Interpellation

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INTERPELLATION – one of the basic, individual means of parliamentary control (by members of parliament) over government activities. It also appears in the local government – interpellation of the councillor. Int. by the deputy (in Polish constitutional system senators do not have this right) consists in directing questions to members of the Council of Ministers, which give rise to the obligation to reply in writing in the time limit stipulated by the Sejm’s regulations (21 days). The content of int. should be matters of a fundamental nature and referring to problems related to the state policy. The content of int. should contain a presentation of the facts and the resulting question, in accordance with the competence of the interpellated. These should, therefore, be particularly important issues, although in practice it happens that the content of the int. touches the matter relevant to the parliamentary questions, which are addressed in current, less fundamental, matters. One of the corrective elements is the initial control of the int. by the Sejm’s presidium, which may decide not to run it because of the failure to comply with the statutory formal requirements. The Marshal of the Sejm promptly forwards the int. to the addressee who should inform the Sejm about its reception (the content of int. and the response to it is published in an attachment to the stenographic report from the Sejm’s debates). In the event that the deputy considers the response of the interpellated to be insufficient, he/she may ask the Marshal to apply to the member of the Council of Ministers with request for additional explanations. From a political point of view, int. gives the deputy an opportunity to show the voters that he/she is interested in the problems of their own electoral district (many int. and queries concern problems related to the functioning of individual regional and local communities), and is one of the most important control instruments of the parliamentary opposition. In the local government, the institution of the int. by the councillor is regulated by the provisions of the statute of the local-government unit – it is therefore not regulated by the act, but by the act of local law. As a rule, int. (addressed to the executive body of a local-government unit) concerns significant matters from the point of view of the functioning of this unit and includes an indication of the need to solve a given problem and requesting the executive body of the unit to take a stand on the case. The councillor has the right to obtain any information that is public in nature. Int. can be made in writing or orally [ T. Słomka ].

Literature: L. Garlicki, Polskie prawo konstytucyjne. Zarys wykładu, Warszawa 2013 ■ A. Krajewska, Radni a partycypacja publiczna, Instytut Spraw Publicznych, „Analizy i Opinie” 2013, nr 5.

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