F.A.Q

Frequently Asked Questions

Of what use is the scheme if MPs have business experience?
What do you mean by practitioner to practitioner?
How do you evaluate?
How can you sustain programmes?
What about outcomes?
What about funding sustainability?
How are programmes managed ?
What about different political parties?
What about government support?
What do you mean by integration into the IABP network ?
What is the IABP code of principles ?
How are schemes managed?
What is the IABP relationship with the European Parliament?
What are the staff for business and parliament schemes?

Of what use is the scheme if MPs have business experience?

Because the programmes are tailored to an individual’s level of knowledge they can be developed to answer the need of such an individual in specific areas of the economy, answering need for additional information and first hand experience. TOP

What do you mean by practitioner to practitioner?

The learning experience is delivered by those whose role and responsibilities are relevant to the programme being delivered. For example a programme for an MP on micro financing would provide an overview of the sector and involment with micro financing organisations, their clients and those managing the client relationship and the funding organisations supporting the micro-financing schemes. In each case the relevant individual is imparting information on the issue, ideally in a real life situation, rather than at a presentation. TOP

How do you evaluate?

The staff have an extensive debriefing with the parliamentary and business participants, including asking the key questions ‘was the time spent of benefit?’.’ how and why was it useful?’ and ‘what are the resulting actions going to be taken’. Evaluation is critical to the development of the scheme’s programmes as well as ensuring that the programme objectives have been met. TOP

How can you sustain programmes?

Each programme, has to be tailored to the individual MPs need, have clear objectives and be evaluated for outcomes and resulting actions. They have to be effective and then MPs return again and recommend the programmes to colleagues. Because Business and Parliament schemes are established as a permanent resource, programmes are constantly being provided . TOP

What about outcomes?

Crucially, establishing a non corrupt transparent relationship between business and parliament. In addition there are specific outcomes for the individual participant by meeting his/her objectives. This may be to increase an understanding of a sector or economic issue which will be brought to bear when relevant legislation is being considered . Usually there are also resulting actions by the Parliamentarian. In addition there is the cumulative impact of MPs using the resource, and increasing their understanding of business related issues which informs their judgements on economic policies and legislation. There are specific outcomes where programmes are linked to committee work. For example the new tax code of Georgia, to which the scheme made a major contribution. The working group of tourist operators and parliamentarian, for the Georgian Economic Committee established as the result of a programme for the committee. In some instances where issues have become personalised by the media as a power struggle between leading politicians, the scheme has depersonalised them. TOP

What about funding sustainability?

Schemes become self funding after eighteen months. Parliaments provide any allowances for travel or accommodation and on ideally the office for the scheme, as it makes the scheme a readily accessible resource for MPs. The participating businesses all make a strictly regulated contribution which provides the annual budget for programmes and the schemes staff. TOP

How are programmes managed ?

The schemes staff interview applicant MPs and when clear about MPs objectives draw on their expertise and that available to them, to develop programmes which will give a rounded, balanced learning experience for the parliamentarian. The staff Member monitors the progress of longer programmes and always undertakes an evaluation. The staff Member has the confidence of both parliamentarian and business representatives and ensures the programme meets the IABP principles. TOP

What about different political parties?

It is critical to have the support and involvement of all political factions, so the scheme

is demonstrably for the Parliament and all its members. TOP

What about government support?

It is essential to have the support of the parliamentary speaker or chairperson, it is also essential to have support at ministerial level. Policy is usually initiated by government. there has to be an understanding by government that the schemes is about capacity building of parliamentarians not one particular faction or party. TOP

What do you mean by integration into the IABP network ?

The IABP is made up of sixteen national and regional schemes that the IABP has helped to create and which are in membership. The schemes have over 300 participating enterprises representing all sectors and size of business from micro to multinational. In addition each of the schemes serves its national Parliament. This is a powerful international network of business people and parliamentarians who have all signed up to the IABP Code of Principles TOP

What is the IABP code of principles ?

Agreed by the founding schemes the Code defines a business and parliament scheme, and provides national schemes with an internationally recognised framework for ensuring their integrity. TOP

How are schemes managed?

By a Board of Parliamentarians of all factions or parties and business people representative of the national economy. They are responsible for ensuring the integrity of the scheme is maintained by adherence to the IABP Code, they approve colleagues requests for programmes and elect enterprises to be representative of the economy TOP

What is the IABP relationship with the European Parliament?

The IABP provides programmes for senior officials of the parliament through its national schemes. The IABP has been asked to establish a scheme in the Parliament providing access to programmes for all 720 MEPs, even if their country does not have a national scheme. TOP

What are the staff for business and parliament schemes?

usually three to four people, with very specific skills who gain the respect and confidence of parliamentarians, ministers and business people. They have to operate to the highest standards

of integrity and have high level programme development skills. The IABP has a partnership with the UK’s John Smith Memorial Trust which provides practical Fellowships for future civil society leaders in former Soviet Union countries. The IABP draws on Fellows for its senior national staff. TOP