Discussion underway for ‘closer relationship’ between independent authorities and Parliament, Voutsis says

Parliament President Nikos Voutsis on Tuesday revealed that a discussion was now underway on the possibility of transferring the five independent authorities protected by the Constitution from individual ministries to within “the shell of Parliament.”

He said this would include the Hellenic Data Protection Authority, the Hellenic Authority for Communication Security and Privacy, the Supreme Council for Civil Personnel Selection, the National Council for Radio and Television (NCRTV) and the Greek Ombudsman.

Noting that Parliament had succeeded in reaching agreement on forming all five authorities with large majorities, Voutsis said that this had enhanced the prestige of Parliament’s function and that a discussion had thus begun on putting them in the care of Parliament in terms of their control, financial support and the management of their staff. He noted that they would become an integral part of Parliament’s function but as a counterweight to the executive branch.

Voutsis said this could be accomplished through an act of legislation while clarifying that this would not involve the administrative induction of the authorities into Parliament but “establishing a closer relationship”. He indicated that there were currently ideas for giving some of these authorities regulatory powers and the right to make proposals and offer opinions on legislation.

Voutsis made the statements while speaking to the plenum during a vote approving Parliament spending in 2015.