The Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services, PIPS, was formally established as an as an exclusive and independent, first of its kind research and capacity building facility for the parliamentarians, through an Act of Parliament on December 15, 2008. No matter it had started functioning in an interim facility since April 2006.
The Parliament in Pakistan had remained deprived of the power of Knowledge that comes from timely, accurate and credible information and objective bipartisan analysis on the most sensitive of national matters till the establishment of PIPS. The intense need for such an institution was direly felt and expressed in 2005 in the Speakers Conference of the National and Provincial houses. The Legislative Development Steering Committee (LDSC) of the National Parliament under the chairmanship of Deputy Speaker National Assembly chose to work for setting up the Institute with the support of the Pakistan Legislative Strengthening Project (PLSP). Based on the deliberations of the LDSC, comprising eight MNAs and four Senators in addition to Secretariat leadership of National Assembly and the Senate; various comparative studies and feasibility papers prepared by PLSP and the LDSC steered the initiative. The LDSC visualized PIPS as an autonomous entity, functioning under the leadership of the parliament and guided by a Board of Governors.
The members of two National Assemblies 2002 and 2008 and the Senate joined hands in not only envisioning the project but also steering it through legislation and across party advocacy. In fact PIPS legislation is a true manifestation of cross party caucusing in both the Senate and the National Assembly of Pakistan. The PIPS bill saw all parliamentary parties, government and the opposition working together. The bill was drafted by former Senator Ch Muhammad Anwer Bhinder from Pakistan Muslim League, (Quaid e Azam) PML Q, and ably supported by the former LDSC members such as former Deputy Speaker National Assembly Sardar Muhammad Yaqoub PML Q, Senator Ms Rukhsana Zuberi, Pakistan Peoples Party PPP, and Senator Azam Khan Swati JUI(F), Awami National Party ANP, respectievly. Members of the 2008 LDSC, MNAs Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Deputy Speaker Mr Fasial Karim Kundi, Ms Yasmeen Rehman (all from PPP) and MNA Mr Ayaz Sadiq, Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) PML N, contributed to finally get it through in the 13th National Assembly as a consensus Act. We acknowledge that USAID PLSP founding Chief of Party Eleanor Valentine and two of her successors – Christopher Shields and Carmen Lane –actively assisted the parliament in general and the LDSC in particular to make PIPS a reality. The institute was thus officially created through a consensus Act of Parliament passed in December 2008.
The establishment of the PIPS through unanimous support of the Parliament reflected the will and vision of not only the National Assembly and Senate, but also of the provincial Houses of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan, who are all represented through their Speakers in the PIPS Board of Governors.
Under the Act, the Chairman Senate and Speaker National Assembly were charged with the responsibility of nominating the members of the founding BOG. Considering the importance of the institute and the role of the Board of Governors, they tried to pick up the best of the lot keeping in view their background and experience for taking up this onerous responsibility. The Board of Governors, chaired by Chairman Senate or Speaker National Assembly by three-year rotation, has the overall control of the Institute and it guides its functioning. Executive Director is the chief executive of the institute and works under the control of the Board. Speaker of the National Assembly Madam Fehmida Mirza became the founding President of the PIPS Board of Governors, who along with Deputy Chairman Senate, Senator Mir Jan Muhammad Khan Jamali inaugurated the official construction launch of PIPS building in June 2010.
The Board, which thoroughly drafted, debated and approved comprehensive sets of Financial and Recruitment Rules that has laid a sound foundation to build a centre of excellence based on professionalism and merit, which reflects integrity and accountability in its functioning. The Board also appointed former Secretary General of National Assembly Mr Khan Ahmad Goraya as its founding Executive Director.
The Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services envisions establishing an appropriate forum to equip parliamentarians with cutting-edge strategies and tools to perform their representative, legislative and oversight functions effectively and efficiently.
PIPS endeavors to provide high-quality, accurate and result-oriented services to elected members and staff of the Legislatures in Pakistan to promote parliamentary excellence.
PIPS was instituted under an Act of the Parliament in December 2008. Its predominant objectives are to:
Assist parliamentarians in making informed policies by conducting or commissioning independent research on topical issues;
Conduct professional development and orientation programs for elected parliamentarians and staff of the national parliament and provincial assemblies;
Gather and organize data as well as provide complete, accurate, timely and relevant information to facilitate parliamentarians in their work; and
To maintain transparency and accountability in all its functions;
Provide technical support and various intellectual and knowledge resources to parliamentarians.
The PIPS team endeavors to work in unison for its sacred mission by following their cherished core values of:
PIPS is committed to serve all national and provincial legislatures in their efforts to perform their onerous tasks of law making, executive oversight, policy making and representation according to the aspirations and will of the people of Pakistan and to strengthen the tradition of a democratic order in the country. According to the mandate of the Institute as mentioned in the PIPS Act, the functions of the institute are as follows:
PIPS aspires to set standards of excellence by providing legislators and their staff physical , technical, intellectual and knowledge resources to conduct research, better prepare for debates, enhance legislative processes and benefit from unparalleled learning environments.