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MPs now have internet access

The House of Assembly has been transported to the 21st Century and has been equipped with WIFI internet access.

Minister Without Portfolio Michael Weeks said members could now access information on the web for the House to enhance the level of parliamentary debates.

He said: “In this same vein, HANSARD went live in May 2010 providing a means to capture Parliamentary debates and make them available to the Members.

“In 2011/12 it is envisioned that HANSARD will be available on the internet and therefore, be accessible to the public.

“The House of Assembly Parliamentary website is soon to be reviewed by the parliamentary House & Grounds Committee, to ensure that content is within established standards,” he added.

Mr Weeks, who presented MPs with information on the Legislature Department on Monday, said it had received an increase in this year's budget of nine percent, to $5,367,000.

He said these funds would allow the department to fill one administrative assistant post and cover costs for an expected increase in the number of Parliamentary Committee Meetings held in public.

It would also allow for professional legal services on constitutional matters and pay for ongoing costs associated with HANSARD, like maintenance, outsourced transcription, the hiring of an editor and annotators and I.T. support.

He revealed that upgrades would also be extended to include Senate and said: “The public requires full access to all parliamentary debates including debates occurring in the Upper House (The Senate) and hence it is only proper that the Senate be included in the Hansard project.

“Capital Development funding of $500,000, has been allotted for continuing works at the Sessions House such as necessary electrical works.

“Additionally, Capital Acquisition funding of $147, 000, has been allotted for the Legislature for the next stage of the HANSARD Project - Inclusion of the Senate proceedings and publishing to an enhanced Legislature website.

“To enhance accountability and transparency new performance measures have been implemented to monitor the efficiency and effectiveness of administrative operations to pay its bills timely, answer research requests from members, the timely processing of legislation and the timely response of myriad queries received from the public.”

In addition to these advancements, Mr Weeks took a few moments to comment on youth parliamentarian Jayson Jackson who was voted most outstanding debater at the seventh National Youth Parliament held in Trinidad and Tobago last summer.

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Published March 02, 2011 at 9:11 am (Updated March 02, 2011 at 9:11 am)

MPs now have internet access

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