Committee; if at such meeting a Chairman is not elected, the President shall appoint a Member of the Committee to be the Chairman.

(8) Subsequent meetings shall be held at such time and place as the Select Committee may determine; provided that, if the Committee fail to do so, the Chairman shall, in consultation with the Clerk of the Senate, appoint such time and place.

(9) Subject to any order of the Senate or resolution of the Committee, the sittings of a Select Committee shall be held in private.

(10) Except by leave of the Senate no Select Committee may sit while the Senate is sitting, but a Select Committee may sit at anytime when the Senate is adjourned or the sitting of the Senate is suspended.

(11) When it is intended to examine any witnesses, the Senator requiring such witnesses shall deliver to the Clerk of the Committee the name, residence and occupation of any witnesses he desires to examine.

(12) If the Committee desires to summon any witnesses, the Chairman shall supply the name, residence and occupation of every such witnesses to the Clerk of the Senate at least seven days before his evidence is required. The Clerk shall then, subject to the directions of the President, summon every such witness on behalf of the Senate.

(13) The evidence of every witness shall be taken down verbatim and sent in proof to the witness. The witness shall be at liberty, within fourteen days from that on which the Clerk sent out the proof, to suggest corrections due to inaccurate reporting, and the evidence shall be printed with such of the corrections as may be approved by the Chairman.

(14) The Committee may at its discretion refuse to hear any irrelevant evidence or any recalcitrant witness.

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(15)

(a) Any Member of a Select Committee may bring up a report for its consideration, and all such reports shall be entered in full upon the minutes of proceedings of the Committee. When all the reports have been brought up, the Chairman shall propose the reports in order until one is accepted as a basis for discussion, beginning with his own report and proceeding with the remainder in the order in which they were brought up. The question to be proposed by the Chairman on any report shall be “That the Chairman’s (or Mr. ………………………………’s) report be read a second time paragraph by paragraph”. When this question has been agreed to, it shall not be proposed on any further reports, but any portions thereof may be offered as amendments to the report under consideration, if they are relevant to it.

(b) The Committee shall then proceed to go through the report paragraph by paragraph and paragraphs (1) to (7) of Standing Order No. 54 (Procedure in Committee of the whole Senate on a Bill) shall apply to such consideration as if the report were a Bill and the paragraphs thereof the clauses of the Bill.

Upon the conclusion of the consideration of the report paragraph by paragraph and when all proposed new paragraphs have been considered, the Chairman shall put the question that this report be the report of the Committee to the Senate.

Divisions in Select Committee

73. (1) Every division in a Select Committee shall be taken by the Clerk

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to the Committee asking each Member of the Committee separately how he desires to vote and recording the votes accordingly.

(2) In taking the division, the names of all Members of the Committee present shall be called in alphabetical order.

(3) When a division is claimed in a Select Committee every member of the Committee present shall, unless he expressly states that he declines to vote, record his vote either for Ayes or Noes. The Clerk to the Committee shall enter in the Minutes of the proceedings the record of each Member’s vote and shall add a statement of the names of Members who declined to vote.

(4) As soon as the Clerk has collected the votes he shall state the number of Members voting for the Ayes and Noes respectively and the Chairman shall then declare the result of the division. The Chairman shall not have an original vote but in the event of an equality of votes he shall give a casting vote.

(5) If a Member of the Committee states that he voted in error or that his vote has been wrongly counted he may claim to have his vote altered, provided that such request is made as soon as the Clerk has announced the numbers and before the Chairman has declared the result of the division.

Premature Publication of Evidence

74. The proceedings of, and the evidence taken before, any Select Committee and any documents presented to and decisions of, such a Committee shall not be published by any Member thereof or by any other person, before the Committee has presented its report to the Senate.

Reports from Select Committees

75. (1) Every Select Committee shall, before the end of the Session in which it was appointed, make a report to the Senate upon the matters referred to it; but where a Select Committee finds itself unable to conclude its investigations

Belize Constitution (Belize Advisory Council)CAP. 4]

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before the end of the Session, it may so report to the Senate.

(2) A report of a Select Committee may contain the opinions and observations of the Committee, and may be accompanied by the minutes of evidence taken before the Committee.

(3) A Select Committee may make a special report relating to its powers, functions and proceedings on any matters that it thinks fit to bring to the notice of the Senate.

(4)

(a) The Chairman of a Select Committee shall prepare a draft report and submit it for the consideration of the Committee;but alternative drafts may be submitted for consideration by any other Member at the request of the Chairman.

(b) The report finally to be adopted shall be such as is agreed to, with amendments (if any), by all the Members of the Select Committee or, failing unanimous agreement, then such as is agreed to by a majority of the Members.

(c) Any Member dissenting from the report of a majority of the Committee may put in a concise written statement of his reasons for such dissent, and such statement shall be appended to the report; or, if he so desires, he may submit a minority report.

(5) The report of a Select Committee including any minority report shall be presented to the Senate by the Chairman or other Member deputed by the Committee, and shall be ordered to be laid on the Table, and be printed without question put.

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163

(6) The minutes of proceedings of a Select Committee shall record-

(a) the names of the Members present each day of the sitting of the Committee;

(b) the names of the witnesses examined;

(c) in the event of a division taking place, the question proposed, the names of the proposer and the respective votes thereon of the Members present and the names of the Members (if any) who declined to vote.

(7) The report of a Select Committee maybe taken into consideration by the Senate on a Motion “That the Report of the Select Committee on ……………….. be adopted”. Such a Motion may be moved by any Senator after one clear day’s notice.

Private Bills

76. (1) Every Bill, not being a Government measure, intended to affect or benefit some particular person, association or corporate body (in this Standing Order called a “Private Bill”) shall contain a clause saving the rights of Her Majesty the Queen, Her Heirs and Successors, all bodies politic and corporate, and all others except such as are mentioned in the Bill and those claiming by, from or under them; and may be introduced into the Senate under the provisions of this Standing Order.

(2) Any Bill, not being a Government measure, which in the opinion of the President appears to affect directly private rights or property may be introduced into the Senate as a Private Bill under the provisions of this Standing Order.

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(3) A Private Bill shall be introduced by a Senator only-

(a) on petition from the promoters stating the objects of and reasons for the Bill; and

(b) after notice of the Bill has been given -

(i) by not less than three successive publications of the Bill in the Gazette; and

(ii) by three publications in a newspaper circulating in the Country of a notice containing a statement of the objects of and the reasons for the Bill.

(4) The petition shall be presented by being lodged with the Clerk, and shall be read at the first ordinary sitting of the Senate after it is so lodged, and thereupon the President shall put the question that the promoters be allowed to proceed.

(5) Subject to paragraph (6) of this Standing Order, when leave to proceed has been granted, the promoters shall, within the next ensuing three months after such leave has been granted, lodge with the Clerk of the Senate

(a) two copies of the Bill;

(b) a certificate under the hand of the Accountant General certifying that the sum of two hundred and fifty dollars, or such less sum as the Accountant General may in writing approve, to meet the expenses of printing, has been deposited with the Accountant General;

(c) a bond duly executed by two sufficient persons obliging them to pay on demand to the Clerk any

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[CAP. 4 165Belize Constitution (Senate) Standing Orders

excess over the deposited sum, required for such expenses.

(6) The Clerk shall cause the Bill lodged with him to be printed as early as possible, and, at the first ordinary sitting of the Senate after the printing is completed, the President, if he is satisfied that the notices required by paragraph (3) of this Standing Order have been given, shall put the question that the Bill be read a first time upon which no discussion shall be allowed. After the Bill is read a first time, it shall stand upon the Order Paper for the second reading at the next ordinary sitting of the Senate.

(7) Upon the day ordered for second reading, the President shall, unless the Senate otherwise orders, put the question that the Bill be read a second time.

(8) After the Bill has been read a second time, it shall stand referred to a Special Select Committee to be chosen by the President. The President shall appoint the Chairman of the Committee.

(9)

(a) Every Special Select Committee on such a Bill shall require proof of the facts and other allegations set forth in the Bill as showing that it is expedient that the Bill should be passed, and may take such oral or other evidence as it may think requisite; and thereafter, if the Select Committee finds that the said facts and allegations are not proved, it shall report to the Senate accordingly, and thereupon no further proceedings shall be taken with reference to the Bill unless the Senate makes a special order to the contrary.

(b) If the Special Select Committee finds that the said facts and allegations have been proved, the Committee

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shall consider the several clauses of the Bill and may strike out clauses, add new clauses, and make any other amendments which it shall deem necessary, and in respect of such new clauses and other amendments, shall describe their purport in a Special Report to the Senate. No new clauses or amendments shall be allowed in such a Bill which are foreign to the objects of and reasons for the Bill or which are beyond its scope.

(10) No person, other than a Senator shall be heard in opposition to any Private Bill, unless he has previously lodged a petition with the Clerk showing the nature of his objections to the Bill, and stating whether his objections extend to the whole or some part of the preamble (if any), or to the clauses of the said Bill, and praying that he may be heard by himself or his Counsel against the Bill.

(11) Subject to the provisions of this Standing Order, all petitions against a Bill, where such petitions contain a prayer that the petitioners be heard by themselves or Counsel, shall stand referred to the Select Committee, and the Committee shall hear all such opposers who appear to have a locus standi.

(12) When it is intended to examine any witness before the Special Select Committee, the provisions of paragraphs 11 and 12 of Standing Order 72 (Procedure in Select Committees) shall apply.

(13) The Special Select Committee shall examine the Bill and make such amendments thereto as it thinks proper, and shall report to the Senate that it has examined the Bill, and (if the fact be so) made amendments thereto, and shall make to the Senate such recommendations, if any, as it thinks fit.

(14) After the report of the Special Select Committee has been presented to and adopted by the Senate in accordance with Standing Order No. 58, the President shall put the question, without amendment or debate, that the Bill be read a third time.

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(15) As soon as practicable after any Private Bill is passed, rejected, dropped or abandoned, the Clerk of the Senate shall make out an account showing, according to the scale prescribed or approved by the Minister, the expenses of printing, and shall transmit the same, signed by him, to the Accountant General who thereupon shall, if the amount of the account is less than two hundred and fifty dollars, transfer such amount from the deposited sum of two hundred and fifty dollars to the general revenue of this Country, and pay the balance to the depositors, their executors or administrators.

(16) If the account for the expenses of printing exceeds two hundred and fifty dollars, the Accountant General shall transfer the whole of the deposited sum to the credit of the general revenue of this Country, and the Attorney General shall, in the event of the promoters failing to pay the Accountant General the balance, take proceedings to enforce payment of such balance.

Miscellaneous

Absence of Members

77. (1) Any Senator who is prevented from attending a meeting of the Senate shall acquaint the Clerk as early as possible of his inability to attend.

(2) If, without the leave of the President obtained in writing before the end of the last of the sittings referred to in this paragraph, any Senator is absent from the Senate for more than ten consecutive sittings occurring during the same session, such Senator shall vacate his seat in the Senate under subsection (2) (a) of section 64 of the Belize Constitution Act.

Employment of Members in Professional Capacity

78. No Senator shall appear before the Senate or any Committee thereof as Counsel or Attorney-at-Law for any party or in any capacity for which he is to receive a fee or reward.

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Report of Debates

79. (1) An official report of the proceedings, and ofall speeches made, in the Senate shall be prepared under the supervision of the Clerk of the Senate, acting under such instructions as the President may from time to time give.

(2) The report shall be published in such form as the President may direct, and a copy thereof shall be sent to each Senator as soon as practicable.

Strangers

80. (1) Strangers may be present in the Chamber of the Senate in the places set apart for them, under such rules as the President may make from time to time for that purpose.

(2) If, at any sitting of the Senate, any Senator shall move that strangers withdraw, the President shall forthwith put the question “That strangers do withdraw” without permitting any debate or amendment.

(3) The President may, whenever he thinks fit, order the withdrawal of strangers from any part of the Chamber and its precincts, and may order the doors of the Chamber to be closed.

(4) Strangers must preserve silence, and must conduct themselves in a fit and proper manner during a sitting.

(5) Strangers must withdraw from the Chamber and its precincts when called upon by the President to do so.

Press

81. (1) The President may grant a general permission to the representatives of any journal or newspaper or other medium of public information to attend the sittings of the Senate, under such rules as he may make from time to time for

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that purpose.

(2) If such rules are contravened, such permission may be revoked.

Amendment of Standing Orders

82. (1) Unless the President shall otherwise direct, not less than twelve days’ notice of a Motion to amend the Standing Orders shall be given, and the notice shall be accompanied by a draft of the proposed amendments.

(2) The Motion shall be set down for the earliest convenient sitting after the expiration of the notice.

(3) When the Motion is reached, the mover shall move the Motion, and after it has, if necessary, been seconded, the Motion shall be referred forthwith, without any question being put thereon, to the Standing Orders Committee, and no further proceedings shall be taken on any such Motion until the Committee has reported thereon.

Suspension of Standing Orders

83. (1) Any one or more of these Standing Orders may, after notice or with the leave of the President, be suspended on a Motion made by a Senator at any sitting.

(2) A Motion under this Standing Order shall be decided without amendment or debate.

General Authority of the President

84. (1) The President shall have power to regulate the conduct of business in all matters not provided for in these Standing Orders.

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(2) The decision in all cases for which these Standing Orders do not provide, shall lie within the discretion of the President, and shall not be open to challenge.

(3) The President shall be responsible for the management and general administration of the Chamber.

Absence of the President

85. During any period where the President is absent on account of illness or is for any other reason unable to perform the functions of his office, these functions shall be assumed and performed by the Vice-President, until such time as the President resumes his office.

Interpretation

86. In these Standing Orders “Clerk of the Senate” or “Clerk of the House of Representatives” means the person appointed under section 67 of the Belize Constitution Act, and includes the person deputed to act for him.

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Belize Constitution (Proclamation for Holding a Session of the National Assembly) 171[CAP. 4

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CHAPTER 4

A PROCLAMATION APPOINTING A DATE FOR HOLDING A SESSION OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

[22nd March, 2003]

WHEREAS, it is provided by section 83 of the Belize Constitution, inter alia, that there shall be a session of the National Assembly at least once in every year, and that such session shall be held at such place within Belize and shall begin at such time as the Governor-General shall appoint by proclamation published in the Gazette;

AND WHEREAS, it is further provided by the said section 83 that the first sitting of each House after the National Assembly has at any time been prorogued or dissolved shall begin at the same time;

AND WHEREAS, the National Assembly was dissolved with effect from the 4th February, 2003 and a general election of the members of the House of Representatives was held on the 5th March, 2003;

NOW THEREFORE, I, COLVILLE NORBERT YOUNG, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Governor General, in exercise of the powers conferred upon me by the aforesaid provisions of the Belize Constitution, do hereby proclaim that a session of the National Assembly will be held in front of the New Administration Building, Belmopan, on FRIDAY, 4th APRIL, 2003 and that the first sitting of the House of Representatives and of the Senate will be held at the said venue commencing at 10:00 o’clock in the forenoon.

46 of 2003. 47 of 2003.

47 of 2003.

Belize Constitution (Proclamation for Holding a Session of the National Assembly)172 CAP. 4]

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GIVEN under my hand and the Public Seal of Belize this 17th day of March, 2003.

(SIR COLVILLE N. YOUNG) GOVERNOR-GENERAL

____________

[CAP. 4. 173

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Belize Constitution (Government Open Vote Workers) Regulations

CHAPTER 4

BELIZE CONSTITUTION (GOVERNMENT OPEN VOTE WORKERS) REGULATIONS

ARRANGEMENT OF REGULATIONS

1. Short title.

2. Interpretation.

3. Classification of workers.

4. Engagement of workers.

5. Medical examination.

6. Wages.

7. Hours of work.

8. Overtime.

9. Holidays.

10. Stoppage of work.

11. Wet work, dirty work and heights work.

12. Accommodation.

13. Rates, subsistence allowance, other allowances.

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14. Medical supplies.

15. Infectious diseases.

16. Illness.

17. Injuries.

18. Leave.

19. Transportation.

20. Transfers.

21. Employment of children, women and young persons.

22. Employment of aliens.

23. Sale of goods.

24. Termination of services.

25. Dismissal.

26. Representation of workers.

27. Trade Union and Credit Union contributions.

28. Layoffs and re-engagement.

29. Retirement benefits.

30. Maternity Benefits.

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31. Annual increments

32. Resignation

33. Amendment of Appendices

34. Commencement and repeal

_________________

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176 CAP. 4] Belize Constitution (Government Open Vote Workers) Regulations

CHAPTER 4

BELIZE CONSTITUTION (GOVERNMENT OPEN VOTE WORKERS) REGULATIONS

[28th November, 1992]

1. These Regulations may be cited as the

BELIZE CONSTITUTION (GOVERNMENT OPEN VOTE WORKERS) REGULATIONS.

2. In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires-

“Head of Department” means-

(i) an officer authorized by Treasury warrant to incur expenditure under the Estimates on the employment of any Government Workers; and

(ii) any senior officer or foreman to whom a Head of Department as defined in (i) above may from time to time have delegated all or any of the powers under these Regulations.

“open vote worker” means an employee of any Government Department whose post is not provided for under any Personal Emoluments item of any Head of Expenditure in the Estimates;

“worker” means an open vote worker as defined above.

3. (1) Workers shall be divided into two categories:

145 of 1992. 41 of 1997. Act 40 of 2001.

Short title.

Interpretation.

Classification of workers.

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Category A:

(i) Workers engaged for any permanent “round the year service”, or

(ii) workers who have service for 5 years or more and whose employment is not intended to be permanent round the year service, including workers whose employment is intended to be for a particular project only.

Category B:

Workers with less than five years’ service whose employment is not intended to be permanent “round the year service”, including workers whose employment is intended to be for a particular project only.

(2) For the purpose of Category A (ii) above, where the service is not continuous, it shall be the aggregate of all interrupted periods of service between which there is a break of not more than three months’duration unless such break followed voluntary termination of his services by the worker himself, dismissal under regulation 25 or other default attributable to the worker himself.

(3) Heads of Departments shall keep in the form of Appendix 1, service records of workers clearly showing their dates of engagement and re-engagement, periods of service and rates of wages.

4. (1) A Head of Department shall engage all workers through the employment exchange of the Labour Department where such a service exists.

(2) No fee, gratuity or other form of reward shall be either asked for or received from a worker as a condition of his being offered employment.

Appendix I.

Engagement of workers.

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(3) A Head of Department engaging workers shall make the terms of employment clear to each of them by a notification in the form of Appendix 11 by explaining the following points:

(i) the nature of the work and the method of payment i.e. whether by time rates, task rate or piece rates;

(ii) the rate of wages and of overtime;

(iii) the approximate duration of the employment;

(iv) the place of work;

(v) the normal working hours per week;

(vi) the first two weeks of employment shall be deemed to be probationary employment and may be terminated at will by either party without notice;

(vii) the period of notice as provided under regulation 24;

(viii) the worker’s classification; and

(ix) that these Regulations will apply to the employment.

5. (1) Category A workers shall be required to take a medical examination which shall include a drug test.

(2) Category B workers may at the discretion of the Head of Department be required to take a medical examination.

Appendix II.

Medical examination.

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(3) If the nature of the employment is likely to mean continuous absence for more than a month in areas beyond the ready services of a medical practitioner, a worker shall be examined free of charge by a Government Medical Officer. The examining Medical Officer shall send to the Head of Department a certificate in duplicate in the form set out in Appendix 111.

6. (1) All categories of workers shall normally be paid at daily rates at such pay periods as the Head of Department may determine.

(2) Payment for incomplete hours of work shall be made at the following rates:-

15 minutes or less - 15 minutes pay

16 - 30 minutes - 30 minutes pay

31 - 60 minutes - 60 minutes pay

(3) Piece work and task work will be used whenever possible. Rates for tasks and piece rates should be set, as far as possible, so that employment on these conditions would enable an average worker to earn half as much again as the time rate for the job. Task and piece rates may only be altered after consultation with the appropriate Union Representative where one has been elected in accordance with regulation 26.

(4) Wages will normally be paid weekly, but in some circumstances where a worker is required to camp away from his station or in remote areas it may be paid fortnightly or monthly at the discretion of the Head of Department.

(5) Advances of wages may be made to a worker at the discretion of the Head of Department concerned. An advance may not exceed six weeks’ wages on any one occasion and the total of advances outstanding to a worker at any one time may not exceed six weeks’ wages. An advance shall not be granted as a matter of course but only after careful inquiry to make certain that

Appendix III.

Wages.

Advances of wages.

Payment of wages.

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it will be used by the worker for one of the following purposes:

(a) to buy articles for use at work;

(b) to meet expenditure for replacement of property lost or irreparably damaged due to fire, hurricane, flood, earthquake, or other act of God;

(c) to meet medical expenses for himself or a member of his immediate family but only on presentation of the necessary medical certificate; or

(d) to meet funeral expenses for a member of his immediate family.

