The Senate consists of thirteen (13) non-elected Members. The members come from different sources.
- Seven are appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister.
- Three are appointed on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition.
- Three are appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister after he has consulted the organizations or interests which he considers the Senators should be selected to represent.
Functions of the Senate
- To act as a House of review with responsibility for expressing second opinion in relation to legislative and other proposals initiated in the House of Representatives.
- To ensure proper consideration of all legislation.
- To provide adequate scrutiny of financial measures.
- To initiate non-financial legislation as the Senate sees fit: the Senate’s capacity to initiate proposed legislation effectively means that Parliament is not confined in its opportunities for considering public issues in a legislative context to those matters covered by bills brought forward by the executive.
- To probe and check the administration of laws and to keep itself informed and to insist on ministerial accountability for the administration of the Government.
- To provide effective scrutiny of Government and enable adequate expression of debate about policy and government programmes. As a parliamentary forum, the Senate is one place where a Government can be, of right, questioned and obliged to answer.
All bills must be passed by the Senate before they can become law and it has the constitutional right to reject any bill and keep on rejecting it as long as it sees fit. It can also amend any bill, although it cannot initiate or increase the amount of any bill dealing with taxation or expenditure.