A new system is expected to be implemented in the House of Assembly to make all future proceedings paperless and this will reduce parliament’s operational expenditure and ensure greater efficiency.
Leader of government business, Premier Andrew Fahie moved the motion for the introduction of the new technology, which was passed on Wednesday.
He said the system will not only ensure a paperless end result but will also advance the integrity and the format of which the House operates, into a more professional and modern manner.
“With it, I know we are going to get things done in record time. It is necessary, it’s going to increase efficiency. It’s going to also reduce having to walk around with a big bundle of paper and have it at your fingertip that you can review. So, it is a timely initiative and good time for the House of Assembly to go paperless and for us to be able to conduct our business online in a secured environment, may I add,” the Premier stated.
He said this legislation works in tandem with a recently amended policy that allows virtual sittings of parliament in the event of a disaster or national emergencies.
Fall’s in line with e-government agenda
Premier Fahie also said the initiative is in sync with his government’s agenda to digitally transform the public sector.
He said: “This falls right in line with what we’re doing with e-government with some of the amendments we’ve made since COVID to make sure that it reflects the reality on the ground during pandemics and catastrophic events, so that the government can continue to grow from strength to strength.”
The Premier also credited the Opposition Leader, Marlon Penn – who seconded the motion – for his role in creating some of the e-government legislation which the VIP administration is now advancing.
Technology should be fully utilised
Meanwhile, Minister for Natural Resources Vincent Wheatley called on all members of the House of Assemble to fully utilise the technology when it becomes operational.
He said history has shown that the implementation of new technologies is often under-utilised, and as a result, the intended goal for introducing the technology is never fully achieved.
“As minister for the environment, it pleases me greatly because I see the amount of paper that the current system produces. As a proponent of technology, I would also like members to make sure that when you go paperless we shouldn’t just automate the old system but use the new system to do things that we couldn’t do before,” he said.
“We’ve seen many instances in the past where persons went from typewriters to word processors just to do letters on a computer. If that’s all you’re doing with a computer you’re wasting the ability of the technology. This technology will let us do more than just simply remove paper, it’s going to allow us to do things that we couldn’t do before,” Fahie explained.
A 12-member Special Select Committee was also approved during the motion. This committee will be tasked with implementing the new system into the House of Assembly.
The committee is chaired by Speaker Julian Willock while Opposition Leader Penn is the Deputy Chairman.
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