(6) An exceptional advance of wages may be made at the discretion of the Head of Department concerned to a worker who has served for not less than one year to enable either the worker, himself or a member of his immediate family:

(a) to purchase necessary household items such as refrigerator, stove and furniture, bathroom fixtures;

(b) to obtain medical treatment within or outside Belize which is specifically recommended by a registered medical practitioner in Belize. Such an advance shall be limited as follows and must have the prior approval of the Ministry of Finance:-

1 to 5 yrs service - 8 weeks wages 5 to 10 yrs service - 12 weeks wages over 10 years service - 16 weeks wages.

41 of 1997.

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(6:01)An exceptional advance of wages shall carry a nominal service charge of five percent (or such other percentage as may be determined in circulars issued by the Ministry of Finance) recoverable at the time of the issue of the advance.

(7) All advances must be repaid by reasonable installments according to the probable duration of employment and as directed by the Head of Department. The installments to be deducted from wages should normally be not less than one quarter nor more than one-third of the wages of the worker due for any wage period. Unless the Ministry of Finance approves for any particular case a longer period for repayment, an advance must be repaid in full within the following limits:

AMOUNT OF ADVANCE LIMITATION 8 wks. wages or less 32 wks.

over 8 wks. up to 12 wks. wages 48 wks. over 12 wks. up to 16 wks. wages 64 wks.

(8) New workers recently employed will only be entitled to an advance of no more than two weeks’ wages to assist them in purchasing tools.

(9) The following deductions only may be made from the wages of a worker:

(a) sums paid out by the Department in respect of the pay period for any family allotment authorized by the worker;

(b) the value of any food supplied by any restaurant or any service for the supply of cooked food operated by the Department for workers, if the worker has previously granted authority in writing for such deduction;

41 of 1997.

Wages deductions.

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(c) the reasonable cost of replacing or repairing any accommodation or tools or equipment supplied to any worker for his work which is lost or damaged by him through his wilful intent, carelessness or neglect;

(d) repayment of any advance made by the Government;

(e) the amount of any contribution to a provident fund, sickness benefit fund, credit union, or trade union if such deduction has been previously authorised in writing by the worker (subject to regulation 27); deductions for lateness on the following basis:-

(f) deductions for lateness on the following basis:-

15 mins. late or less - 15 mins. pay 16 mins. to 30 mins. late - 30 mins. pay 31 - 60 mins. late - 1hr’s pay;

(These deductions shall not prejudice the right of a Head of Department to discharge any worker for persistent lateness, provided that the worker has first been warned verbally and on a second occasion in writing by a senior officer);

(g) other deductions as may be required by law such as income tax and social security.

(10) A worker discharged during the pay period shall be paid not later than the next working day after such discharge, the balance of wages due to him.

7. (1) Subject to the provisions of regulation (2) below, no worker shall be obliged to work more than five days in any week or for more than nine hours of actual work in any day or FORTY-FIVE hours of actual work in any week.

Wages on discharge.

Hours of work.

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(2) The provisions of regulation (1) above shall not apply to:-

(a) workers employed in the rearing and/or tending of animals and poultry, in cases where a higher or specific scale of wages is paid;

(b) workers who are employed on piece work and are not continuously supervised, or on task work;

(c) workers engaged in meeting natural disasters such as forest fire or hurricane emergency provided that over time rates are paid for hours of actual work in excess of the hours of work prescribed in sub-regulation (1) of this regulation.

(3) The hours of work of workers referred to paragraph (2)(a) above shall be so arranged that workers have two days each week free. If they are required to work on a free day, overtime shall be paid in accordance with regulation 8 (1).

(4) During each morning and afternoon of work a ten minute break shall be allowed at such times as the Head of Department in his discretion may consider fit.

8. (1) Work done during hours exceeding those specified in regulation 7 shall be paid for at half as much again as ordinary rates (time and a half).

(2) All work done on Christmas Day, Good Friday and Easter Monday shall be paid for at double rates, in addition to any payment to which the worker may be entitled under regulation 9:

Provided that workers who are employed on piece work and are not continuously supervised, or on task work, shall in addition to any payment under regulation 9 be paid at double the ordinary piece rate or task rate for

Overtime.

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work done on Christmas Day, Good Friday and Easter Monday only where such work has been specifically required by the Department to be done on any of these days and only for the amount of work so required.

(3) All work done on Saturdays, Sundays or the holidays set out in regulation 9 other than Christmas Day, Good Friday and Easter Monday shall be paid for half as much again as ordinary rates in addition to any payment to which the worker may be entitled under regulation 9:

Provided that workers who are employed on piece work and who are not continuously supervised, or on task work, shall in addition to any payment under regulation 9 be paid at half as much again as the ordinary piece rate or task rate for work done on Saturdays, Sundays or holidays (other than Christmas Day, Good Friday and Easter Monday) only when such worker has been specifically required by the Department to be done on any of these days and only for the amount of work so required.

9. (1) Subject to these Regulations, public holidays for workers shall be as set out in Appendix IV.

(2) Only essential work will normally be performed on public holidays.

(3) No deduction shall be made from the wages of workers paid by the month or by the week from time not worked on these holidays.

(4) Each worker paid by the day or by the hour, or by piece-rates, or by task-rates, shall be paid holiday pay for each of these holidays equal to the wages for a normal working day, provided that he has been employed on the day immediately preceding the holiday and was at work on the day following the holiday or, where he has been laid off within a week before, if he is re-employed within 6 days after the holiday.

(5) In a week in which a public holiday falls the workers referred to at (3) in regulation 7 shall be given their day off on the public holiday. All workers

Holidays. Appendix IV.

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185[CAP. 4Belize Constitution (Government Open Vote Workers) Regulations

(including watchmen) who are required to work on a public holiday shall be paid overtime as provided in regulation 8 in addition to any payment provided by this regulation.

10. (1) No deduction shall be made from the wages of any worker paid by the month or by the week for time lost through rain or through work not being available for reasons beyond the control of the worker, provided that he has reported for work at the beginning of the work period in question, and is available at the work site throughout the period, and further provided that the work site is accessible.

(2) Any worker paid by the day or by the hour shall be allowed the full time wage for his work for time lost through rain or through work not being available for reasons beyond the control of the worker, provided that he has reported for work at the beginning of the site throughout the period and further provided that the worksite is accessible.

(3) If workers are prevented by reason of continuous and heavy rain from reaching the work site at the beginning of the work period, the head of section concerned after consultation with the Union Representative, shall set a time when it would be reasonable to expect the workers to be able to reach the work site, and a period of fifteen minutes grace thereafter shall be allowed for workers to report to work.

11. (1) Allowances for wet work and dirty work may be made as follows:-

(a) the hours of work or the size of the task may, in consultation with the appropriate Union Representative if one has been elected, be reduced in proportion to the unpleasantness of the work without deduction from a normal day’s pay; but,

Stoppage of work.

Wet work, dirty work and heights work.

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(b) if to ensure early completion of the work full hours are necessary, a special rate of wages my be paid after consultation with the appropriate Union Representative if one has been elected.

(2) An allowance in addition to normal hourly rates shall be paid for all work performed at a height of 25 feet or more above ground level in consultation with the appropriate Union Representative if one has been elected.

12. Workers employed away from their homes, except those who are obliged to shift continuously from one site to another, shall be given adequate accommodation which include:

(a) sufficient and hygienic house accommodation;

(b) a sufficient supply of wholesome water; and

(c) sufficient and proper sanitary arrangements, for every worker who resides at the place of employment. Such house accommodation, water supply and sanitary arrangements shall conform to such requirements and standards of health and hygiene as may be prescribed.

13. (1) The rates, subsistence allowance and other allowances shall be those set out in Appendix V as may be revised from time to time and issued by the Ministry of Finance.

(2) As long as accommodation is not provided, workers who are moved away from their normal homes shall be paid a lodging allowance of $7.00 a day in Belize City or District town and $5.00 a day in all other places, provided that payment of a lodging allowance shall cease under expire of a worker’s eligibility to be paid subsistence allowance under subregulation (1) of this regulation.

Accommodation.

Rates, subsistence allowance, other allowances. Appendix V.

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(3) For the purpose of this regulation, an Agricultural Station or a Forestry Station shall be deemed to be the home of a worker employed there or therefrom.

(4) If a worker is moved from his normal home under circumstances which make him eligible to receive subsistence and/or lodging allowances under the provisions of this regulation, a Head of Department may, if he considers it essential, make advances to the worker not exceeding in total outstanding at any time the amount of the subsistence and lodging which he estimates will become payable in respect of the current pay period. Any amounts so advanced shall be recovered from subsistence and lodging allowances actually payable but any excess which cannot be recovered in this way shall be treated as if it had been an advance of wages granted under regulation 6 (5) and recovered from wages due to the worker accordingly.

14. Medical supplies, first aid dressings and appliances and, where possible, trained staff shall be provided and maintained. No charge whatever shall be made for any first-aid dressings or medicines supplied to a worker.

15. (1) Officers in charge of camps shall take such measures for the prevention of malaria and infectious diseases including routine administration of preventive drugs, as the Medical Officer of Health may from time to time prescribe.

(2) Officers in charge of camps shall at once report to the nearest Medical Officer any outbreak or any suspected outbreak of any contagious or infectious disease.

16. (1) If a worker falls ill during his employment he shall receive free medical treatment, in hospital if necessary, otherwise as an outpatient. If he is in Category A or had worked for Government for at least 30 consecutive working days during the twelve months preceding his illness, and the illness is not due to the worker’s own default or misconduct, he may be granted sick leave on full pay for not more than 28 days in any one calendar year:

Medical supplies.

Infectious diseases.

Illness.

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Provided that in cases meriting special consideration and where a period of treatment longer than 28 days is required, application may be made to the Ministry of Finance for additional paid sick leave. The granting of sick leave shall normally be conditional on the production of a medical certificate, but this condition may be waived for an absence of not more than one day provided not more than six days of paid leave shall be allowed without a medical certificate in any one year.

(2) Any illness which is certified by a registered medical practitioner to be directly attributable to and brought about solely through the nature of the work e.g., the water itch experienced by men working in streams clearing channels, shall be regarded as if it were an occupational disease under the provisions of the Workmen Compensation Act and the workmen afforded compensation benefits in accordance with regulation 17, unless the worker qualifies for such benefits under the Social Security Scheme.

(3) If a worker is given notice of the termination of his service and becomes ill before such termination, he shall continue to be eligible for the benefits of the provisions of subregulation (1) of this regulation. The service shall be deemed to be terminated at the expiry of the period of notice or at the expiry of the full pay sick leave granted, whichever date is later.

(4) The service of any worker suffering from sustained illness may be terminated by the giving of notice after the expiry of full pay sick leave for which he is eligible under the provisions of subregulation (1) of this regulation.

17. (1) Where a worker does not qualify under the Social Security Scheme for injury benefits, the provisions of the Workmen’s Compensation Act, shall be applied to all workers in case of personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of the employment or of scheduled occupational diseases contracted during the employment, provided that:

(a) paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of section 3 of the Workmen’s Compensation Act, which states that an

CAP. 303.

Injuries. CAP. 303.

CAP. 303.

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employer shall not be liable under this Act for such compensation if the injury does not incapacitate the workman whether totally or partially for a period of more than three days’, shall not apply;

(b) during the first 28 days of any period of total or partial temporary incapacity the injured worker may be granted either periodic payments in accordance with the Workmen’s Compensation Act, or full pay as if he were on sick leave under regulation 16, whichever is the greater, so that in either case

(i) his eligibility for sick leave under regulation 16 is not affected;

(ii) after the expiration of 28 days he is eligible for further benefits only under the Workmen’s Compensation Act or Social Security Act;

(iii) for the purpose of calculating any balance of a lump sum payable in respect of death or permanent incapacity he shall be deemed to have received only the amount of periodic payments to which he is entitled under the respective Act.

(2) If the injury requires treatment in a hospital, the worker shall be removed to hospital at once, where he will be given free treatment either as an inpatient or outpatient.

(3) Heads of Department are responsible, under the Workmen’s Compensation Act and Social Security Act for ensuring that all accidents at work are reported forthwith in the proper form to the Labour Department and the Social Security Board respectively.

CAP. 303.

CAP. 303. CAP. 44.

CAP. 303. CAP. 44.

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(4) Workers who receive any serious injury while in the employment of Government shall, provided they are capable of performing the work in question, be given preferential treatment when workers are laid off or engaged.

18. (1) Category A workers shall be eligible for leave at the following rates:

(a) Those with 5 years’ service or more in Category A: 16 working days leave on full pay for every twelve consecutive months of employment.

(b) Those with less than 5 years’ service in Category A: 14 working days leave on full pay for every 12 months of employment:

Provided that where on termination of any Category A employment there is outstanding a period of less than one year’s service in respect of which leave has not been taken in full, a worker shall be granted leave on full pay calculated as follows:-

Leave due = outstanding period annual entitlement (in days) of service in days X (i.e. 16 or 14 days

365 as the case may be

NOTES

(A) Any resulting fraction of a day’s leave is to be disregarded.

(B) Any leave actually taken in respect of the period is to be deducted.

(C) For the purpose of this Regulation, “period of service” means the calendar period and includes Sundays (or

Leave.

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other rest days), public holidays and all periods of leave except leave without pay.

EXAMPLE

A Category A (a) worker who has taken all leave due to him for periods up to the 31st December last and a further 4 days in the current year, resigns from Government employment with effect from the 18th August. Leave on full pay due to him for the current year is therefore-

229 x 16 = 10 14/365 365

Entitlement for the current year is therefore 10 days (fraction disregarded) and deducting the 4 days leave already taken there would be a balance of 6 days leave still due.

(2) Category B

(a) A Category B worker shall be eligible for two working weeks annual holiday on full pay, or wages in lieu thereof, in respect of every period of twelve consecutive months during which he has rendered services for the same Department for an aggregate of at least two hundred and fifty days in the case of a worker employed on a weekly, fortnightly, monthly or yearly basis or at least one hundred and fifty days in the case of a worker employed on any other basis.

(b) A Category B worker who has rendered services for the same Department over a total period of more than two months in respect of any periods of twelve consecutive months or less and does not qualify, owing

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to termination of his employment or otherwise, for annual holiday under the preceding subsection

(a) shall be granted proportionate holiday pay calculated as follows:-

Holiday Pay = Total remuneration 26

NOTES

(A) Any days of holiday on full pay, or wages in lieu, already granted in respect of the relevant period must be taken into consideration in deciding the amount of holiday pay due.

(B) In no case may the amount of holiday pay for twelve consecutive months or less exceed two weeks’ pay at the average daily rate even though the worker may have rendered services for more than 250 or 150 days, as the case may be, or served in more than one Department.

(C) For the purpose of this regulation,

“full pay” means the normal basic wage for one day and in the case of workers employed on a weekly, fortnightly, monthly or annual basis is to be calculated by dividing the normal wage for the period by six, twelve, twenty-six or three hundred and twelve, as the case may be;

“total remuneration” means all the basic wages payable to a worker in respect of the relevant period but does not include overtime payments.

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(3) Leave is normally due after a worker has been employed for 12 consecutive months. A Head of Department may, however, grant leave to a worker who has been employed for a lesser period and shall so arrange that no worker shall work for a longer period than 18 consecutive months without being granted leave.

(4) The Head of Department shall determine the date on which a worker’s leave shall commence and shall give the worker not less than 14 days’ notice of such a date.

(5) If a worker becomes ill while on leave granted by his Head of Department, other than leave on termination of his employment, he may be treated as on sick leave for any period he is certified by a registered medical practitioner to be unfit for work and granted a corresponding number of extra days’ leave either to follow the period of leave originally approved or at some other time as the Head of Department may decide.

19. (1) A Head of Department who engages workers shall provide free transportation for such workers and, in cases where suitable family accommodation is available, for their families also, from the place of engagement to the site of the work and on return after completion of the whole project.

(2) Wherever practicable, a Head of Department shall provide weekend leave and free transport, for workers on long-term projects in remote areas and all projects in accessible places and at base camps and depots but this Regulation shall not apply unless the worker can be returned to his work site by the normal time of his commencement of work.

20. (1) As far as possible, transfers must be planned in such a way as not to disrupt officers with children attending school during the current school year.

(2) Transfers shall be for the benefit of the Public Service, as well as the workers and shall not be used as a punitive measure.

Transportation. -on engage- ment and return home.

-on weekend leave.

Transfers.

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194 CAP. 4] Belize Constitution (Government Open Vote Workers) Regulations

(3) Transfers shall not be arbitrary. Wherever practicable, a list of the posts and the names of workers who are likely to be transferred shall be drawn up and made known to such workers and they should be given adequate notice and allowed time to make proper arrangements for their families, especially where children in schools may be affected.

21. (1) A Head of Department may not under any circumstances employ a child under the age of 14.

(2) The provisions of Part IV of the Labour Act shall be applied to the employment of women and young persons (i.e. over 14 but under 18 years of age). The main provisions are:

(a) women and young persons may not be employed in an industrial undertaking at night between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. except:

(i) in an emergency which must be reported to the Labour Commissioner immediately;

(ii) women may be employed at night in responsible positions of managerial or technical character or in health and welfare services;

(b) there are restrictions on the employment of young persons on vessels engaged in maritime navigation;

(c) prohibitions and restrictions may be relaxed under certain circumstances for the purpose of apprenticeship and vocational training.

(3) Where women or young persons are employed, they shall be given work which is not physically harmful to them and paid wages on the basis of “equal pay for equal work”, i.e., they shall be paid at the same rate which

Employment of children, women and young persons. CAP. 297.

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195[CAP. 4Belize Constitution (Government Open Vote Workers) Regulations

would be paid to an adult male if they can perform the amount of work of the same quality. Their employment shall not be resorted to simply to reduce labour costs.

22. Aliens, that is, persons who are not Belizean nationals, shall not be employed unless they possess some special skill or qualification not available in Belize. Their employment shall receive the prior consent of the Minister of Labour. Their employment shall be limited to the time necessary to train local workers to the necessary standard of skill or qualifications in the particular trade of work.

This restriction shall not apply to those aliens who have lived in Belize for at least five years and have families in Belize dependent on them for support, provided that the prior consent of the Minister of Labour has been obtained.

23. Gang captains, formen, and other officers in charge of workers shall not participate nor have any interest either directly or indirectly in any cookshop or other arrangement whereby food, tobacco, cigarettes, liquor, or any other articles are sold to workers under their charge:

Provided that senior officers may obtain specific goods for and at the request of workers but shall not make a profit or charge commission thereon.

24. (1) Notice of termination of a contract of service for an indefinite time given either by the Head of Department or the worker, shall be of the following respective durations, if the worker has been in the employment of the Department continuously -

(a) for more than two weeks but not more than six months - three days;

(b) for more than six months but not more than one year - one week;

Employment of aliens.

Sale of goods.

Termination of services.

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196 CAP. 4] Belize Constitution (Government Open Vote Workers) Regulations

(c) for more than one year but not more than two years - two weeks;

(d) for more than two years - four weeks.

(2) Notice shall take effect on the day following that in which it is given, provided that in the case of weekly or monthly rated workers, the period of notice shall commence on the first day of the pay period next following that during which it is given.

(3) If a worker under an oral contract of service for an indefinite time fails to give notice as in accordance with the provisions of this regulation, he shall be liable to pay the Government a sum equal to half the wages that would be payable in respect of the period of notice, provided that the Head of Department may in his own discretion and under special circumstances waive this obligation on the part of the worker. If the Head of Department fails to give the said notice, he shall be liable to pay to such worker a sum equal to the wages that would be payable in respect of the period of notice.

(4) In the event of termination of employment on the grounds of redundancy, a worker who has served a minimum of five years shall be entitled to one week’s wages for each year of service as severance pay.

25. (1) The Head of Department may dismiss the worker and the worker may abandon service of the Department without giving notice and without any liability to make payment as provided in regulation 24 if there is good and sufficient cause for dismissal or abandonment of service.

(2) Good and sufficient cause for dismissal without notice shall include dismissal:

(a) when a worker is guilty of misconduct, whether in the course of his duties or not, inconsistent with the fulfillment of the expressed or implied conditions of

Dismissal.

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197[CAP. 4Belize Constitution (Government Open Vote Workers) Regulations

his contract of service;

(b) for wilful disobedience to lawful orders given by a Head of Department;

(c) for lack of skill which the worker expressly or by implication warrants himself to possess;

(d) for habitual or substantial neglect of his duties;

(e) for absence from work without permission of the Head of Department or without other reasonable excuse.

(3) A worker dismissed for any of the abovementioned reasons is entitled to payment of wages due up to the time of his dismissal; the worker may in the first instance appeal to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry in which he was working, and then if necessary, to the Labour Commissioner against dismissal for any of those reasons.

In any such appeal the decision of the Labour Commissioner shall be final and the Head of Department shall comply with the ruling of the Labour Commissioner. In every appeal under this Regulation, the Labour commissioner shall give reasons for his decision.

