New Hansard recording system has been installed at the Bougainville Parliament enabling it to record and transcribe its sessions and proceedings.
The Hansard system is a digital system used to produce transcripts of the Parliament’s debates and sessions, a global practice that ensures accountability and transparency of the Parliaments around the world. It was brought to Bougainville as part of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) support to the Autonomous Bougainville Government.
“The new system will strengthen accountability and transparency of the Bougainville’s Parliament and its representatives”, said the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea, Hon Simon Pentanu at a short handover ceremony in Buka last week.
The Hon. Speaker of the Parliament said, “This equipment will help our electorates have more access to what their representatives are saying here on their behalf and will enable them to ask questions. It will help make the parliament more accountable.”
He added that “Overall, the support we have received from UN is helping us improve governance and the Parliamentary Service in particular.”
The Hansard system was installed by For The Record, an Australian based company. It is fitted with the most up to date software and is the same one used around the world including in Australia and UK Parliaments.
The system allows for primary and backup recording in both main parliamentary chamber and committee room. All recordings are then automatically replicated to a central archive server of the intranet, from where all audio playback and log notes can be accessed and reviewed.
Mr Lawrence Bassie, Programme Coordinator of the Peace Building Fund Programme in Bougainville, who handed over the equipment to the Speaker said that this is part of UNDP’s overall support to help build good governance and capacity of the Autonomous Bougainville Government: “The UN is here to support you in line with the Autonomous Bougainville Government’s initiatives and their aspirations for the people of Bougainville.”
Acting Chief Secretary, head of the Bougainville Public Service, Mr Paul Kebori, noted that the Parliament is critical for democracy and the Hansard equipment will ensure “Up-to-date records of Parliamentary proceedings which will also be accessed in the future by the public.”
UNDP’s support is made possible through the UN Peace Building Fund and is aimed at helping the Government of Papua New Guinea and Autonomous Bougainville Government consolidate peace, enhance community cohesion, good governance and build capacity of various government departments.