(4) A worker alleged to have committed a criminal offence of such nature that it may interfere with the safe and proper conduct of the work may be suspended from duty provided that the alleged offence is reported to the Police. Payment of wages may cease or be reduced during such suspension at the discretion of the Head of Department, provided that the worker shall have the right to be heard with a Legal or Union Representative if he so wishes. The worker may be dismissed without notice with effect from the date of suspension, only in the event of his being convicted of the offence. If he is not convicted of the offence he shall be paid full wages for the period of suspension without

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198 CAP. 4] Belize Constitution (Government Open Vote Workers) Regulations

prejudice to the right of the Head of Department to give due notice of termination of his services at any time.

(5) Where a worker is guilty of an act or omission which could warrant his dismissal under subregulation (1) and (2) above, a Head of Department may in his own discretion, as an alternative to dismissal, suspend such worker as a disciplinary measure without any liability to pay wages during the period of suspension which shall not in any case exceed 14 working days. Suspension under the regulation shall not constitute a break in service for the purpose of regulation 29.

26. (1) Representation by workers about their wages or conditions of employment, either direct or through their Union, shall be given prompt and courteous attention and receive careful consideration provided they are forwarded in a proper manner.

(2) Heads of Department shall report promptly to their Ministry who will inform the Minister of Labour of the circumstances of any wage claim made by or on behalf of any workers or of any disputes which may lead to a stoppage of work.

(3) In any work place where a substantial proportion of the workers are members of a Trade Union, they shall be permitted to elect one of their members as a Union Representative to represent them in matters connected with their Union or with their working conditions. The name of the Union Representative so elected shall be notified in writing by the Trade Union to the Head of Department.

(4) A Union Representative who has elected and whose name has been so notified shall be allowed reasonable time off from work to discuss with a foreman or other higher authority, grievances or any matters in dispute, and in connection therewith to visit all sections of the workplace. In cases of urgency he may also be allowed to communicate with the Head Office or Branch Office of his Union, whichever shall be the nearer. But in all other respects, Union

Representation of workers.

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199[CAP. 4Belize Constitution (Government Open Vote Workers) Regulations

Representatives shall conform to the same working conditions as their fellow workers.

27. A Head of Department with the prior approval of the Accountant General shall cause the contributions of members of Trade Unions or Credit Unions to be deducted from wages due upon presentation by the Union concerned of the member’s authority in writing to make such deduction.

28. (1) Whenever a reduction in the number of workers employed becomes necessary, the selection of workers to be laid off shall, subject to regulation 17 (4), accord as far as possible with the principle of “last in first out”- within the particular place or project of employment and within the appropriate trade category. (“Continuous service” as defined in regulation 3 shall be used for the purposes of this regulation).

(2) Whenever the number of workers employed is to be increased, workers who have previously been employed shall as far as possible be selected, and their selection shall accord with the principle of ‘last out first in” within the particular place or project of employment and within the appropriate trade category.

29. (1) Subject to the Pensions Act and the Pensions Regulations, every open vote worker who has been in the public service under the Government of Belize for ten years or more may be granted on his retirement or resignation retirement benefits in accordance with the Pensions Act and the Pensions Regulations.

(2) Death in harness benefits shall be granted pursuant to the Pensions Act and the Pensions Regulations.

(3) Retirement benefits awarded under subregulation (1) and death in harness benefits awarded under sub-regulation (2) shall be computed using the same formula provided in the Pensions Act and the Pensions Regulations for other pensioinable offices.

Trade Union and Credit Union contributions.

Layoffs and re- engagement.

Retirement benefits. Act 40 of 2001.

CAP. 30.

CAP. 30.

CAP. 30.

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200 CAP. 4] Belize Constitution (Government Open Vote Workers) Regulations

30. (1) A female worker shall be entitled to eighty-four days maternity leave as follows:

(a) Six weeks before and six weeks after the expected date of parturition on half pay.

(b) Provided a medical certificate stating the expected date of delivery is submitted at least six weeks before leave is due a worker may elect not to take the six weeks before but the six weeks after parturition shall be mandatory and shall be on full pay if six weeks before delivery is not taken.

(2) A worker may, if she so wishes, use all or part of her vacation leave to replace any portion of the leave allowed on half pay:

Provided that the provisions of this subregulation shall not apply to a female worker unless during the twelve months immediately preceding her confinement she was employed in the service of Government for a total of not less than one hundred and fifty days.

(3) Any payments made under subregulation (1) of this regulation shall be made to the worker in the normal pay periods applicable to her.

(4) A female worker who is entitled to the benefits set out in subregulation (1) of this regulation shall be entitled to free attendance by a Government Medical Officer and/ or a certified Public Health Nurse during her pregnancy and confinement. The term “confinement” shall, for the purpose of this sub-regulation, include any illness which can be attributed to the confinement.

(5) No female worker shall be given notice of dismissal during, or to expire during, any period of absence from work in accordance with the provisions of subregulation (1) of this regulation or any further period of absence, not exceeding thirty days, due to illness certified by a qualified medical practioner,

Maternity benefits.

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201[CAP. 4Belize Constitution (Government Open Vote Workers) Regulations

to arise out of the worker’s pregnancy or confinement.

31. (1) Workers employed in the typing, clerical and regulatory grades shall be entitled to annual increments, subject to satisfactory performance.

(2) An assessment form as set out in Appendix V shall be used for assessing the performance of workers for the purpose of awarding annual increments.

32. (1) A worker with a minimum of ten years continuous service who resigns his employment and whose resignation is accepted, shall be eligible for a gratuity in accordance with Regulation 29.

33. The Appendices to these Regulations may, from time to time, be amended by the Permanent Secretary, Establishment, with the approval of the Minister responsible for the Public Service.

34. (1) These Regulations shall come into force on the 1st day of December, 1992.

(2) With effect from the date of commencement of these regulations, the Government Workers Rules, 1964 shall stand repealed.

MADE BY HER EXCELLENCY the GOVERNOR-GENERAL this 13th day of November, 1992.

(DR. DAME MINITA E. GORDON) Governor-General ______________

Annual increments.

Appendix V.

Resignation.

Amendment of Appendices.

Commencement and repeal.

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202 CAP. 4] Belize Constitution (Government Open Vote Workers) Regulations G

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203[CAP. 4Belize Constitution (Government Open Vote Workers) Regulations W

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204 CAP. 4] Belize Constitution (Government Open Vote Workers) Regulations

APPENDIX II

GOVERNMENT WORKERS’ REGULATIONS

TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT

_____________________ Department Date: __________________________

TO: MR./MRS./MISS: ____________________________ ADDRESS _________________________________ __________________________________________

The following are basic particulars of employment as Government worker which is hereby offered to you in the _______________________ Department:-

Section _____________________________ Place _______________________________

Trade Classification ___________________ Grade ___________________Category A/B

Nature of Work ___________________________________________________________

Date of commencement ____________________ Probable Duration __________________

Wage Rate of $ _________________cts per hour/day/week/month

Description of Task or Piece Unit ____________________________________________

Normal Working hours ____________________________________________________

(N.B. Overtime is normally paid at half as much again as ordinary time i.e. time and half).

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205[CAP. 4Belize Constitution (Government Open Vote Workers) Regulations

The Government Workers Regulations 1992, as amended from time to time, will apply to this employment and contain the detailed terms and conditions thereof. You are particularly requested to note that in accordance with the said Government Workers Regulations, the first two weeks of the employment will be deemed to be probationary employment and may be terminated at will of either party without notice. Thereafter, notice of termination of employment for an indefinite period must be given in accordance with Reg. 25 of the Government Workers Regulations which lays down different periods of notice according to different periods of service.

If you decide to accept employment on the terms explained above, please sign and return the original copy of this offer, the duplicate copy is for your retention. Otherwise kindly return both copies unsigned.

I accept employment on the terms stated above:

SIGNED ____________________ DATE ________________________ ____________________________ DATE ________________________ FOR HEAD OF DEPARTMENT

(This form is to be used for the initial engagement of a Government Worker. It may also be used with slight modifications to notify a promotion or other changes in which notice ought to be given to the worker concerned.)

(*- Delete where not applicable)

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206 CAP. 4] Belize Constitution (Government Open Vote Workers) Regulations

Reg. 5

APPENDIX III

GOVERNMENT WORKERS’REGULATIONS

CONFIDENTIAL

Form A

BELIZE

MEDICAL EXAMINATION OF CANDIDATES FOR APPOINTMENT TO THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE (OPEN VOTE)

Candidates for appointment to the Government Service (Open Vote) should complete this form and hand it to the Medical Officer when presenting themselves for examination.

2. The candidates will be held responsible for the accuracy of the statements in this form and any wilful with-holding or suppressing of any information will incur the risk of losing the appointment.

3. The Completed Form should be forwarded by the Medical Officer when he submits his report on the candidate on Form B attached.

Name of Candidate (in full) _________________________________________________

Date of Birth ___________________________________________________________

Married, Single, Widowed or Divorced _______________________________________

Countries of residence (with dates) ___________________________________________

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207[CAP. 4Belize Constitution (Government Open Vote Workers) Regulations

Have you been vacccinated? ______. If so, give the date _________________ and result ______________________.

Have you, to your knowledge, suffered from any other disease or serious illness; especially Hernia, Pulmonary or Cardiac or Urinary Symptoms, Epilepsy or Mental Disease? If so, give details.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Are you temperate in your habits? ____________________________________________

To your knowledge, are any member of your family, or near relatives, subject to consumption or to any disease of the Lungs, or to insanity or fits or have they been so subject.

__________________________________________________________________________

If so, give details __________________________________________________________

Father ______________ alive and aged _____________ years/died at age_____________

Mother _____________ alive and aged _____________ years/died at age_____________

I certify that, to the best of my knowledge, the replies to the questions in this form are correct.

Signature ______________________

Date _________________________

(DELETE WORDS WHICH ARE NOT APPLICABLE)

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208 CAP. 4] Belize Constitution (Government Open Vote Workers) Regulations

APPENDIX III (Cont’d)

Form B CONFIDENTIAL

BELIZE

REPORT ON MEDICAL EXAMINATION OF CANDIDATE FOR APPOINTMENT TO THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE

To be completed by the Medical Officer examining the candidate and to be forwarded to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Public Service, through the Chief Medical Officer, with Form A attached, which should be completed and signed by the candidate.

I have examined ___________________________________________________________ with the following results:-

1. General conditions ____________________________________________________

Height _________________________ Weight ________________________

External signs of diseases or injuries (including scalp, ear discharge, etc.)

2. Vision Right eye ______________________ Left eye _______________________

Colour Sense _________________________________________________

3. Hearing ________________________ 4. Teeth and Fauces _____________________

5. Pulse__________________________ 6. Respiration __________________________

7. Lungs _________________________ 8. Heart ______________________________

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209[CAP. 4Belize Constitution (Government Open Vote Workers) Regulations

9. Blood Pressure ________________________________________________________

10. Liver __________________________ 11. Spleen ___________________________

12. Groins _________________________ 13. Legs & Feet _______________________

14. Nervous system __________________ 15. Skin ____________________________

16. Mental Condition _____________________________________________________

17. Evidence of Alcoholism _________________________________________________

18. Urine - S.G.____________ Sugar _______________ Albumen ___________

19. Is there any evidence of family sickness, such as Aphthisis, insanity, cancer, etc.? __________________________________________________________________________

If so, give details ____________________________________________________

20. Vaccinated on _______________________________________________________

21. Report of X-Ray of the Chest. (to be submitted separately, if necessary).

Remarks:- ________________________________________________________________________

CERTIFICATE

I certify that I have examined _______________________________and find him/her physically and mentally fit/unfit for appointment to the Government Service as ______________________

Signature__________________

Date_____________________

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GOVERNMENT WORKERS’ REGULATIONS

APPENDIX IV

The Public Holidays prescribed by law are:

1. New Year’s Day ------------------------------- 1 st January

2. Baron Bliss Day ------------------------------- 9th March

3. Good Friday )

4. Holy Saturday ) as they fall each year

5. Easter Monday )

6. Labour Day ------------------------------------ 1 st May

7. Commonwealth Day --------------------------- 24th May

8. National Day ----------------------------------- 10th September

9. Independence Day ----------------------------- 21st September

10. Columbus Day -------------------------------- 12th October

11. Garifuna Settlement Day ----------------------- 19th November

12. Christmas Day -------------------------------- 25th December

13. Boxing Day -------------------------------- 26th December

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211[CAP. 4Belize Constitution (Government Open Vote Workers) Regulations

NOTES:

1 . If any of the public holidays falls on a Sunday, the following Monday shall be observed as a public and bank holiday.

2. If any of the public holidays falls on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, the provisions contained in the Holidays Act shall apply. CAP. 289.

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Reg. 13 APPENDIX V

GOVERNMENT WORKERS REGULATIONS

ALLOWANCES

(1) Subsistence:

Workers who move away from their normal homes, shall, unless they are supplied with free rations, be paid during the period of their absence from home a subsistence allowance or where applicable a meal allowance as follows:-

(a) Where the period of absence exceeds five (5) hours but does not exceed seven (7) hours, a meal allowance of $7.00 shall be paid. Provided that where a worker’s absence does not exceed five hours but covers the lunch period and is not less than four (4) hours, a meal allowance of $7.00 shall be payable.

(b) Where the period of absence exceeds seven (7) hours but does not exceed nine (9) hours, a second meal allowance of $7.00 shall be paid.

(c) Where the period of absence exceeds nine (9) hours, a full day’s subsistence allowance of $19.00 shall be paid.

Where a worker is away from his station on duty for more that 24 hours, the payment of subsistence allowance or, as the case may be, meal allowance for the period of absence in excess of 24 hours shall be calculated on a proportionate basis as set out above.

If a worker is away for more than 24 hours, any proportion of a day after the first 24 hours shall be treated similarly up to a period of ninety (90) days.

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213[CAP. 4Belize Constitution (Government Open Vote Workers) Regulations

If a worker is again transferred to another place of employment other than his normal home, he shall again receive subsistence at the rate stated herein for a further period not exceeding ninety (90) days. After a worker has been living continuously at a station away from his normal home for one year or more without an absence of thirty (30) days or more at any one time except due to sick leave and during which time be has established permanent residence, then that station shall be deemed to be his normal home.

(2) LODGING

As long as accommodation is not provided, workers moved away from their normal homes shall be paid a lodging allowance of $20.00 a day in Belize City or District towns and $15. 00 a day in all other places, provided that payment of a lodging allowance shall cease on the expiry of a worker’s eligibility to be paid subsistence allowance under paragraph (1) of this Appendix.

For the purpose of this Regulation, an Agricultural Station or a Forestry Station shall be deemed to be the home of a worker employed there or therefrom.

Nothing in this Regulation shall apply to workers employed by the Forest Department or the Survey Department to whom the equivalent of subsistence and lodging allowances is given in some other form.

If a worker is moved from his normal home under circumstances which make him eligible to receive subsistence and/or lodging allowances under the provisions of this Regulation, a Head of Department may, if he considers it essential, make advances to the worker not exceeding in total outstanding at any time the amount of the subsistence and lodging which he estimates will become payable in respect of the current pay period. Any amounts so advanced shall be recovered from subsistence and lodging allowances actually payable, but any excess which cannot be recovered in this way shall be treated as if it had been an advance of wages granted under Regulation 6 (5) and recovered from wages due to the worker accordingly.

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REG. 31 (2)

APPENDIX VI

GOVERNMENT WORKERS’ REGULATIONS

ASSESSMENT FORM

NAME .....................................................................................................................................

STATUS ....................................................................................................................................

SALARY SCALE/WAGE RATE ..............................................................................................

PRESENT RATE OF SALARY/WAGE ...................................................................................

INCREMENTAL DATE ...........................................................................................................

AMOUNT OF INCREMENT DUE ......................................................................................... DATE DUE ................................................................................................................................

PERFORMANCE

1. Performance in specific areas and assignments a b c d e

2. Punctuality a b c d e

3. Attitude to job a b c d e

4. Attitude to other staff a b c d e

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215[CAP. 4Belize Constitution (Government Open Vote Workers) Regulations

RATINGS

a. Outstanding c. Good

b. Very Good d. Adequate

e. Not quite adequate

I certify that the abovenamed worker has discharged his/her duties with efficiency, diligence and fidelity, and to the best of my knowledge and belief is not indebted to the Government, and I recommend the increment as due.

______________________________

I certify that the incremental increase shown herein is authorized and that the worker concerned has discharged his/her duties with efficiency, diligence and fidelity and to the best of my belief is not indebted to Government.

Date ....................................................... ______________________________ Head of Department

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GOVERNMENT WORKERS’ REGULATIONS, 1992

INDEX OF WORDS AND PHRASES

REG. NO.

Accidents .. 17 Accommodation .. 12,13 Advances .. 6 Allowances .. 11 Amendment of Appendices .. 33 Annual increments .. 31 Classification .. 3 Commencement of Regulations .. 34 Compensation .. 16 Continuous service .. 3 Definitions .. 2 Dirty work .. 11 Discharge .. 16 Dismissal .. 25 Engagement .. 4 Employment of aliens .. 22 Employment of children, women and young persons .. 21 Essential work .. 9 Heights work .. 11 Holidays .. 9

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GOVERNMENT WORKERS’ REGULATIONS

INDEX OF WORDS AND PHRASES

REG. NO.

Hours of work .. 7 Illness .. 16 Incomplete hours .. 6 Infectious diseases .. 15 Injuries .. 17 Lateness .. 6 Lay offs .. 28 Leave .. 18 Maternity benefits .. 30 Medical examination .. 5 Medical supplies .. 14 Notice .. 24,25 Overtime .. 8 Pay days .. 6 Piece work .. 6,7 Preferential treatment .. 17 Rain .. 10 Rates, subsistence allowances, other allowances .. 11,13 Reengagement .. 28 Repeal of former Regulations .. 34

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GOVERNMENT WORKERS’ REGULATIONS

INDEX OF WORDS AND PHRASES

REG. NO.

Representation of workers .. 26 Resignation .. 28 Retirement benefits .. 29 Sale of goods .. 23 Suspension from work .. 25 Task work .. 6,7 Termination of services .. 24 Tools .. 6 Trade Union/Credit Union contributions .. 27 Transfers .. 20 Transport .. 19 Transportation .. 19 Union representatives .. 26 Wages .. 6 Wage deductions .. 6 Weekend leave .. 19 Wet work .. 11 Work stoppage .. 10

____________

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CHAPTER 4

PUBLIC SERVICE REGULATION

ARRANGEMENT OF REGULATIONS

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.

2. Interpretation.

3. Application.

4. Affirmation of Secrecy.

PART II

APPOINTMENTS AND PROMOTIONS

5. Authority for appointments.

6. Qualifications for appointment and promotion.

7. Procedure for filling vacancies.

8. Appointment on absence ending relinquishment of post.

9. Overseas appointments; travel arrangements.

10. Signing of bond or contract.

11. Criteria for appointment and promotion.

12. Clerical examination.

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13. Promotion to First Class Clerk.

14. Period of secondment.

15. Salary of officer returning from secondment.

16. Vacation leave earned prior to secondment.

17. Record of particulars of officers.

18. Resignation.

PART III CONDUCT OF PUBLIC OFFICERS

19. Conduct of officers generally.

20. Standard of behaviour.

21. Substance abuse.

22. Hours of duty.

23. Absence from work during duty hours.

24. Absence from duty without permission.

25. Performance appraisal report.

26. Attendance register.

27. Strict punctuality and attendance.

28. Forbidden conduct by public officers.

29. Use of government vehicles.

30. Conduct in financial matters.

31. Public officers and the media.

32. Disclosure of confidential documents.

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33. Access to personal records.

34. Representation from public officers to members of the National Assembly.

35. Engagement in political activities.

36. Legal proceedings against public officers.

37. Industrial action.

38. Strikes by public officers.

39. Officers to be properly attired.

40. Uniforms.

41. Officers to conduct themselves with decorum.

42. Senior public officer responsible for act of junior public officer.

43. Sexual harassment forbidden.

PART IV LEAVE OF ABSENCE

44. Public officers entitled to leave as of right.

45. Authority for the grant of leave.

46. Application for leave and leave roster.

47. Deferment of leave.

48. Mandatory leave.

49. Compulsory leave.

50. Extension of leave.

51. Leave not to entail extra staff.

52. Leave on urgent private affairs.

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53. Payment in lieu of leave prior to retirement.

54. Payment in lieu of leave prior to resignation.

55. Payment in lieu of leave prior to dismissal or termination.

56. Vacation leave entitlement.

57. Methods of calculating leave days.

58. Periods during which leave is not earned.

59. Minimum service for vacation leave.

60. Maximum accumulable leave.

61. Payment of leave eligibility on death of officer.

62. Sick leave.

63. Sick leave in excess of entitlement to be treated as vacation leave.

64. Extended sick leave.

65. Sick leave for use in case of illness of spouse or children.

66. Officers frequently absent on sick leave may appear before a Medical Board.

67. Submission to medical examination.

68. Sick leave during vacation leave.

69. Maternity leave.

70. Maternity leave entitlement.

71. Maternity leave without pay.

72. Paternity leave.

73. Post natal leave on death of mother of child.

74. Special leave.

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75. Leave without pay.

76. Duty leave.

77. Compassionate leave.

PART V TRAINING AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT

78. Training policy for the Public Service.

79. Authority for the grant of study leave.

80. Minimum period of service for study leave.

81. Non-approval of study leave.

82. Study leave on full pay.

83. Training agreement.

84. Fulfilment of bond prior to further study leave.

85. Extension of study leave.

86. Study leave without pay.

87. Part-time study leave up to two days per week.

88. Study leave for more than two days per week.

89. In-service training programmes.

90. Annual report from institution of learning.

91. Obligations while on training.

92. Officers to submit copies of final reports, etc.

93. Suspension or termination of study leave.

94. Training awards.

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95. Penalty for termination.

96. Assistance for correspondence courses.

97. Training at local institutions.

98. Non-refundable expenses for self-initiated training.

99. Guidelines for study leave.

100. Paid travel costs.

101. Grant of normal increment on return to duty.

102. Grant of increments on promotion immediately on return from study leave.

103. Maintenance allowance.

104. Resettlement grant.

PART VI SALARIES ALLOWANCES AND FINANCIAL BENEFITS

105. Salaries for public officers.

106. Officers to receive salary at minimum of scale.

107. Incremental date.

108. Performance appraisal determining factor for increments.

109. Salary payable on promotion.

110. Increments for qualifications.

111. Merit awards.

112. Retention of services of an officer in former Department.

113. Salary conversion on revision of an officer’s post.

114. Acting allowance.

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115. Relocation allowance.

116. Housing allowance.

117. Subsistence and meal allowances.

118. Bush allowance.

119. Commuted subsistence allowance.

120. Reimbursement of lodging expenses.

121. Allowance in respect of travelling on duty abroad.

122. Reimbursement of travelling expenses.

123. Warm clothing allowance.

124. Travel allowance.

125. Mileage allowance.

126. Motor vehicle maintenance allowance.

127. Transfer grant.

128. Officers not eligible for transfer grant.

PART VII ADVANCES

129. Advances.

130. Nominal service charge on advances.

131. Requirements on approval of motor vehicle advance.

132. Other advances.

133. Grounds for refusal of advance application.

134. Repayment of advances.

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135. Vehicles not to be sold or disposed of without permission.

136. Advance not to be granted within three years of previous advance.

137. Repayment of debt when officers leave the Service.

PART VIII MISCELLANEOUS

Residential Quarters

138. Occupation of official quarters is subject to availability.

139. Occupation of official quarters.

140. Transfer or death of officer occupying official quarters.

141. Quarters to be kept clean.

142. No alterations by occupiers of quarters.

143. In the event of damage, officers to make good damage.

144. Yearly reports on buildings.

145. Certificate of service.

Disaster Management

146. Disaster preparedness.

147. Disaster Coordinator.

Stationery

148. Purchase of stationery.

149. Care of stationery.

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Use of Telephone

150. Answering of telephone calls.

15 1. Avoidance of correspondence.

152. Use of telephone.

153. Prior permission for overseas communications.

Correspondence between Departments

154. Identification of correspondence.

155. Single subject communication.

156. Correspondence between Departments.

Government Gazette and other Document

157. Officers to acquaint themselves with Gazettes, Acts, etc.

158. Vetting of legal matters by the Attorney General’s Ministry.

Other matters

159. Funeral grant payable on death of officer.

160. Official seals or stamps.

161. Franking stamp.

162. Circulars.

163. Copyright and royalties.

164. Safety equipment and clothing.

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165. Inclement weather gear.

166. Surcharge in case of damage or loss.

167. Repeals and commencement.

________________________

FIRST SCHEDULE _______________________

SECOND SCHEDULE _______________________

THIRD SCHEDULE _______________________

FOURTH SCHEDULE ______________

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CHAPTER 4

PUBLIC SERVICE REGULATIONS

PART I

PRELIMINARY

[17th November, 2001]

1. These Regulations may be cited as the

PUBLIC SERVICE REGULATIONS.

2. (1) In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires:

“Commission” means the:-

(a) Judicial and Legal Services Commission established under section 110E of the Constitution in respect of judicial and legal officers specified in section 110F of the Constitution;

(b) Security Services Commission established under section 110C of the Constitution, in respect of members of the Belize Defence Force and police officers specified in section l10D of the Constitution;

(c) Public Services Commission, in respect of public officers not referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this definition;

“Constitution” means the Belize Constitution;

Interpretation.

Short title.

160 of 2001. 114 of 2002.

CAP. 4.

CAP. 4.

CAP. 4.

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“Gazette” means the Belize Government Gazette and includes any supplement thereto;

“Head of Department”

(a) means a public officer in charge of the day to day operation of a Department within a Ministry;

(b) includes the Accounting Officer of the Ministry;

“Government” means the Government of Belize;

“Chief Executive Officer” means the Chief Executive Officer to the Ministry concerned with the matter in issue and includes; in the case of the Ministry of Finance, the Financial Secretary; and in the case of the Attorney General’s Ministry, the Solicitor General;

“public office” means any office of emolument in the Public Service;

“public officer” means a person holding or acting in any public office and the word “officer” shall be construed accordingly;

“public service” means, subject to the provisions of these Regulations, service in a civil capacity in respect of the Government.

(2) For the purposes of these Regulations a:-

(a) reference to an office in the Public Service shall be construed as including officers on the Governor- General’s personal staff;

(b) reference to an office in the Public Service shall not be construed as including references to the offices of the Prime Minister or other Ministers, Ministers of

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State, Speaker or Deputy Speaker or member of the House of Representatives, President or Vice President or Senator, member of the Belize Advisory Council, or member of any Commission established under the Constitution, or the Clerk, Deputy Clerk or staff of the National Assembly, or the Ombudsman or the Contractor-General; or

(c) person shall not be regarded as holding a public office by reason only of the fact that he is in receipt of a pension or other like allowance in respect of service under the Government.

(3) In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires, a reference to: -

(a) a Department, includes a reference to a Ministry;

(b) the masculine gender, includes a reference to the feminine gender, and a reference to the singular includes a reference to the plural;

(c) any power exercisable by a Commission shall refer to officers appointed under sections 106, 110D and 110F of the Constitution.

3. (1) Subject to subregulations (2), (3) and (4) below, the provisions of these Regulations shall apply to all public officers.

(2) These Regulations shall not apply to:-

(a) an office of a Justice of Appeal;

(b) an officer to whom section 110B of the Constitution applies;

CAP. 4.

CAP. 4.

Application.

CAP. 4.

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(c) an open vote worker to whom the Government (Open Vote) Workers Regulations apply;

(d) an ambassador or High Commissioner;

(e) offices to which sections 107, 108 and 109 of the Constitution apply;

(f) an office of a Justice of the Supreme Court; and

(g) any other category or class of officers where special Regulations are made in respect of that category or class of officers.

(3) Where an officer appointed under section 106, 110D or 110F of the Constitution is acting in the office of an officer appointed under section 107, 108 or 109 of the Constitution, the provisions of these Regulations shall apply to that officer.

(4) Where a person is temporarily appointed to hold a post on the permanent establishment, the provisions of these Regulations shall apply to that officer, notwithstanding that he shall be holding his office in a temporary capacity.

4. Every public officer shall, if and when required by his Head of Department, but as far as possible, immediately after joining thePublic Service, subscribe to the affirmation of office and secrecy set out in the Schedule to these Regulations.

PART II APPOINTMENTS AND PROMOTIONS

5. Permanent appointments in the Public Service shall be made by the:-

(a) Security Services Commission in respect of public

CAP. 4.

Regulations apply to officers acting in 107 positions. CAP. 4.

Regulations apply to temporary appointees.

Affirmation of Secrecy.

Authority for appointments. CAP. 4.

Schedule.

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officers referred to in section 110D of the Constitution;

(b) Judicial and Legal Services Commission in respect of public officers referred to in section 110F of the Constitution;

(c) Public Services Commission in respect of public officers referred to in section 106 of the Constitution.

6. The educational or professional qualifications and other requirements for appointment to permanent posts in the Public Service shall be determined by the Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of the Public Service, after consultation with the appropriate Ministry.

7. When a vacancy occurs in a post, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry where the vacancy occurs shall report it to the Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of the Public Service and state his recommendations for filling the post.

8. Whenever an officer is on leave of absence pending relinquishment of his office:-

(a) another person maybe appointed to that office; and

(b) that person shall, for the purpose of any function of that office, be deemed to be the sole holder of that office.

9. (1) Where appropriate, the provisions of this Regulation shall apply to a person who is selected from overseas for appointment to a public office in Belize. The term “child” in these Regulations means any children of the officer, including legally adopted children and stepchildren of the person appointed who are below the age of eighteen years, unmarried and wholly dependent on the person. The term “passage” means a passage by a route approved by the Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of the Public Service, as a normal route which

CAP. 4.

CAP. 4.

Qualifications for appointment and promotion.

Procedure for filling vacancies.

Appointment on absence pending relinquishment of post.

Overseas appointments; travel arrangements.

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may include journeys necessarily undertaken in any process of trans-shipment.

(2) The person appointed:-

(a) shall, in the absence of any arrangements to the contrary, receive passage at the expense of the Government by the most direct and economic route from the country of residence to Belize for the officer, spouse and dependent children, not exceeding four persons in all, if they accompany or follow the person appointed within twelve months of appointment;

(b) may be required to execute an agreement in the form specified by the Ministry of the Public Service to refund the cost of the passage, including the cost of transporting his baggage and personal effects as provided in paragraph (c) below in certain contingencies. For the purpose of this Regulation, the term “country of residence” means the country from which the person was recruited;

(c) shall normally be granted the following allowances for transport of baggage and personal effects: -

(i) ocean freight charges up to a maximum cost of one-half ton (500 kg.) weight, exclusive of the baggage allowance provided on the passenger tickets issued to the officer and family;

(ii) the cost of transporting baggage and personal effects from the person’s home to the place of embarkation and from the port of disembarkation to final destination; and

Transportation allowances.

Refund of cost of travel in certain contingencies.

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(iii) reasonable expenditure in respect of bill of lading charges, export shipping charges and agency fees. Claims for packing, crating, storage at the point of embarkation and disembarkation and claims for insurance shall not be met by Government.

10. Persons appointed from overseas to established posts who have received the entitlement outlined in Regulation 9 above, shall sign a bond or contract to work in the Public Service for a minimum period of two years.

11. (1) No officer shall be appointed or promoted to a post for which he is not qualified.

(2) The promotion of officers to fill vacancies shall be approved by the relevant Commission, and the Commission shall base its decision on the following factors in descending order of importance:-

(a) Performance/Merit;

(b) Integrity/Professionalism;

(c) Experience/Employment History.

12. (1) Officers in the clerical grade shall be required to sit the clerical examinations.

(2) Officers eligible to sit the clerical promotional examination must be confirmed in their appointment and must have been successful in the clerical examination.

(3) The clerical promotional examination shall be designed primarily to test the officer’s power of expression, his general knowledge of Belize, its system of Government and its problems, and the officer’s particular knowledge

Claims not to be met by Government.

Signing of bond or contract.

Criteria for appointment and promotion.

Clerical examination.

Clerical promotional examination.

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of Government Departments. Candidates shall be allowed full access to such documents as will help them to acquire the necessary information.

(4) On passing the clerical promotional examination, an officer with a good performance appraisal report from his Head of Department shall be eligible for the award of one increment.

13. To become eligible for promotion to the post of First Class Clerk, an officer shall:-

(a) have been successful in the clerical and clerical promotional examinations;

(b) have served at least four years as a Second Class Clerk; and

(c) meet the criteria set out in paragraphs (a) and (b) of subregulation (2) of Regulation 11.

14. (1) An officer may be seconded up to a maximum period of two years to an office or post outside the Public Service. Such secondment, save in exceptional cases, shall not be renewable. The officer shall be governed by the rules and regulations of the receiving organization.

(2) An officer shall continue to pay the usual contribution during the period of his secondment.

(3) Subject to subregulation (4) below, the service of an officer while on secondment shall count for superannuation purposes.

(4) All applications for secondment shall be made by the officer concerned to the Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of the Public Service. Approval for secondment shall be contingent on the exigencies of the Service.

Award of incre- ment for passing clerical promo- tional examination.

Promotion to First Class Clerk.

Secondment.

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15. An officer who has successfully completed a period of secondment shall normally revert to the point in the salary range of his substantive office, which he would have reached if he had not been seconded.

16. An officer shall utilize or be paid in lieu of all vacation leave earned prior to his departure on secondment.

17. (1) Head of Departments are required to keep written or computer record of the following particulars of officers in their Departments on the assumption of duty of such officers:-

(a) addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail and any changes thereto;

(b) next-of-kin and their addresses.

(2) Heads of Departments are responsible for ensuring that records of the service of every officer in their Department are maintained in personal files which may readily be transferred to another Department on the transfer of the officer.

18. (1) An officer wishing to resign:-

(a) must give at least one month’s notice in writing;

(b) must honour, or make acceptable arrangements to honour, all outstanding debts owing to Government; and

(c) is entitled to all benefits due to him.

(2) Failure to give adequate notice of intention to resign may result in dismissal.

Salary of officer returning from secondment.

Vacation leave earned prior to secondment.

Record of particulars of officers.

Resignation.

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(3) Heads of Departments are responsible for ensuring that steps are taken to recover all outstanding debts owing to Government.

PART III CONDUCT OF PUBLIC OFFICERS

19. In accordance with section 121 of the Constitution, all public officers shall conduct themselves in such a way as not to:-

(a) place themselves in positions in which they have or could have a conflict of interest;

(b) compromise the fair exercise of their official functions and duties;

(c) use their office for private gain;

(d) demean their office or position;

(e) allow their integrity to be called into question; nor

(f) endanger or diminish respect for, or confidence in, the integrity of the Government.

20. All public officers shall therefore:

(a) demonstrate the highest level of professional conduct and personal integrity in the performance of their duties and in serving the public;

(b) treat everyone, including other public officers, clients and members of the general public with courtesy, respect, fairness and objectivity;

Conduct of officers generally. CAP. 4.

Standard of behaviour.

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(c) display a positive attitude and be pro-active in the exercise of their duties; seek to understand and to satisfy the real needs of members of the public; and volunteer information and services as appropriate;

(d) in the exercise of their official duties, not confer any special benefit and/or give preferential treatment to anyone on the basis of any special relationship; and

(e) render service in a timely, efficient and effective manner.

21. (1) The use of alcohol, controlled drugs, intoxicants, narcotics or any other illegal substance is prohibited at the workplace.

(2) Arriving at work under the influence of any of the substances set out in subregulation (1), or using any such substance whilst on duty, is prohibited.

22. (1) The hours of attendance at work for the various categories of public officers shall be as determined by the Minister for the Public Service, and the following applies in respect of hours of duty:-

(a) all officers shall be required to work a minimum of thirty-nine and one-half hours per week;

(b) no permanent alteration of the determined hours of work of any category of public officers may be effected unless the Minister responsible for the Public Service so approves, but Heads of Departments may require any or all of the staff of their Department to work temporarily for longer hours than those determined whenever the public interest so requires;

(c) additional hours worked shall be compensated for

Substance abuse.

Hours of duty.

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by overtime for which approval shall be given by the Ministry of Finance, or by appropriate time off in lieu of overtime. This Regulation does not apply to officers in the professional Grade of the Service;

(d) subject to subregulation (2) below, officers shall normally not be required to work on Saturdays, Sundays, Public and Bank Holidays.

(2) Officers working in Departments providing essential services and field staff to certain Departments may be required to work up to forty-five hours per week and up to nine hours in any one day. Where the nature of the officer’s work so demands, he may be required to work on weekends and on Public and Bank Holidays.

23. (1) No officer may absent himself from duty during working hours without the permission of the Head of the Department in which he works or such other officer as may be deputed for this purpose by the Head of Department.

(2) An officer who absents himself from duty without permission and without an adequate reason to the satisfaction of the Head of Department may be subject to a deduction from his salary. Aggravated cases could lead to disciplinary action, including dismissal.

(3) The deduction shall be recovered from the officer’s salary at the end of the month following that for which the penalty is imposed. It shall be calculated on the basis of the officer’s regular hourly rate of pay and shall be in proportion to the salary for the period during which he was absent without permission.

24. (1) An officer shall make every effort to contact his Head of Department in the case of illness or other unavoidable circumstances on the first day of his absence.

Absence from work during duty hours.

Absence from duty without permission.

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(2) An officer who absents himself from duty without permission and without an adequate reason to the satisfaction of the Head of Department, may be subject to a deduction from his salary. Aggravated cases could lead to disciplinary action, including dismissal.

(3) The deduction shall be recovered from the officer’s salary at the end of the month following that for which the penalty is imposed. It shall be calculated on the basis of the officer’s regular hourly rate of pay and shall be equivalent to the salary for the period during which he was absent without permission.

25. Every officer shall be appraised on a semi-annual basis and a Performance Appraisal Report shall be submitted to the Office of the Services Commission on submission of requests for promotion, acting appointments, or disciplinary action.

26. (1) Every officer, except those who may be exempted by the Head of Department, shall sign his name in the Attendance Register kept in the Department for this purpose and insert the time of his arrival and departure from duty. The Head of Department shall deputize an officer to examine and initial this Register every day and bring to his notice any case of habitual or frequent unpunctuality or absenteeism on the part of any officer. The Head of Department or such senior officer as he may designate shall examine this Register at least once every month.

(2) Where exemption from signing the attendance register is granted to an officer, such exemption shall apply to all officers within the same category and not only to the individual officer.

27. (1) Strict punctuality shall be observed at the workplace. Any officer who is late without an adequate reason to the satisfaction of the Head of Department may be subject to a deduction from his salary.

Performance appraisal report.

Attendance register.

Strict punctuality by public officers.

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(2) The deduction shall be recovered from the officer’s salary at the end of the month following that for which the penalty is imposed. It shall be calculated on the basis of the officer’s regular hourly rate of pay and shall be equivalent to the salary for the period during which he was late.

(3) In addition to the deduction referred to in Regulations 23, 24, and 27 above, an officer may be subject to other additional penalties set out in Regulations made for that purpose from time to time, if the officer’s Head of Department recommends the imposition by the Commission of such penalties, due to an officer’s persistent late attendance or absenteeism from work.

28. (1) An officer is forbidden to:

(a) engage in any private work for payment or gain which conflicts with his official functions;

(b) use information and/or any material gained from his official position for private gain;

(c) exploit the status and privilege of his position for private gain;

(d) solicit and/or accept payment and/or gift for the performance, or neglect of his official duties;

(e) conduct private business during working hours and/ or on Government property.

29. Public Officers are prohibited from using Government vehicles for private purposes.

30. The Financial and Stores Orders, together with the Finance and Audit Act, shall govern the conduct of public officers in connection with the receipt, custody and disbursement of public funds and the custody of Government

Forbidden conduct by public officers.

Use of government vehicles.

Conduct in financial matters. CAP. 5.

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stores and other assets.

31. (1) Public officers are forbidden to be editors of newspapers or to take part in the management of newspapers, directly or indirectly. They may not contribute to any media in Belize or elsewhere on questions, which may be regarded as party-politics, though they may contribute articles upon subjects of general interest.

(2) An officer, whether on duty or on leave, shall not allow himself to be interviewed on matters affecting the National Security of Belize.

(3) Statements to the media involving public policy shall not be made by Public officers without prior clearance from the Chief Executive Officer.

32. Subject to the Freedom of Information Act, a public officer shall not, without the approval of the Chief Executive Officer concerned, make public or communicate to the media or cause to be made public or so communicate to the media or to unauthorized individuals any documents, papers or information which may come into his possession in his official capacity, or make private copies of any such documents or papers..

33. Public officers shall have access to records personally relating to themselves with the prior permission of their Head of Department. The Head of Department may require the public officer to inspect the records in his presence or in the presence of some other senior officer.

34. (1) Public officers who may wish to make a representation regarding matters affecting their conditions of service, should do so personally or through their accredited union representatives to their Head of Department and should not directly approach a Member of the National Assembly. Upon receipt of the representation, the Head of Department shall:

(a) respond within seven days, after date of receipt, where the matter can be dealt with internally;

Public officers and the media.

Disclosure of confidential documents.

Access to personal records.

Representation from public officers to members of the National Assembly.

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(b) forward such representation to the appropriate authority within seven days, if the matter cannot be dealt with within the Department.

(2) The Head of Department should state in a separate memorandum his own views on the representation made and make definite recommendation as to the merit of the representations.

(3) When the officer has not received a reply within fourteen (14) working days he shall forward a copy of his representation directly to the Chief Executive Officer in his Ministry, the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of the Public Service or the relevant Commission, as the case may be.

35. A Public Officer is expressly forbidden to:

(a) run for office as a candidate in any National or Municipal election;

(b) participate actively on behalf of any party or candidate in any National or Municipal election; or

(c) accept appointment or election, whether paid or unpaid, as an officer of a political party.

36. (1) Where legal proceedings are instituted against a public officer in respect of any act or omission committed in the performance of his duties, such public officer shall be entitled to the cost of legal assistance if the Director of Public Prosecutions or the Solicitor General advises the Attorney General that it is a proper case for legal assistance and the Attorney General is of the opinion that it is in the public interest for such assistance to be given.

Engagement in political activities.

Legal proceedings against public officers.

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(2) Where proceedings brought against an officer are defended by Government, and the Attorney General considers that it would be advisable to settle such proceedings, the following procedure shall apply:

(a) the Attorney General shall recommend to the Financial Secretary the amount for which he considers that efforts should be made to settle such proceedings and also the amount, if any, which Government should contribute towards such settlement;

(b) if the officer is requested to contribute towards the settlement and agrees to make the contribution decided upon, he shall so state in writing and, thereupon, the Attorney General may take steps to settle such proceedings; and

(c) if the officer does not agree to contribute the amount decided upon, Government may refuse to continue to defend him.

(3) Where, as a result of the act of a Public Officer, legal proceedings are successfully brought against the Government and the Government deems it desirable to settle such proceedings out of court, disciplinary action and/or surcharge may, if the circumstances so warrant, be instituted against such officer.

37. Disputes in the Public Service, which may involve or give rise to industrial action, shall be determined in accordance with any law or enactment, which makes provision for the determination of such disputes.

38. (1) Without prejudice to the laws relating to essential services, if an industrial dispute results in a strike, salaries and wages of officers who go on strike shall not be paid for any day or portion of a day during which they are on strike.

Industrial action.

Strikes by public officers.

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(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subregulation (1) above:-

(a) if an officer merely reports for work on any day of a strike but does not work for the day, he shall not receive pay in respect of that day;

(b) if an officer works for only a part of a day of a strike, he shall not be paid for that period of the day during which his services were withheld.

(3) Any public officer who engages in a strike not arising out of, or not resulting from an industrial dispute with the employer, renders himself liable to disciplinary action, including dismissal.

(4) At the commencement of a strike, Heads of Departments shall inform all officers on leave of the existence of the strike and request them to report for duty immediately. Officers who fail to report to work shall, in the absence of satisfactory explanation, be deemed to be in support of the strike and shall not be eligible for pay from the date of the commencement of the strike until such time as they report for duty and commence work, or until the strike is concluded, which ever occurs first. This provision applies to officers on any type of leave except:-

(a) sick leave;

(b) maternity leave;

(c) leave on urgent private affairs;

(d) special leave;

(e) study leave;

(f) leave outside Belize; and

Officers on leave to report to duty during a strike.

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(g) duty leave.

(5) It is expected that there will be some workers who report for duty and are willing to work but are precluded from doing so because of circumstances beyond their control. These workers will be paid their normal salary.

39. Public officers shall be appropriately attired for work in a manner, which demonstrates professionalism, decency and a respect for colleagues, clients and members of the general public. Chief Executive Officers are responsible for the enforcement of the Dress Code.

40. Where, in respect of any function discharged by an officer, it is considered that uniforms are required for organizational reasons and identification purposes, the conditions applicable to the provision of such uniforms shall be determined from time to time by the respective Head of Department.

41. (1) Public officers shall conduct themselves with decorum while at work so as not to disturb others, and so as to maintain an atmosphere of efficiency and purposefulness at the workplace. In particular, officers shall not engage in loud conversations, sing or play radios above a barely audible level at the workplace. They shall not eat or drink in areas to which the public has access.

(2) In no circumstances shall items which offend good taste or morals be displayed in a Government Office.

42. A senior public officer, authorized to issue instructions to a junior officer and to compel his obedience, shall prima facie be responsible for any act or omission on the part of the junior officer during the course of the junior officer’s employment. The senior public officer shall be liable for appropriate punishment for any dereliction of duty on the part of the junior officer working under his control or supervision, unless it can be shown that such act or omission arose through no neglect or fault on the part of the senior officer and that all proper and adequate steps were taken to prevent the occurrence.

Officers to be properly attired.

Uniforms.

Officers to conduct themselves with decorum.

Senior public officer responsible for act of junior public officer.

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43. (1) Sexual harassment at the work place is forbidden. Public officers who engage in sexual harassment shall be liable to disciplinary action, including dismissal.

(2) For the purpose of these Regulations, the term “Sexual harassment” has the meaning assigned to it in the Protection Against Sexual Harassment Act.

PART IV LEAVE OF ABSENCE

44. Subject to the exigencies of the Service and to these Regulations, officers shall be entitled to leave, as set out in this Part, as of right.

45. (1) Authority for grant of vacation leave to individual public officers is vested in the Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of the Public Service. General authority is delegated to Chief Executive Officers.

This Regulation does not apply to leave without pay.

(2) When considering application for vacation leave made by an officer, the Chief Executive Officer shall be guided by the principle that an officer should avail himself of vacation leave annually and that accumulation of leave by an officer is to be discouraged.

46. (1) Officers wishing to apply for vacation leave shall do so at least one month before the date on which they intend to proceed on such leave.

(2) It shall be the responsibility of Heads of Department to ensure that a leave roster is prepared at the beginning of each calendar year.

(3) Applications should, as far as possible, be in conformity with the approved leave roster.

Sexual harassment forbidden.

CAP. 107.

Public officers entitled to leave as of right.

Authority for the grant of leave.

Accumulation of leave to be discouraged.

Application for leave and leave roster.

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(4) Where an officer applies for vacation leave, but does not give at least one month’s notice, such application shall be considered only where it is in conformity with the roster, or where the Head of Department is satisfied that the leave is required on the grounds of urgent private affairs.

47. (1) The granting of vacation leave to an officer may be deferred if it is in the interest of the Service to do so.

(2) Any leave granted under these Regulations may be deferred if it is desirable that an officer returns to duty before the expiration of leave granted. Further accumulation of leave shall, however, be subject to the limits prescribed in these Regulations.

48. (1) It is mandatory that officers take at least fifteen (15) days vacation leave annually in the case of senior officers and ten (10) days vacation leave in the case of junior officers.

(2) Mandatory leave for new entrants to the Service shall be granted after one calendar year of service.

49. When an officer is about to reach his maximum leave entitlement, the Head of Department shall request the officer to take leave.

50. An officer on leave seeking an extension of such leave shall, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, apply in sufficient time to allow a reply to be received before the expiration of the original period of leave granted.

51. Heads of Department are expected to make every effort to arrange for performance of an officer’s duties while that officer is on leave for fourteen (14) consecutive days without extra cost to Government.

52. (1) Officers applying for leave on the grounds of urgent private affairs must satisfy the person authorized to grant such leave that the leave is unavoidable. This may be done confidentially if necessary.

Deferment of leave.

Mandatory leave.

Compulsory leave.

Extension of leave.

Leave not to entail extra staff.

Leave on urgent private affairs.

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(2) Such leave, if approved, shall be deducted from the officer’s leave entitlement.

53. An officer who is retiring from the Public Service may be paid salary in lieu of all vacation leave earned prior to the effective date of his retirement.

54. An officer who resigns from the Public Service may be paid salary in lieu of all vacation leave earned prior to the effective date of resignation.

55. An officer who is dismissed from the Public Service or whose services are terminated on disciplinary grounds may be paid salary in lieu of all vacation leave earned prior to the effective date of dismissal or termination.

56. Vacation leave shall be granted on full salary at the rate of:-

(a) 30 working days per year to any officer who holds a post on Pay Scale 9 or above; and

(b) 20 working days per year to any officer who holds a post below Pay Scale 9.

57. (1) In calculating leave under Regulation 56 above, any broken period of a month is taken into account, for example, where a senior officer has served for 2 years 3 months 17 days he shall be eligible to leave calculated as follows:-

2 years 3 months = 27 months at 30 days per year

1. 27 x 30 = 67.5 1 12

17 days at 30 days per year

2. 17 x 30 = 1.4 30 12 68.9

Payment in lieu of leave prior to retirement.

Payment in lieu of leave prior to resignation.

Payment in lieu of leave prior to dismissal or termination.

Vacation leave entitlement.

Methods of calculating leave days.

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TOTAL LEAVE DAYS DUE = 69

(2) Where a junior officer has served for 2 years 3 months 17 days he shall be eligible to leave calculated as follows:-

2 years 3 months = 27 months at 20 days per year

1. 27 x 20 = 45 1 12

17 days at 20 days per year

2. 17 x 20 = .94 30 12 45.94

TOTAL LEAVE DAYS DUE = 46

58. Officers shall not earn vacation leave while on:-

(a) study leave exceeding twelve weeks;

(b) sick leave exceeding sixteen calendar days;

(c) suspension from duty;

(d) secondment;

(e) leave without pay;

(f) vacation leave in excess of 30 working days;

(g) maternity leave.

Periods during which leave is not earned.

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59. Officers shall not be granted vacation leave until they have served for six consecutive months from the date of first appointment, except on the grounds of urgent private affairs.

60. Officers who earn thirty working days vacation leave per year may accumulate up to a maximum of seventy days; officers who earn twenty days vacation leave per year may accumulate leave up to a maximum of fifty days.

61. In the event of the death of an officer there shall be paid to his legal representative or beneficiary, a sum equivalent to the salary that the officer would have received had he been granted all vacation leave to his credit, at the date of death. Payment should be at the rates prevailing at the date of death.

62. (1) A Head of Department may grant sick leave to officers in his Department, up to sixteen days with full pay in any one calendar year.

(2) Sick leave for more than one day on any occasion shall not be granted without a medical certificate.

(3) No more than six days paid sick leave without a medical certificate shall be allowed in any one calendar year.

63. (1) An officer who has exhausted his sick leave entitlement in any one year and requires further sick leave for a period of ten (10) days or less shall be required to utilize vacation leave.

(2) If the officer has exhausted all vacation leave, the leave shall be treated as leave without pay.

64. (1) Should the protracted illness of the officer necessitate his continuous absence beyond his normal sick leave eligibility, application accompanied by the relevant medical evidence, shall be made to the Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of the Public Service who may grant extended sick leave up to a maximum of 180 days on full pay.

Minimum service for vacation leave.

Maximum accumulable leave.

Payment of leave eligibility on death of officer.

Sick leave entitlement.

Sick leave in excess of entitlement to be treated as vacation leave.

Extended sick leave.

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(2) If the illness of the officer exceeds 180 days, the question on his fitness for further service shall be taken up with the Director of Health Services. On substantial evidence from a Medical Board that full recovery and return to duty is probable, the officer may be granted extension of sick leave up to a further 180 days on half pay.

(3) Sick leave applied for under subregulation (1) above shall be granted only on receipt of a prognosis by the Director of Health Services, of the officer’s eventual recovery and return to duty.

(4) If the illness of the officer exceeds 360 days, the officer shall be retired from the Public Service on medical grounds.

65. Sick leave provided for in Regulation 62 may be used by officers in the case of illness of their spouse or children up to a maximum of five (5) calendar days per year.

66. Where an officer has been frequently absent on sick leave, a Head of Department may, at any time, request the Director of Health Services to advise on the nature of the officer’s illness or whether the officer should appear before a Medical Board to consider his fitness to continue in Service.

67. An officer who is required to undergo a medical examination shall submit himself to be examined by a Medical Board at such time and place as directed.

68. If an officer falls ill while on vacation leave, and he produces satisfactory medical evidence to his Head of Department, he shall be credited with vacation leave equivalent to the number of days not utilized as vacation leave due to illness.

69. (1) All female public officers are entitled to the grant of maternity leave.

(2) All applications for maternity leave shall be:

Sick leave on half pay.

Sick leave contingent on prognosis.

Retirement on medical grounds.

Sick leave for use in case of illness of spouse or children.

Officers frequently absent on sick leave may appear before a Medical Board.

Submission to medical examination.

Sick leave during vacation leave.

Maternity leave.

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(a) submitted at least ten weeks prior to the officer’s expected date of delivery; and

(b) accompanied by Social Security forms MB and SM2.

(3) An officer who fails to observe the requirement of this Regulation and who applies for maternity leave after the date of delivery shall be subject to disciplinary action.

(4) An officer may take vacation leave which is due to her at the expiration of her maternity leave.

(5) Maternity leave shall not be considered as sick leave and sick leave shall not be granted as a substitute for maternity leave.

(6) Sick leave shall be granted to run consecutive to maternity leave on the basis of a medical certificate.

70. A public officer is entitled to a total of twelve weeks maternity leave which shall be on full pay. Maternity leave shall be granted as follows: -

(a) six weeks before expected date of confinement on full pay;

(b) six weeks after the expected date of confinement on full pay;

(c) the six weeks before and the six weeks after the date of confinement shall be mandatory.

71. An officer who has completed less than one hundred and fifty (150) days service and requires maternity leave shall be granted leave without pay. Such leave shall not be considered as “service” for pension purposes.

Sick leave not a substitute for maternity leave.

Maternity leave entitlement.

Maternity leave without pay.

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72. Fathers may be granted paternity leave up to five (5) calendar days at the time of the birth of their child. The grant of this leave will be based on the presentation of the certificate of birth.

73. In the event of the death of the mother before the expiration of the post natal leave, the father of the child shall be entitled to take leave of a duration equal to the unexpired portion of the post natal maternity leave.

74. (1) Special leave on full salary up to one month in any one year, may be granted by the Head of Department for purposes as he may deem to be in the public interest such as:-

(a) to enable officers who belong to the Belize Defence Force to attend Annual Training;

(b) to enable officers who are selected by the proper authorities to represent Belize in international sporting and cultural events; and

(c) to enable officers selected by recognized Unions or Associations to attend training courses or conferences.

(2) The Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of the Public Service may grant special leave in other instances to enable officers to do such things which are considered to be in the Public and National interests.

(3) A Head of Department may grant time off to an employee appointed by the recognized Union to represent its interest.

75. Authority for the grant of leave without pay is vested in the Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of the Public Service, and the following principles shall apply:-

(a) such leave shall be granted up to a maximum of ninety

Paternity leave.

Post natal leave on death of mother of child.

Special leave.

Special leave in other circumstances.

Time off in interest of the Union.

Leave without pay.

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days subject to renewal in special circumstances; and

(b) such leave shall not be considered as “service” for pension purposes.

76. Chief Executive Officers may grant duty leave to officers who have to be away on official duty.

77. A Head of Department shall grant compassionate leave to an officer up to three days on the death of an immediate family member (i.e. mother, father, spouse, children, brother or sister). Such leave shall not be charged against an officer’s earned leave.

PART V TRAINING AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT

78. The general direction of training policy for the Public Service, including the types and levels of training, is hereby vested in the Minister responsible for the Public Service.

79. (1) The Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of the Public Service, may grant study leave to an officer where the training is considered to be of benefit to the Public Service.

(2) Only officers confirmed in their appointment shall be considered for study leave.

80. Officers who have served the Government for a period of less than two (2) years shall not normally be eligible for the grant of study leave.

81. Study leave shall not be approved to an officer to pursue training at a level equivalent to a qualification already possessed by the officer.

Duty leave.

Compassionate leave.

Training policy for the Public Service.

Authority for the grant of study leave.

Minimum period of service for study leave.

Non-approval of study leave.

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82. (1) An officer may be granted study leave on full pay where the course of training is:-

(a) approved by the Government;

(b) on a full time basis; and

(c) for a duration of not more than one year.

(2) Where the course is of a longer duration, maintenance allowance in accordance with Regulation 103 shall be paid together with the appropriate allowances.

83. (1) It is mandatory that all officers, who are granted study leave, sign a bond with the Ministry of the Public Service to serve on completion of their training.

(2) No bond shall be required in the case of:

(a) training for less than six calendar months duration;

(b) grant of study without pay.

(3) The duration of service required by the bond shall vary depending on the duration of the course of training in accordance with the following table:

Duration of course Period

(a) less than six calendar months ………………...... nil

(b) six calendar months to less than one year ……………………………………..... one calendar

year

Study leave on full pay.

Training agreement.

Duration of service required by bond.

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(c) one academic year to less than two academic years ....................…………………...two calendar

years

(d) two academic years to less than three academic years …………………………………three calendar

years

(e) three academic years to less than four academic years ……………………………….. four calendar

years

(f) four academic years and over...……………...... length of study computed in calendar years.

(4) The amount of an officer’s bond shall be the estimated cost of his training, including the salary and allowances payable during the period of training. The total amount of such expenditure shall be the extent of an officer’s indebtedness, and the bond shall be secured.

(5) If the training is terminated or suspended, or if the officer abandons the training for any reason whatsoever, the officer shall immediately resume duty and shall serve the Government for a period for which he enjoyed the benefit of the training.

(6) If the officer fails to complete the requisite amount of years in the service of the Government, he shall pay to the Government the sum of money which is proportionate to the period of service for which he is in default.

Amount of bond.

Officer to resume duty on termination or suspension of training.

Payment to Government for failure to complete requisite amount of years in service

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84. An officer, after successful completion of an approved course of study, shall normally be required to fulfil the requirements of his bond before study leave to pursue a further course of study can be approved.

85. Extension of study leave may be granted if it is considered that such a grant is in the interest of the Service. Any application for extension of study leave must be accompanied by:-

(a) a letter of support from the officer’s Ministry; and

(b) evidence from the institution of learning of the need and reason for the extension.

86. (a) The Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of the Public Service, may grant leave without pay, for the purpose of training, to an officer who, on his own initiative, gains entry to or is registered as a student at an institution of learning and whose course of training is not based primarily on the needs of the Public Service. Such approval is subject to the exigencies of the Service.

(b) such leave shall not be considered as “service” for pension purposes.

87. Where an officer wishes to undertake an approved course of study at an approved tertiary institution, that would require his absence from duty for two working days per week, the following shall apply:-

(a) the officer shall forward his application to the Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of the Public Service, accompanied by a letter of support from his Head of Department, and a letter of acceptance from the institution of learning;

(b) study leave may be granted only in cases where:-

Fulfillment of bond prior to further study leave.

Extension of study leave.

Study leave without pay.

Part-time study leave up to two days per week.

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(i) the course of study would be of benefit to the Public Service; and

(ii) evening or weekend classes are not available for the particular course.

88. Where an officer wishes to undertake a course of study, at an approved tertiary institution, that would require his absence from duty for three or more days per week, the officer shall be required to utilize full time study leave.

89. (1) The Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of the Public Service, shall notify each Ministry of all in-service training programmes organized and managed by the Department of Management Services to be conducted during the following year, and invite nominations of officers for such training.

(2) The Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of the Public Service, may select officers for training in the horizontal grades (i.e., accounting, secretarial, clerical and administrative grades).

90. An annual report from the institution of learning shall be submitted on behalf of an officer on study leave to ensure that the officer is making good use of the leave granted to him and is pursuing with success the course of training for which leave has been approved.

91. (1) Officers to whom study leave has been approved shall be required to: -

(a) devote their whole time to the course of training;

(b) sit for any examination and to write such papers or reports as may be required by the training authorities; and

(c) resume duty or take up employment in the Public

Study leave for more than two days per week.

In-service training programmes.

Annual report from institution of learning.

Obligations while on training.

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Service immediately after the completion of the course of training, or at the expiry of any vacation or other leave which may have been granted to them.

(2) Officers who complete their course of training prior to the expected completion date and who fail to resume duty immediately, providing vacation or other leave has not been approved, will be subject to disciplinary action.

92. (1) Every officer shall, within a reasonable time after successful completion of his course of study, submit a copy of his final report, dissertation, thesis, etc. to his Chief Executive Officer and another to the Chief Archivist. The reasonable cost for said copies shall be borne by the Government.

(2) Every officer who has been the recipient of formal training may be requested to disseminate the knowledge and skills acquired.

93. The Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of the Public Service, may suspend or terminate study leave if:-

(a) report of the officer’s work or conduct on the course is unsatisfactory;

(b) the officer, without reasonable excuse, fails to pass a prescribed examination within the time fixed by the authorities of the institution which he, may be attending;

(c) the officer engages in any activity which is detrimental to his progress in the course of study prescribed to him;

Failure to resume duty upon completion of studies subject tro disciplinary action.

Officers to submit copies of final reports, etc.

Officers to disseminate knowledge and skills acquired.

Suspension or termination of study leave.

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(d) the officer becomes unfit to complete his studies owing to illness;

(e) the officer fails to reply to correspondence or to keep the Head of Department informed of his whereabouts; and

(f) the officer is convicted on criminal charges, in or outside Belize.

94. Offers of training awards from international or other organizations shall be dealt with on a service basis and not on an ad hoc or individual basis.

95. An officer who prematurely terminates his course of training without prior approval from the Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of the Public Service, shall be required to pay the Government a sum of money equal to the commitments he received prior to the premature termination, and any other amounts actually spent by the Government in connection with his training.

96. (1) An officer shall be eligible for financial assistance up to a maximum of three thousand dollars ($3,000) from Government for a correspondence course training; provided that approval is obtained before the officer attempts such course of training. Approval shall be granted where the training is of value to the Public Service and shall be subject to the availability of funds.

(2) (i) The nature of the financial assistance shall be in respect of tuition and cost of books and materials for the course half of the cost, up to a maximum of one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) shall be paid to the officer after approval of his application.

(ii) If the officer successfully completes the course of training, he shall be reimbursed for the remaining costs of the course up to a maximum of one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500).

Training awards.

Penalty for termination.

Assistance for correspondence courses.

Nature of financial assistance.

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(iii) If the officer does not successfully complete the course, he shall be required to refund the grant.

(4) An officer who receives financial assistance for a correspondence course shall submit a report at the end of each year indicating his progress on the course. If the Chief Executive Officer, is not satisfied that an officer is pursuing his course diligently, the officer may be required to repay the Government the amount spent on his training.

97. Officers who attend an approved course of training at a local institution shall be eligible for a tuition grant, subject to the availability of funds.

98. A public officer, who on his own initiative applies for an is approved study leave to pursue a self-funded course of study, shall not be considered post factor for a refund or grant for any portion of the expenditure incurred for the training.

99. Heads of Department are required to follow the guidelines shown in the First Schedule of these Regulations whenever they are recommending officers for study leave.

100. (1) A scholarship holder shall be provided with half the cost of travel, to the place of study, for the spouse and unmarried children below the age of eighteen years, up to a maximum of four passages if they accompany him abroad within a period of one year. Full cost of travel shall be provided from the place of study to Belize.

(2) Such assistance will be given only in cases where the family remains with the officer abroad for the full period of study.

(3) No such assistance shall be given if the scholarship-holder shall be absent from the country for less than two (2) academic years.

Training at local institutions.

Non-refundable expenses for self-initiated training.

Guidelines for study leave. First Schedule.

Paid travel costs.

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(4) The passages, which shall be arranged by Government shall be by air at economy rates. Reimbursement towards the cost of overland fares to reach the port of embarkation and transportation of baggage shall be made in accordance with the provisions of Regulation 9.

101. An officer, on return from study leave, is entitled to the grant of a normal increment for each successful year of study.

102. An officer who is promoted immediately on his return from study leave shall receive salary in accordance with Regulations 101 and 109.

103. Maintenance allowance may be payable to officers who are on an approved course of training and are not in receipt of their salary during the period of their training. Officers shall receive a monthly maintenance allowance at a rate of eighty percent of their salary.

104. (1) An officer who successfully completes an approved course of training abroad lasting not less than two academic years, and resumes duty immediately after completion of training (or after approved leave), shall be eligible for a resettlement grant at the prescribed rate.

(2) The grant shall not be awarded in cases where the officer resumes duty after having been unsuccessful in his examinations.

PART VI SALARIES, ALLOWANCES AND FINANCIAL BENEFITS

105. The Salaries attached to public offices are and shall be as specified in circulars and Regulations, which may from time to time be issued or made for that purpose.

Grant of normal increment on return to duty.

Grant of increments on promotion immediately on return from study leave.

Maintenance allowance.

Resettlement grant.

Salaries for public officers.

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106. (1) Where the salary of any post is scalar, subject to the provisions of these Regulations, it shall be normal for an officer appointed to a post to be paid initially the minimum salary of the scale and for his salary to be increased by annual increments, subject to performance, at the rate provided in the scale until he reaches the maximum salary.

(2) In special circumstances, appointments may be made at a salary higher than the minimum salary of the scale of the recruiting grade.

107. (1) The incremental date shall be the first day of a month if an officer’s date of appointment or promotion falls within the first to the fifteenth day of the month. An officer whose date of appointment or promotion is after the fifteenth day of the month shall have his incremental date on the first day of the following month.

(2) Subject to any specific conditions of appointment, continuous temporary service for a year on the part of an officer who is qualified for appointment in a post to which an annual scalar salary is attached shall, subject to satisfactory performance, qualify such officer for the grant of an increment to his salary.

108. The outcome of the performance appraisal of an officer shall be the determining factor for the granting or withholding of an increment to him.

109. (1) An officer, on promotion, shall receive a salary the minimum salary of the post to which he is being promoted; provided that the difference between his salary and the minimum of the higher post is not less than two increments on the higher scale.

(2) On promotion, an officer’s incremental date shall change in accordance with Regulation 107(1) above.

Officers to receive salary at minimum scale.

Incremental date.

Increment for continuous temporary service.

Performance appraisal determining factor for increments.

Salary payable on promotion.

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110. The grant of increments for the various types of qualifications shall be as outlined in the Second Schedule to these Regulations.

111. An officer whose service has been outstanding may be granted a merit award by the Merit Awards Committee, in accordance with the approved policy.

112. When an officer is promoted or transferred on appointment to a post in another Department, arrangements shall be made whereby he can assume his new duties on the date of his appointment. If, however, exceptional circumstances necessitate his retention in his old Department beyond his promotion date, he shall be regarded as holding his new office as from the date his appointment was approved.

113. If the salary of an officer’s post is revised, the officer shall enter the new scale at a salary which corresponds to the salary he had reached in the old scale, subject to the condition that where the salary of the officer is not reflected on the new scale, he shall enter the new scale at the next highest point to his existing salary. In this case the officer’s incremental date shall remain unchanged.

114. (1) The payment of an acting allowance shall be approved if an officer is required to act for a period of more than fourteen (14) consecutive days.

(2) The amount of acting allowance payable shall be the full difference between the salary which the officer is receiving in his substantive post and the minimum salary of the post in which he is acting.

(3) Where the salary of the officer appointed to act is more than the minimum of the post in which he is acting, an acting allowance of not less than two increments on the higher scale shall be paid.

115. An officer recruited from abroad shall be entitled to a once and for all relocation allowance of six hundred dollars ($600) for a single officer and nine hundred dollars ($900) for an officer accompanied by his family.

Increments for qualifications. Second Schedule.

Merit awards.

Retention of services of an officer in former Department.

Salary conversion on revision of an officer’s post.

Acting allowance.

Relocation allowance.

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116. (1) An officer recruited from abroad shall be entitled to a monthly Housing Allowance equivalent to thirty percent of his basic salary for the life of his contract.

(2) A locally recruited officer, on transfer from his station, shall be entitled to a monthly housing allowance of two hundred dollars ($200) for the duration of the officer’s tour of duty.

(3) An officer shall not be eligible for housing allowance at the station in which he is recruited.

117. (1) Subsistence allowance and meal allowance shall be payable in accordance with the provisions of this Regulation and an officer wishing to claim such an allowance shall do so on the form prescribed in the Third Schedule of these Regulations. Subsistence or meal allowance shall be computed as follows: -

(a) where the period of absence exceeds five hours but does not exceed nine hours, a meal allowance equivalent of 2/3 of a full day’s subsistence shall be paid:

Provided that where an officer’s absence does not exceed five hours but covers the lunch period, a meal allowance of 1/3 of -a day’s subsistence shall be paid;

(b) where the period of absence exceeds nine hours, a full day’s subsistence allowance shall be paid; and

(c) where an officer is required to perform duty in a tourism-oriented town or village, a higher rate of subsistence to be specified by the Financial Secretary, shall be paid.

Housing allowance.

114 of 2002.

Subsistence and meal allowances. Third Schedule.

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(2) Where an officer on duty is away from his station for more than twenty-four hours, the payment of subsistence allowance or, as the case may be, meal allowance, for the period of absence in excess of twenty-four hours shall be calculated on a pro rata basis as set out in subregulation (1) above.

(3) Absence of more than thirty calendar days shall be governed by Regulation 119.

118. Officers holding posts listed in the Fourth Schedule, when engaged in operations in the bush requiring them to camp away from headquarters, shall receive an allowance at the rate approved by the Ministry of Finance.

119. (1) An officer, who of necessity is required to be away from his station for more than thirty consecutive days, shall receive subsistence allowance as provided for in Regulation 117 for the initial thirty day period. The officer shall, thereafter, become eligible for receipt of a commuted subsistence allowance beyond the thirty-day period at the rate approved by the Ministry of Finance.

(2) Whenever it is necessary for an officer to be away from his station for more than thirty days, the question of payment of commuted subsistence allowance beyond the initial thirty-day period shall be cleared by the Accounting Officer of the Department with the Financial Secretary.

(3) The payment of a commuted subsistence allowance shall only be considered on the grounds that:-

(a) approval of commuted subsistence allowance is sought beforehand;

(b) payment of the allowance is to be made only in cases of temporary assignments or postings;

(c) the period of such temporary assignment or posting

Allowance for absence of more than 30 days.

Bush allowance. Fourth Schedule.

Commuted subsistence allowance.

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is stated in making the submission for the allowance;

(d) in any case the payment of the allowance will normally be for not more than three months, subject to extension in exceptional cases to six months; and

(e) the quantum of the commuted subsistence allowance shall not be less than fifty percent of the monthly rate.

120. Where a public officer on duty is required to sleep away from his station, he shall be entitled to receive from his Ministry, a reimbursement of all hotel or lodging expenses occasioned thereby. Such reimbursement shall be in accordance with circulars, which may from time to time be issued by the Ministry of Finance.

121. Subsistence and other allowances which may be paid to officers, for travel on duty overseas, shall be approved by the Ministry of Finance and shall be in accordance with circulars which may from time to time be issued by the Ministry of Finance for that purpose.

122. Officers attending overseas conferences or travelling on other duty abroad may be reimbursed, on production of receipts, their reasonable hotel expenses in respect of room and necessary travelling expenses.

123. (1) A Warm clothing allowance at a prescribed rate shall be payable to an officer who is required to proceed to a temperate or frigid country or region, for purposes of duty or study.

(2) A warm clothing allowance shall not normally be payable to an officer who has already received it within a period of less than two years after his return from a previous course of study or duty abroad.

124. A travel allowance not exceeding the prescribed rate may be paid to an officer for necessary travel and in transit expenses in connection with a required

Reimbursement of lodging expenses.

Allowance in respect of traveling on duty abroad.

Reimbursement of traveling expenses.

Warm clothing allowance.

Travel allowance.

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duty or study abroad. This allowance shall be in addition to the allowances referred to in Regulations 121 and 122 above.

125. A public officer, who uses his private motor vehicle or motorcycle on approved official travel outside his station, shall be entitled to mileage allowance at the rates prescribed by the Ministry of Finance.

126. A maintenance allowance at the prescribed rates shall be paid to officers who use their personal motor vehicles, motorcycles or bicycles on a regular basis in discharging the duties of their offices.

127. Public officers shall be entitled to a transfer grant at the prescribed rate, before assumption of duty at their new station, to assist with costs incurred when relocating from one station to another, provided that the tour of duty is for not less than two (2) years.

128. The following officers shall not be eligible for a transfer grant:-

(a) officers who request and are approved transfers at their convenience; and

(b) officers who request and are approved transfers on appointment to other posts in other locations.

PART VII ADVANCES

129. (1) An advance may be approved to an officer, on application to the Financial Secretary, for the following purposes:-

(a) where the officer is proceeding on or returning from vacation leave or is being transferred from one station to another. The advance shall be limited to the equivalent of one month’s salary and shall be repaid

Mileage allowance.

Motor vehicle maintenance allowance.

Transfer grant.

Officers not eligible for transfer grant.

Advances.

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in not more than four equal monthly instalments; except in exceptional circumstances when the period of repayment may be extended;

(b) for the purchase of household items;

(c) for the purchase of an approved means of transportation considered appropriate to the duties of the officer’s post; and

(d) for medical or maternity purposes.

(2) In all cases, the period of repayment shall be set by the Financial Secretary.

130. All advances shall carry a nominal service charge, to be determined by the Ministry of Finance, recoverable at the time of issue of the advance.

131. Officers in receipt of an advance to purchase a motor vehicle shall be required to produce the following:-

(a) a receipt to show that the money was used for the purpose for which it was advanced; and

(b) a Bill of Sale on demand.

132. Advances may be granted for any purpose not elsewhere provided for, which the Financial Secretary considers to be in the public interest. The terms of repayment shall be prescribed in each particular case.

133. Applications for advances may be refused where:-

(a) the amount of money required is greater than what the officer can reasonably be expected to repay within

Nominal service charge on advances.

Requirements on approval of motor vehicle advance.

Other advances.

Grounds for refusal of advance application.

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the prescribed time;

(b) a similar advance was last approved within the prescribed repayment period in the case of motor vehicles; and

(c) a previous advance has not been fully repaid; or

(d) an officer has previously failed to meet the conditions of an advance.

134. (1) Repayment of all advances shall be made by monthly deductions from the officer’s salary at source unless otherwise authorized in writing by the Financial Secretary. The Head of Department, in which an officer is serving at the time an advance is authorized, is responsible for ensuring that a proper record of the advance is kept and that repayments are being regularly deducted.

(2) In the event of the officer being transferred to another department, particulars of the outstanding balance and rate of repayment shall be sent to the Head of the receiving Department who there after shall assume responsibility for ensuring regular payment.

135. A vehicle, on which any part of an advance remains outstanding, may not be removed from Belize, sold or disposed of in any way without the prior written consent of the Financial Secretary.

136. An advance for the purchase of a vehicle shall not be approved within three years of the grant of a previous advance for a similar purpose, save in exceptional circumstances such as destruction of the vehicle by accident. Such an advance, shall be granted based on the merits of each case.

137. An officer, prior to leaving the Service, shall be required to repay any outstanding sum due to the Government as follows:-

Repayment of advances.

Vehicles not to be sold or disposed of without permission.

Advance not to be granted within three years of previous advance.

Repayment of debt when

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(a) salary and/or payment in lieu of vacation leave due to the officer shall be applied towards settlement of the outstanding balance; and

(b) any remaining balance shall be recovered:-

(i) from benefits due;

(ii) through written agreement with the Accountant General; or

(iii) through legal action.

PART VIII MISCELLANEOUS

Residential Quarters

138. Public officers may occupy official residential quarters where available.

139. (1) Officers provided with official residential quarters shall be permitted to continue in occupation of such quarters during their tenure in that station.

(2) Officers, prior to retirement or termination of appointment, shall vacate official residential quarters within one month after the date of retirement or termination.

140. When an officer is transferred or dies while officially occupying residential quarters, the officer’s family may be permitted, by the Head of Department, to continue occupying the quarters for a period not exceeding three months from the date of such transfer or death.

officers leave the Service

Occupation of offical quarters is subject to availability.

Occupation of official quarters.

Transfer or death of officer occupying official quarters.

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141. Officers who occupy official residential quarters shall be required to keep such quarters and the surrounding area in a clean, tidy and sanitary condition at their own expense. Before vacating the quarters, officers shall ensure that the quarters are in a clean and sanitary condition.

142. Occupiers of official residential quarters shall neither make structural alterations nor install electrical fittings or lighting equipment without the approval of the Head of Department. This Regulation shall apply also to any addition, alteration or modification of any existing installation.

143. When official residential quarters, furniture, electrical appliances, fixtures or the grounds have been damaged, and such damage, in the opinion of the Head of Department, is due to carelessness or negligence on the part of the occupier, an account of the charges for making good such damages shall be rendered to the occupier by the Head of Department concerned and the amount of such account shall be paid by the occupier to Government.

144. The Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Works shall forward to the Financial Secretary yearly reports on the condition of all Government buildings.

145. Any public officer, on leaving the Public Service, if he so desires, may obtain a formal certificate of service from the Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of the Public Service.

Disaster Management

146. (1) Chief Executive Officers shall ensure that an adequate emergency plan, including simulations and training, is developed, circulated and undertaken throughout Ministries and Departments under their control. The emergency plan should be in a standard format, as determined by the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO). Such an emergency plan should cover the following threats and hazards:-

(a) hurricanes;

Quarters to be kept clean.

No alterations by occupiers of quarters.

In the event of damage, officers to make good such damage.

Yearly reports on buildings.

Certificate of service.

Disaster pre- paredness.

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(b) floods;

(c) bomb threats;

(d) earthquakes;

(e) fires; and

(f) civil disorders.

(2) The plan should include the following measures:-

(a) activating the emergency plan during and outside of normal working hours;

(b) ensuring security of equipment, records and classified documents prior to, during and following the emergency event;

(c) ensuring continuity of Government activity prior to, during and following the emergency event;

(d) ensuring continuity of communications with district staff during and following the emergency event; and

(e) ensuring emergency attendance to injured employees.

(3) As a precaution against hurricanes, Chief Executive Officers and Heads of Departments should ensure that all public buildings under their charge are: -

(a) made hurricane resistant; and

(b) secured on the announcement of hurricane warning.

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147. (1) Heads of Departments shall ensure that all members of staff are conversant with the disaster plan, procedures for their Departments and their assigned responsibilities.

(2) An officer shall be designated as the Disaster Coordinator for each Ministry. He shall not be below the level of Administrative Officer III or equivalent.

(3) The Disaster Coordinator for the Ministry shall be responsible, to the Chief Executive Officer for that Ministry, for developing and implementing. the disaster plan for the Ministry.

(4) Participation in Disaster Preparedness Management is mandatory for all public officers. Failure to participate can lead to disciplinary action.

Stationery

148. (1) Stationery and supplies shall be purchased from the most economic sources. Every effort shall be made to minimize wastage in Departments. Wherever possible, Departments shall reproduce forms, etc., for use in such Departments. Forms, which are common to all Departments shall be available on requisition from the Government Printery.

(2) Requisition for printed forms and books must be submitted to the Government Printer on memorandum or order forms.

149. All stationery shall be carefully put away and its use, which must be confined to the Public Service only, shall be closely supervised by the Head of Department. It shall be placed under the custody of the Finance Officer who shall be responsible for its safekeeping and distribution to ensure economy in usage.

Disaster Coordi- nator.

Purchase of stationery.

Care of stationery.

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Use of Telephone

150. Public officers must be pleasant and courteous in answering the telephone and shall state their Ministry or Department so that the caller knows at once to whom he is speaking.

151. Any matter, which can properly be disposed of by telephone or an interview should not be the subject of correspondence. However, the action taken and any decision reached should be recorded on the appropriate file.

152. (1) Chief Executive Officers and Heads of Departments are responsible for ensuring that due economy is exercised in the use of the telephone and in particular that it is not used by officers for their private affairs except in cases of real necessity.

(2) Where it is alleged that an officer has abused the use of the telephone he shall be given an opportunity to exculpate himself. If the Chief Executive Officer and Head of Department are not satisfied with the explanation given, he may subject the officer to a surcharge.

153. Telephone calls from public officers to addresses abroad shall have the prior approval of their Chief Executive Officers and Heads of Departments who should be absolutely satisfied that it would not be possible to expeditiously deal with the matter by airmail letter, e-mail or facsimile.

Correspondence Between Departments

154. All letters, minutes, reports and returns must be dated, numbered (where appropriate) and signed in full, with the official designation of the officer signing being added. Plans and other attachments must be signed and dated and bear a numerical reference to the documents (if any) which they accompany.

155. Each communication should be confined as far as possible to a single subject.

Answering of telephone calls.

Avoidance of correspondence.

Use of telephone.

Prior permission for overseas communications.

Identification of correspondence.

Single subject communication.

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156. Memoranda between Departments shall clearly indicate the official designation of their origin, addresses, and subject matter. All formal and informal commencements and conclusions included in ordinary letters should be dispensed with.

Government Gazette and Other Documents

157. All Gazettes, Acts and other printed matter, which have been or may be issued from time to time to Heads of Departments, shall be carefully bound. Officers are expected to make themselves acquainted with notices published in the Gazette and Acts, etc., affecting their duties. The fact that special notification or instructions have not been received from the Ministries shall not be accepted as an excuse for inattention to notices in the Gazette. Publication of any matter in the Gazette shall be sufficient notice to every Department of the facts published therein.

158. (1) Gazette matters of a legal or semi-legal nature shall be submitted to the Attorney General’s Ministry for vetting before being forwarded for publication.

(2) Notices and other matters for publication in the Gazette shall be delivered to the Government Printer no later than 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Any material forwarded after that time shall be held over for publication in the following week’s issue of the Gazette, except in urgent or special cases, the publication of which will be left to the discretion of the Government Printer.

Other Matters

159. (1) When an officer dies in the Service, the beneficiary of the officer shall receive a funeral grant of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00).

(2) The grant shall be payable from the Ministry in which the officer was serving at the time of his death.

Correspondence between Departments.

Officers to acquaint themselves with Gazettes, Acts, etc.

Vetting of legal matters by the Attorney General’s Ministry.

Funeral grant payable on death of officer.

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160. Official seals and stamps shall be kept secured and not be supplied to private persons.

161. Public officers shall not make use of any stamp for franking letters, or frank letters without the authority of the Head of Department, and are required to keep such devices under lock and key, except when in actual use.

162. Circulars should be initialled by the officers of the Department in which they are received and should be kept bound together in a “Circular Book” which should be indexed. Chief Executive Officers and Heads of Departments shall communicate instructions conveyed by circulars to all members of their staff.

163. Any works produced by public officers as part of the duties for which they are engaged shall result in the copyright in respect of such works being vested in the Government. Any such work required for the use of the Public Service shall produce no financial benefits to the author, but the author may be allowed the royalties that might arise from sale of any such work outside of the Public Service or outside Belize.

164. (1) Public Officers required to work under hazardous circumstances shall be provided with appropriate safety equipment and clothing which shall be the property of the Government.

(2) Officers provided with such equipment and clothing shall be required to wear and use such equipment and clothing whilst discharging their duties.

165. Field workers and office assistants shall be provided with inclement weather gear, which shall be the property of the Government.

166. Where damage or loss occurs to Government property purchased under Regulations 164 and 165, and where such damage or loss is proved to be the result of an officer’s negligence, such officer shall be subject to a surcharge.

Official seals or stamps.

Franking stamp.

Circulars.

Copyright and royalties.

Safety equipment and clothing.

Inclement weather gear.

Surcharge in case of damage or loss.

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167. (1) The Public Service Regulations 1996 are hereby repealed.

(2) These Regulations shall come into force on the 15th day of November, 2001.

MADE by the Governor-General this 15th day of November, 2001.

(COLVILLE N. YOUNG) Governor-General

Repeals and commencement. S.I. 153 of 1996.

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FIRST SCHEDULE [Regulation 99]

SELECTION CRITERIA FOR TRAINING IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE

1. Relevance To Needs

(i) The training being requested must be relevant to the Department’s development needs and the officer’s career intentions.

(ii) Proposed training programmes should be designed to improve the technical, analytical, managerial and decision-making skills of individuals displaying potential for development.

2. Academic Eligibility

(i) Nominees for a proposed training programme must possess the requisite academic qualifications that will enable acceptance into tertiary level instructions.

(ii) Mature officers who may not possess the requisite academic qualifications must obtain acceptance into the institutions.

3. Overall Performance

Nominees should have above average performance records, display positive job attitudes and proficiency in the use of language.

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4. Age

Officers being nominated for training should normally not be more than forty years old by the end of the proposed training programme and be physically and mentally capable of undertaking the course of studies.

SECOND -SCHEDULE [Regulation 110]

INCREMENT FOR QUALIFICATIONS

1. Certificate Courses

A public officer who has pursued an approved course of studies, the minimum of which is one academic year, and at the end of which a certificate is awarded will be eligible for the award of one additional increment.

2. Diploma Courses

A public officer who has pursued an approved course of studies, the minimum of which is two academic years, and at the end of which a diploma is awarded, will be eligible for the award of two additional increments.

3. Bachelors Degree

(i) A public officer who has pursued an approved course of studies at the end of which a first degree is awarded will be eligible for the award of three additional increments. This applies to those persons who acquire additional qualification but remain in their substantive post. Where the superior qualification is required for promotion, the officer will be elevated to the higher scale and the matter of placement on the scale will be dealt with in accordance with Regulation 109 (1).

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(ii) The above does not, however, apply to persons who graduate with a diploma, degree or certificate, which they intend to use in order to gain admission to another course of studies in the same or a related field of study.

4. Masters Degree

(i) A public officer who was approved study leave to pursue a Masters Degree will be eligible for the award of two additional increments on successful completion.

(ii) A public officer who was approved study leave to pursue a First Degree but who returns with a Masters Degree will be eligible for the award of four additional increments.

5. Doctorate Degree

(i) A public officer who holds a Masters Degree and on approved study acquires a Ph.D., will be eligible for the award of three additional increments.

(ii) A public officer who was approved study leave to pursue a course of studies leading to a Masters Degree and who returns with a Ph.D., will be eligible for the award of four additional increments.

6. Effective Rate of Award of Increments

All increments will be awarded with effect from the date of expiration of study leave and with the approval of the Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of the Public Service.

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284 CAP. 4] Belize Constitution (Public Service Regulations)

7. Qualification Not Eligible for Award of increment

(i) Where an officer successfully completes a course of training for which a degree, diploma or certificate was awarded and for which the officer received additional increments(s) and subsequently successfully completes an equivalent or lower level course, the officer shall not be entitled to additional increment(s) for such equivalent or lower qualification.

(ii) Where an officer obtains the required qualification for his current post after the fact, no additional increment(s) shall be awarded.

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Belize Constitution (Public Service Regulations) [CAP. 4 285

THIRD SCHEDULE

CLAIM FOR SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE, MEAL ALLOWANCE AND MILEAGE ALLOWANCE

An officer wishing to claim a subsistence allowance, meal allowance or mileage allowance shall do so in the form prescribed below or as nearly thereto as possible:

NAME:_______________________ MILES TRAVELLED:____________________

OFFICE:______________________ TIME SPENT AWAY FROM STATION:____________________________

STATION:_____________________ MEANS OF CONVEYANCE USED DATE & TIME OF LEAVING (VEHICLE NO.):________________________ STATION:_____________________ NATURE OF OFFICIAL DUTIES PLACES VISITED (EN ROUTE) PERFORMED:________________________ IF ANY:_______________________

_____________________________

FINAL DESTINATION:___________ NUMBER OF HOURS/DAYS DATE & TIME CLAIMED:___________________________ RETURN TO STATION:__________ RATE OF SUBSISTENCE/

MILEAGE/MEAL ALLOWANCE:__________

INCIDENTAL EXPENSES, IF ANY: __________________________________________

TOTAL AMOUNT CLAIMED: _____________________________________________ (SHOW MILEAGE, SUBSISTENCE AND MEAL ALLOWANCE AND OTHER EXPENSES SEPARATELY)

DATE:_______________________________

SIGNATURE AND DESIGNATION OF CLAIMANT: _____________________________ APPROVED BY:_________________________________________________________

(SIGNATURE) (DESIGNATION)

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286 CAP. 4] Belize Constitution (Public Service Regulations)

FOURTH SCHEDULE

BUSH ALLOWANCE

List of posts for which special bush allowance is payable.

ARCHAEOLOGY

Archaeological Commissioner Deputy Archaeological Commissioner Archaeologist Archaeological Assistant

FORESTRY

Principal Forest Officer Forest Officers Forest Rangers Forest Guards

LANDS AND SURVEYS

Principal Surveyor Senior Surveyor Surveyor Principal Lands Officer Lands Officer Assistant Lands Officer Lands Inspector

GEOLOGY

Geologist Micropaleontologist

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Belize Constitution (Public Service Regulations) [CAP. 4 287

Geological Draughtsman Mineral Surveyor Geoscientist

EXPLANATORY NOTES

THESE NOTES DO NOT FORM PART OF THESE REGULATIONS AND ARE ONLY INTENDED TO EXPLAIN THE

IMPORT OF THE REGULATIONS

1. All public officers are required to familiarize themselves with these Regulations and any amendments or additions thereto which may from time to time be issued. It is the duty of the Head of Department to ensure that a sufficient number of copies is always on hand to meet the needs of his own Department.

2. All new entrants to the Public Service will be provided with a copy of the Public Service Regulations. Those copies issued to public officers for use in their official duties are not to be regarded as the property of any individual officer. Heads of Departments should therefore ensure that the officer who is in possession of any official copy of these Regulations surrenders it in the event of his transfer to another Department or his retirement or resignation from the Service. Copies of these Regulations are available for sale from the Government Printery.

3. Public officers are required to make themselves acquainted with all Government notifications and regulations, whether published in the Government Gazette or conveyed by circular or any other means of communication, and Heads of Departments shall be held responsible for seeing that this is done.

4. Subject to the provisions of Section 106 (3) of the Constitution, the Governor General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Minister or Ministers responsible for the Public Service, given after consultation with the recognized representatives of the employees or with other persons or groups

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within the Public Service as may be considered appropriate, may make regulations on any matter relating to:-

(a) the formulation of schemes for recruitment to the Public Service;

(b) the determination of a code of conduct for public officers;

(c) the fixing of salaries and privileges;

(d) the principles governing the promotion and transfer of public officers;

(e) measures to ensure discipline, and to govern the dismissal and retirement of public officers, including the procedures to be followed;

(f) the procedure for delegation of authority by and to public officers; and

(g) generally for the management and control of the Public Service.

____________

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289[CAP. 4Belize Constitution (Services Commissions Regulations)

CHAPTER 4

SERVICES COMMISSIONS REGULATIONS

ARRANGEMENT OF REGULATIONS

PART I PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.

2. Interpretation and construction of references.

3. Application.

PART II FUNCTIONS AND DUTIES OF THE SERVICES COMMISSIONS

4. Power to appoint, etc., officers.

5. Meetings of Services Commissions.

6. Records of minutes of Services Commissions meetings.

7. Decisions of Services Commissions may be made by circulation of papers.

8. Consultation.

9. Failure to comply with requirement of a Services Commission to attend etc., before it.

10. Duties of Director.

290 Belize Constitution (Services Commissions Regulations)CAP. 4]

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PART III APPOINTMENT, PROMOTION AND RETIREMENT

11. Tenure of office of Public Officer.

12. Appointment of Public Officers.

13. Eligibility for appointment and promotion.

14. Probationary service.

15. Medical examination on appointment.

16. Criteria for promotion.

17. Principles to be observed in respect of acting appointment.

18. Retirement of officers.

19. Premature retirement.

20. Retirement in the public interest.

21. Re-employment of officers retired on medical grounds.

22. Modes of leaving the Public Service.

PART IV DISCIPLINE OF PUBLIC OFFICERS

2 3. Authority to discipline Public Officers.

24. Delegation of powers to Chief Executive Officers.

25. Appeal to Public Services Commission.

26. Conditions for disciplinary action.

27. Dismissal for misconduct, insubordination or gross inefficiency.

28. Inefficiency and minor misconduct, procedures to be followed.

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29. Proceedings in serious misconduct cases.

30. Standard of proof.

31. Commission not bound by rules of evidence.

32. Commission to proceed with hearing in absence of officer.

33. Record of disciplinary proceeding to be prepared.

34. Officer to be informed of right of appeal.

35. Effect of appeal on operation of penalty.

36. Retirement of officers.

37. Suspension.

38. Disciplinary proceedings against an officer who has been criminally charged.

39. Disciplinary proceedings during criminal investigations or pending criminal proceedings.

40. Disciplinary proceedings arising out of acquittal of criminal proceedings.

41. Dismissal upon return of guilty verdict in criminal charge.

42. Disciplinary procedures for officers on secondment.

PART V TRANSFERS

43. Transfers.

44. Authority to transfer.

45. Right to appeal to Commission.

46. Notice of transfer.

47. Tour of duty.

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48. Duration of tour of duty after transfer.

49. Transfers not to be used as a punitive measure.

PART VI PENSIONS, GRATUITIES AND OTHER RETIREMENT

BENEFITS

50. Compulsory retirement.

51. Retirement on medical grounds.

52. Claims for pensions.

53. Qualification for pensions.

54. Doubt regarding computation of officer’s retiring benefits.

55. Statutory declaration as to officer’s service.

56. Death-in-harness gratuity.

57. Requirement as to other pensionable service.

58. Claims under the Widows and Children’s Pensions Act.

59. Resignation gratuities.

60. Commencement.

____________

293[CAP. 4Belize Constitution (Services Commissions Regulations)

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CHAPTER 4

SERVICES COMMISSIONS REGULATIONS

[17th November, 2001]

PART I PRELIMINARY

1. These Regulations may be cited as the

SERVICES COMMISSIONS REGULATIONS.

2. (1) In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires:-

“Commission” or “Services Commission” means –

(a) the Public Services Commission established under section 105 (1) of the Constitution;

(b) the Security Services Commission established under section 110C (1) of the Constitution;

(c) the Judicial and Legal Services Commission established under section 110E (1) of the Constitution;

“Constitution” means the Belize Constitution;

“Crown” means the Crown in right of Belize;

“Gazette” means the Belize Government Gazette and includes any supplement thereto;

No. 159 of 2001.

Short title.

Interpretation and construction of references.

CAP. 4. Act 2/2001.

CAP. 4. Act 2/2001.

CAP. 4. Act 2/2001.

CAP. 4. Act 2/2001.

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“Head of Department” in relation to a Ministry, means the Chief Executive Officer of that Ministry, and in relation to a Department, means the Head of that Department;

“Government” means the Government of Belize;

“Chief Executive Officer” means the Chief Executive Officer to the Ministry concerned with the matter in issue and includes:-

(a) in the case of the Ministry of Finance, the Financial Secretary;

(b) in the case of the Attorney General Ministry, the Solicitor General;

(c) in the Office of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Office, the Secretary to the Cabinet;

“Director” means the person holding or acting in the office of Director of the Services Commissions;

“judicial and legal services” means services in the Departments or Offices of the General Registry of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, Magistracy, Chief Parliamentary Counsel, Law Revision, Family Courts, Director of Public Prosecutions, and Solicitor General but does not include the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Solicitor General;

“public office” means any office of emolument in the Public Service;

“Public Officer” means a person holding or acting in a public office, and the word “officer” shall be construed accordingly;

“Public Service” means, subject to the Constitution an defendant these Regulations, the service of the Crown in a civil capacity in respect of the

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Government;

“security services” means service in the Belize Police Department, the Belize Defence Force, or in any other, military, naval, or air force established for Belize.

(2) For the purposes of these Regulations:-

(a) a reference to an office in the Public Service shall not be construed as including references to the offices of Prime Minister or other Minister, Minister of State, Speaker or Deputy Speaker or member of the House of Representatives, President, or Vice-President or Senator, member of the Belize Advisory Council, or member of any Commission established under the Constitution, or the Clerk, Deputy Clerk or any other member of the staff of the National Assembly;

(b) a person shall not be regarded as holding a public office by reason only of the fact that he is in receipt of a pension or other like allowance in respect of service under the Crown;

(c) a reference to an office in the Public Service shall be construed as including a reference to the office of members of the Belize Police Department, Belize Defence Force and the Belize Prison Service with the rank of Principal Officer and above, and officers on the Governor-General’s personal staff.

(3) In these Regulations unless, the context otherwise requires, a reference:-

(a) to a Department, includes a reference to a Ministry;

CAP. 4. Act 2/2001.

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(b) to the masculine gender, includes a reference to the feminine gender;

(c) to the singular, includes a reference to the plural;

(d) any power excisable by a Services Commission shall refer to officers appointed under sections 106, 110D (1) and 110F (1) of the Constitution.

3. (1) Subject to subregulation (2) below, the provisions of these Regulations apply to all Public Officers.

(2) These Regulations do not apply to the following officers:-

(a) a Justice of the Court of Appeal;

(b) a Justice of the Supreme Court;

(c) the Director of Public Prosecutions;

(d) the Auditor General;

(e) an officer to whom section 110B of the Constitution applies;

(f) open vote workers to whom the Government (Open Vote) Workers Regulations Apply;

(g) any office to which section 107 of the Constitution applies;

(h) any other category or class of officers where special Regulations are made in respect of that category or class of officers.

CAP. 4. Act 2/2001.

Application.

CAP. 4. Act 2/2001.

S. I. 145/1992. S. I. 111/1993. S. I. 37/1995. S. I. 41/1997.

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PART II FUNCTIONS AND DUTIES OF THE SERVICES

COMMISSIONS

4 (1) The power to appoint persons to hold or act in offices in the public service, other than the offices in the judicial and legal services and the security services, including the power to transfer or to confirm appointments, and, subject to the provisions of section 111 of the Constitution, the power to exercise disciplinary control over such persons and the power to remove such persons from office, shall vest in the Public Services Commission.

(2) The power to appoint persons to hold or act in offices in the security services, including the power to make appointments, and to deal with all matters relating to the conditions of service of such officers and, subject to the provisions of section 111 of the Constitution, the power to exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in such offices and the power to remove such persons from office shall vest in the Security Services Commission.

(3) The power to review the suitability of applicants, and to appoint persons to hold or act in offices in the judicial and legal services, including the power to make appointments, promotions, transfers, to confirm appointments, and to deal with all matters relating to the conditions of service of such judicial and legal officers and, subject to section 111 of the Constitution, the power to exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in such offices and the power to remove such persons from office shall vest in the Judicial and Legal Services Commission.

(4) Subregulation (1) shall be subject to any directions in writing issued by the Public Service Commission pursuant to section 106 (5) of the Constitution, delegating any of its powers under subregulation (1) to any one or more members of the Commission or, with the consent of the Prime Minister, to any Chief Executive Officer or other public officer.

(5) Subregulation (2) shall be subject to any directions in writing issued

Power to appoint, etc., officers.

CAP. 4. Act 2/2001.

CAP. 4. Act 2/2001.

CAP. 4. Act 2/2001.

CAP. 4. Act 2/2001.

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by the Security Services Commission pursuant to section 110D (5) of the Constitution, delegating any of its powers under subregulation (2) to any one or more members of the Security Services Commission or, with the consent of the Prime Minister, to the Commissioner of Police or the Commandant, Belize Defence Force.

(6) Subregulation (3) shall be subject to any directions in writing issued by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission pursuant to section 110F (4) of the Constitution, delegating any of its powers under subregulation (3) to any one or more members of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission or, with the consent of the Prime Minister, to any public officer who is a judicial or legal officer.

(7) Nothing in subregulations (4), (5) and (6) shall be read or construed as limiting or prohibiting any officer aggrieved by a decision made under the delegated authority to appeal to the relevant Services Commission, or to the Belize Advisory Council pursuant to section 111 of the Constitution.

5. Each Services Commission shall meet as often as its business requires for the purpose of performing its functions, and such meetings shall be held at such times and places as the relevant Services Commission may from time to time decide.

6. (1) The Director, or any other officer in the Office of the Services Commissions designated by the Director for that purpose, shall be responsible for keeping a true and accurate account of the minutes at all meetings of each Services Commission.

(2) The minutes kept under subregulation (1) in respect of a meeting shall be confirmed by the members of the relevant Services Commission at the next Services Commission meeting.

7. (1) Each Services Commission may, on circulation of the relevant papers among its members make decisions in respect of any matters without

CAP. 4. Act 2/2001.

CAP. 4. Act 2/2001.

CAP. 4. Act 2/2001.

Meetings of Services Commissions.

Records of minutes of Services Commissions meetings.

Decisions of Services

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holding a formal meeting if all the members of the Commission unanimously make the same decision, but if any different decision is made by one or more members, or if any member specifically requests that any matter be considered at a formal meeting of the Services Commission, the matter shall be deferred to the next formal meeting of the Services Commission.

(2) Any papers circulated to members of a Services Commission pursuant to subregulation (1) shall come from the Office of the Services Commission.

8. In considering any matter or question, a Services Commission may:-

(a) consult with any public officer, trade union representative, staff association representative or any other person or body as it considers necessary or desirable;

(b) require any Public Officer to attend and give evidence before it and produce any official documents relating to any matter under the consideration of the Services Commission.

9. (1) A Public Officer commits a breach of discipline who, without reasonable cause, fails:-

(a) to comply with a requirement of a Services Commission made under Regulation 8 (b) at the time and place specified in such requirement;

(b) to comply with any other requirement or request properly made by a Services Commission.

(2) Where a Public Officer commits a breach of discipline under subregulation (1), the relevant Services Commission may institute, or recommend

Commissions may be made by circulation of papers.

Consultation.

Failure to comply with requirement of a Services Commission to attend etc., before it.

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to the appropriate authority that disciplinary proceedings be instituted against the Public Officer.

10. (1) The Director shall:-

(a) be the Secretary to the Services Commissions;

(b) submit matters for consideration to a Services Commission with authority to deal with the matter;

(c) give effect to, and notify other persons of the decisions of the Services Commissions; and

(d) ensure that all documents relating to any matter subject to consideration by a Services Commission are submitted timeously to the Services Commission.

PART III APPOINTMENT, PROMOTION AND RETIREMENT

11. (1) Subject to subsection (2) below, all Public Officers shall hold office for an indeterminate period in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, the Pensions Act and these Regulations.

(2) A person who is appointed under any written law or agreement for a specified period to an office in the Public Service shall cease to be a Public Officer at the expiration of the period specified in such law or agreement.

12. (1) Subject to subregulations (4), (5) and (6) of Regulation 4 and to subregulation (2) of this Regulation, each Services Commission shall:-

(a) make all permanent appointments and promotions of suitably qualified officers; and

Duties of Director.

Tenure of office of Public Officer. CAP. 4. Act 2/2001. CAP. 30.

Appointment of Public Officers.

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(b) confirm individual officers in their appointments.

(2) The power to appoint and confirm persons to the post of Office Assistant is delegated to Chief Executive Officer pursuant to the provisions of the Public Service Commission (Delegation of Power) Order.

13. (1) In the performance of its functions in respect of appointments and promotions, each Services Commission shall take into account in respect of each officer:-

(a) his general fitness;

(b) his basic educational qualifications and any special qualifications;

(c) any special course of training which he may have undergone;

(d) grades and comments made in his performance appraisal reports;

(e) any letters of commendation in respect of any special work done by the officer;

(f) the duties of the post for which he is a candidate;

(g) any specific recommendation of the Chief Executive Officer or Head of Department for filling the particular post;

(h) the officer’s previous employment, whether in the Public Service or otherwise, and

(i) any special report which the, Services Commission

Eligibility for appointment and promotion.

S. I. 84/1992.

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may require.

(2) Subregulation (1) also applies to acting appointments.

14. (1) On first appointment to the Public Service, an officer shall normally be required to serve a probationary period of one year.

(2) During the probationary period, a mid-year performance appraisal report shall be submitted to the Director after the first six months and an end of year report at the end of the probationary period. The latter performance appraisal report shall form the basis of the officer’s assessment for confirmation in his appointment.

(3) If, on the basis of the report, the performance of the officer has been:-

(a) satisfactory, the Services Commission shall confirm his appointment with effect from the date of such appointment; and

(b) unsatisfactory, the Services Commission shall terminate his Appointment.

15. (1) Every person, on first appointment to the Public Service, shall be required to take and pass the prescribed medical examination which shall include a test for use of illegal drug. Such examination shall be carried out by a Government Medical Officer within a three month period of appointment and assumption of duties by the officer.

(2) The appointment of an officer who fails the medical examination and/or is tested positive for the use of illegal drugs shall be terminated.

16. (1) No person shall be appointed or prompted to a post for which he is not qualified.

Probationary service.

Medical examination on appointment.

Criteria for promotion.

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(2) A Services Commission, on considering the promotion of officers to fill vacancies, shall base its decision on the following factors in descending order of importance: -

(a) Performance/Merit;

(b) Integrity/Professionalism; and

(c) Experience/Employment history.

17. (1) An officer who fulfills the criteria in Regulation 16 (2) and is appointed to act in a vacant post shall not be allowed to act for more than one year.

(2) An officer who is appointed to act in post that is not vacant and for which he is qualified may be allowed to act in that post for a specified period.

(3) Where more than one serving officer, subject to performance and other relevant criteria, is eligible for appointment to act in a Post, the appointment may be rotated between the eligible officers.

(4) If an officer’s performance is considered unsatisfactory, his acting appointment shall be terminated.

18. All Public Officers without exception shall retire on reaching the compulsory age of retirement (55 years) and shall not be re-employed except:-

(a) where there is a chronic and existing shortage in a technical or professional field; and

(b) where a serving Public Officer would not be denied an opportunity for advancement to a higher post.

Principles to be observed in respect of acting appointment.

Retirement of officers.

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19. (1) An officer may, at any time after attaining the age of fifty (50) years, and before attaining the age of fifty-five (55) years, apply to the relevant Services Commission for permission to retire, stating in his application the grounds on which the application is based.

(2) If the Services Commission considers the officer’s application to have merit, it may allow him to prematurely retire.

20. Public Officers may be permitted or called upon to retire, before attaining the age of fifty-five (55) years, in the public interest.

21. Save in exceptional cases, no one who is retired on medical grounds shall be re-employed in the Public Service, but if re-employed, such person shall be required to undergo medical examination to determine his fitness to resume duties.

22. (1) The modes by which a Public Officer may leave the Public Service are:-

(a) on dismissal or removal in consequence of disciplinary proceedings;

(b) on compulsory retirement due to age;

(c) on voluntary retirement;

(d) on retirement on medical grounds;

(e) on the expiry or other termination of an appointment for a specified period;

(f) on the abolition of his office;

Premature retirement.

Retirement in the public interest.

Re-employment of officers retired on medical grounds.

Modes of leaving the Public Service.

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(g) in the case of a Public Officer on probation, on the termination of his appointment;

(h) on compulsory retirement for the purpose of facilitating improvement in the organization of his Ministry or Department; or

(i) on abandonment of office;

(j) on dismissal on security grounds.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in these Regulations, where a Public Officer is dismissed on the ground specified in paragraph (j) of regulation (1), it shall not be necessary for the Commission to disclose to such officer the details of his dismissal if the Commission, on the advice of the relevant Ministry or Department, is satisfied that it would not be in the public interest so to do.

PART IV DISCIPLINE OF PUBLIC OFFICERS

23. (1) The power to discipline Public Officers is vested in each of the Services Commission seised with the matter; provided that where there is a law which provides the necessary means of dealing with disciplinary offences in the case of any member of the Public Service, proceedings shall be taken under such law. In all other cases the Services Commission shall deal with cases of discipline at its discretion.

(2) An officer aggrieved by a decision of a Services Commission may apply in writing to the relevant Services Commission for a review of the Services Commission’s decision, within twenty-one days of the notification of such decision, stating in his application the grounds on which the review should be made.

Authority to discipline Public Officers.

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(3) Appeals against the decision of a Services Commission to remove a Public Officer from office or to exercise disciplinary control over a Public Officer shall lie to the Belize Advisory Council.

(4) The post occupied by a Public Officer who has filed an appeal to the Belize Advisory Council against a decision of a Services Commission shall not be substantively filled while the appeal is in progress.

24. (1) The power to discipline persons appointed to the post of Office Assistant and to discipline Public Officers in respect of abuse of Government vehicles is delegated to Chief Executive Officers pursuant to the provisions of the Public Services Commission (Delegation of Powers) Order.

(2) The Chief Executive Officer may exercise disciplinary control over all officers in his Ministry in respect of any matter connected with the unauthorized use and abuse of Government vehicles and may, where the complaint of such abuse if proved:-

(a) levy a fine by a deduction from salary to recover cost of damage, gasoline, wear and tear and other expenses arising from such abuse; or

(b) administer an oral or written reprimand.

(3) In any case where the Chief Executive Officer considers that a more severe punishment is justified than he is authorized to impose under subregulation (2) above, he shall refer such case to the relevant Services Commission with his recommendations thereon.

25. An officer against whom disciplinary action is taken by the Chief Executive Officer in exercise of the powers under Regulation 24 (2) may request the

Appeal against decision of Public Services Commission lie to Belize Advisory Council.

Post of Officer appealing not to be filled.

Delegation of power to Chief Executive Officers. S. I. 84/1992.

Appeal to Public Services Commission.

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Services Commission to review any decision taken by the Chief Executive Officer under that Regulation within twenty-one days of the date of the decision.

26. A Public Officer who, without reasonable excuse, does an act which: -

(a) amounts to failure to perform in a proper manner any duty assigned to him, including discourtesy to members of the public;

(b) contravenes any of the provisions of these Regulations, the Public Service Regulations or any other Regulations for the time being governing the conduct of Public Officers; or

(c) is prejudicial to the efficient conduct of the Public Service or tends to bring the Public Service into disrepute,

is liable to disciplinary proceedings for that misconduct in accordance with the provisions of these Regulations.

27. (1) An officer whose appointment has been confirmed may be dismissed at any time on the grounds of misconduct, insubordination or gross inefficiency at work.

(2) An officer who is dismissed shall be entitled to payment of salary in lieu of all vacation leave accrued to him.

(3) An officer who is dismissed forfeits all claims to retirement benefits.

28. (1) If, after oral warning by Head of Department or Chief Executive Officer of inefficiency or misconduct, an officer’s work or conduct does not improve, he shall be warned in writing and required to acknowledge receipt of such warning in writing. In aggravated cases, a copy of the correspondence

Conditions for disciplinary action.

Dismissal for misconduct, insubordination or gross inefficiency.

Inefficiency and minor misconduct, procedures to be followed.

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shall be sent to the Office of the Services Commission.

(2) Where disciplinary action is recommended for minor misconduct, the following procedures apply:-

(a) the officer shall be notified in writing of the grounds upon which it is recommended that he be disciplined, and he shall be given full opportunity of exculpating himself; and

(b) the Head of Department shall forward to the Services Commission a copy of the allegation and the officer’s explanation together with the Head of Department’s report on the matter and such other reports as he considers relevant to the matter.

(3) If the relevant Services Commission is satisfied that grounds for disciplinary action exists, it may institute disciplinary proceedings.

(4) On the conclusion of the disciplinary proceedings referred to in subregulation (3), if the Services Commission is of the opinion that:-

(a) the officer should be exonerated, it shall exonerate the officer and dismiss the case;

(b) the allegation is proved it shall impose such penalty upon the officer as it thinks fit, such as a caution, reprimand, fine or demotion.

29. (1) In cases of serious inefficiency or misconduct for which dismissal or retirement may be considered the appropriate penalty, the following procedures apply:-

(a) the officer shall be notified in writing of the grounds

Proceedings in serious misconduct cases.

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upon which it is intended to dismiss him and he shall be given full opportunity of exculpating himself;

(b) the Head of Department shall forward to the relevant Services Commission a copy of the allegation and the officer’s explanation together with the Head of Department’s own report on the matter and such other reports as the Head of Department considers relevant to the matter;

(c) where the officer fails to respond or acts in such a manner as to obstruct the matter, the Head of Department may advise the Services Commission accordingly in his report;

(d) upon receipt of the report, the Services Commission may cause further investigation to be made into the matter with the aid of the Head of Department or such other person as the Services Commission may appoint;

(e) if the Services Commission is satisfied that sufficient investigation has already taken place, it may institute disciplinary proceedings;

(f) the officer may, if he wishes, request that he appears before and be heard by the Services Commission with or without a Union representative, an attorney- at-law or some other person to assist him at the hearing, and such request shall be granted;

(g) if any witnesses are called to give evidence, the officer, his union representative, attorney-at-law or such other person shall be entitled to be present and to put

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questions to the witnesses;

(h) no documentary evidence shall be used against the officer unless he has previously been supplied with a copy thereof or given access thereto.

(2) If, on the conclusion of the disciplinary proceedings, the Services Commission is of the opinion that:-

(a) the officer should be exonerated, it shall exonerate the officer and dismiss the case;

(b) the officer should be dismissed or retired, it shall dismiss or retire the officer; or

(c) some lesser penalty other than the penalties referred to in paragraph (b) should be imposed on the officer, the Services Commission may impose such lesser penalty, such a caution, reprimand, fine or demotion.

30. The standard of proof in disciplinary proceedings under these Regulations shall be on a balance of probabilities.

31. In disciplinary proceedings or other deliberations, each Services Commission may inform itself in such manner as it thinks fit, without regard to the rules of evidence or to other legal technicalities and form.

32. (1) If without good reason, the officer against whom disciplinary proceedings have been instituted does not attend the hearing, the relevant Services Commission may proceed and conclude the matter in his absence.

(2) Where good reason is given the Services Commission on behalf of the officer as to why he is unable to attend the hearing, the Services Commission may postpone the matter but not to the extent that quick and effective discipline

Standard of proof.

Commission not bound by rules of evidence.

Commission to proceed with hearing in absence of officer.

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is prejudiced.

(3) For the purposes of this Regulation, the fact that an officer was in prison during the course of the disciplinary proceedings does not amount to good reason.

33. In any disciplinary proceedings, a record of proceedings shall be made which shall contain statements of evidence, the findings of the Services Commission, together with reasons for the finding and the penalty imposed.

34. The Services Commission shall, as soon as possible, inform the officer in writing of its findings, the penalty imposed on him, of his right to appeal the determination of the Services Commission to the Belize Advisory Council and of the time required for making such application.

35. Where the officer lodges an appeal with the Belize Advisory Council within the specified period, the penalty shall take effect pending the determination of the appeal by the Belize Advisory Council.

36. If the disciplinary proceedings disclose grounds for so doing, the Services Commission may require the officer to retire in the public interest.

37. (1) Where the Services Commission is informed of an alleged act of misconduct by an officer and the Services Commission is of the reasonable opinion that the public interest or the reputation of the Service requires it, the Services Commission may suspend the officer from duty by notice in writing until further notice.

(2) The effective date of suspension is the date specified in the notice.

(3) An officer who is suspended shall cease to report for the duties of his office immediately on receipt of the notice.

Record of disciplinary proceeding to be prepared.

Officer to be informed of right of appeal.

Effect of appeal on operation of penalty.

Retirement in the Public Interest.

Suspension.

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(4) The Services Commission shall review the alleged act of misconduct resulting in the suspension and may institute disciplinary proceedings accordingly.

(5) An officer who is suspended from duty shall, make himself available to the Services Commission until the conclusion of the matter.

(6) Subject to subregulation (8), where disciplinary proceedings are not instituted within sixty (60) days of the date of suspension, the officer shall resume duty and the suspension shall be set aside and the officer shall be treated for all intents and purposes as if the suspension had never occurred.

(7) Where the Services Commission believes the circumstances warrant an extension of time, the period referred to in (6) above may be extended by the officer concerned in order to conclude the matter as a matter o urgency.

(8) Where the Services Commission extends the suspension of an officer, it shall advise the officer in writing, in the notice referred to in subregulation (7), of its reasons.

38. (1) The Services Commission may institute disciplinary proceedings against an officer who has been criminally charged.

(2) Disciplinary proceedings may be instituted under subregulation (1) notwithstanding that the officer has appealed a conviction arising out of the criminal proceedings.

39. Disciplinary proceedings may be instituted by the Services Commission where an officer’s conduct is the subject of:-

(a) an investigation by the Police; or

(b) criminal proceedings in any court.

Disciplinary proceedings against an officer who has been criminally charged.

Disciplinary proceedings during criminal investigations or pending criminal proceedings.

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40. An officer who is acquitted of a criminal charge in any court is not precluded from having proceedings instituted against him under these Regulations in respect of an alleged act of misconduct arising out of that criminal charge.

41. (1) Where an officer pleads guilty to a criminal charge, or a criminal charge is proved against an officer, no disciplinary proceedings are necessary before dismissal is effected. The Services Commission shall consider the court’s findings and request the officer to show cause as to why he should not be dismissed.

(2) The Services Commission, after hearing the officer, may either dismiss the officer or impose such penalty as it sees fit.

42. (1) An officer who, while on secondment, is alleged by the receiving organization to have committed an offence, shall be returned by the receiving organization to his original Department and shall be suspended by the Services Commission from duty pending an investigation into the case.

(2) The Services Commission may proceed to institute disciplinary proceedings against such officer in accordance with this Part.

PART V TRANSFERS

43. All Public Officers are subject to transfers.

44. (1) The Services Commission shall approve all transfers in the Public Service except where it is otherwise stipulated in the Constitution or any subsidiary legislation made thereunder.

(2) In accordance with the provisions of the Public Services Commission (Delegation of Power to Transfer) Order, 1994, the power to

Disciplinary proceedings arising out of acquittal of criminal proceedings.

Dismissal upon return of guilty verdict in criminal charge.

Disciplinary procedures for officers on secondment.

Transfers.

Authority to transfer.

S. I. 83/1994.

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transfer Public Officers within the clerical, secretarial, administrative and accounting grades is hereby delegated to the Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of the Public Service.

(3) In respect of the administrative and accounting grades, the Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of the Public Service shall exercise the said power to transfer after consultation with the Administrative and Accounts Posts Panel.

(4) The power to transfer officers within a Ministry is hereby delegated to Chief Executive Officers pursuant to the Public Services Commission (Directions in Writing Delegating Power to Chief Executive Officers to make Intra-Ministerial Transfers) Notice, 2000.

45. Any Public Officer aggrieved by the decision of the Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of the Public Service, or any other Chief Executive Officer, as the case may be, to transfer him, may request the relevant Services Commission to review the decision and the Services Commission may review and vary any such decision of the Chief Executive Officer.

46. A Chief Executive Officer shall give a Public Officer notice of intention to transfer him between the months of January and March of each year.

47. (1) Transfers shall be effected during the months of July and August of each year to facilitate the smooth transfer of officers with children attending school during a current school year.

(2) It is expected that the need rise. This should be the exception rather than the rule and sound reasons must be advanced in such cases.

48. A transfer in the Public Service shall normally be for a tour of two to three years. It shall not be less than two years unless the exigencies of the Service otherwise require.

G. 48/2000. N. 862/2000.

Right to appeal to Commission.

Notice of transfer.

Tour of duty.

Duration of tour of duty after transfer.

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49. Transfers are for the benefit of the Public Service, as well as Public Officers, and shall not be used as a punitive measure by Chief Executive Officers. All officers shall be transferred on a rotation basis to ensure equity and fairness.

PART VI PENSIONS, GRATUITIES AND OTHER RETIREMENT

BENEFITS

50. All Public Officers, without exception, shall retire on reaching the compulsory retirement age of fifty-five (55).

51. (1) In cases of retirement on the grounds of ill-health the recommendation of a Medical Board appointed by the Director of Health Services comprising of not less than two Medical Officers (one of whom shall be a specialist) shall be submitted. The report shall state clearly that the officer is incapable by reason of an infirmity of mind or body of discharging the duties of his office efficiently and that such infirmity is likely to be permanent.

(2) If the relevant Services Commission is satisfied with the medical advice given it shall approve the retirement of the officer on medical grounds.

52. Pensions, gratuities and other retirement benefits of Public Officers shall be determined in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Pensions Act and Regulations made thereunder from time to time.

53. All claims to pensions, gratuities and other retirement benefits shall be made on the prescribed form and shall be submitted to the Accountant General’s Office, as soon as the question of an officer’s retirement has been settled. The form must be accompanied by the necessary supporting documents and must be certified by the officer’s Head of Department to the effect that all the particulars contained therein are correct. The supporting documents shall consist of the following:-

(a) birth certificate;

Transfers not to be used as a punitive measure.

Compulsory retirement.

Retirement on medical grounds.

Claims for pensions. CAP. 30.

Qualificatiion for pensions.

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(b) pension form completed and signed by the Head of Department;

(c) statutory declaration, where there are discrepancies in the birth certificate or where the birth certificate is not available;

(d) the officer’s election to receive either a full pension or a reduced pension and gratuity; and

(e) a statement of the officer’s indebtedness, if any, to Government.

54. If there is any doubt on any point which is likely to affect the computation and award of an officer’s retirement benefits, the Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of the Public Service, shall be consulted as early as possible with a view to ensuring the correctness of the particulars raising the doubt, prior to submission.

55. In cases where it is not possible to locate the necessary records in relation to an officer’s service, statutory declarations attesting to such service, shall be submitted by three reliable and responsible persons who know the career history of the officer in the Public Service. The status of the declarant shall be stated and he should also be able to give the source of his knowledge of the facts contained in the declaration.

56. The legal personal representative or beneficiary of an officer who dies while in the service of the Government shall be entitled to a death-in-harness gratuity in accordance with the Pensions Act.

57. In cases where an officer has rendered unbroken service under one or more employing bodies (e.g., Government, Primary Schools or a Statutory Board) a detailed statement of his service with each employing body shall be forwarded to the Director, who shall forward the request to the

Doubt regarding computation of officer’s retiring benefits.

Statutory declaration as to officer’s service.

Death-in- harness gratuity. CAP. 30.

Requirement as to other pensionable service.

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Governor-General with the advice of the Services Commission for the approval of this service to be continuous for pension purposes.

58. (1) On the death of an officer who contributed to the Widows and Children’s Pension Fund, pension shall be paid to the wife, children under sixteen years of age, and children over sixteen years of age pursuing full time education.

(2) Officers shall submit certified copies of their marriage certificates and the birth certificates of their children to the Accountant General’s Office as soon as possible after employment, so that their details are recorded by that office. This will facilitate early payment of benefits in the event of death.

59. Resignation gratuities shall be granted in accordance with section 7 of the Pensions Act, and any Regulations which may from time to time be made thereunder.

60. These Regulations shall come into force on the 15th day of November, 2001.

MADE by the Governor-General this 15th day of November, 2001.

(COLVILLE N. YOUNG) Governor-General

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Claims under the Widows and Children’s Pensions Act. CAP. 32.

Resignation gratuities. CAP. 30.

Commencement.

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Belize Constitution (Chief of Staff) (Ministry of Defence) (Designation)

CHAPTER 4

BELIZE CONSTITUTION (CHIEF OF STAFF) (MINISTRY OF DEFENCE)

[3rd February, 1990]

1. This Order may be cited as the

CHIEF OF STAFF (MINISTRY OF DEFENCE) (DESIGNATION) ORDER.

2. In exercise of the powers vested in me by Section 107(1) of the Belize Constitution and acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister given after consultation with the Public Services Commission, I hereby designate the office of the Chief of Staff, Ministry of Defence, as an office to which Section 107 of Belize Constitution will apply.

MADE by the Governor-General this 15th day of January, 1990.

(MINITA ELMIRA GORDON) Governor-General

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No. 5 of 1990.

Short title.

Designation of Chief of Staff as Section 107 Office.
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