The crucial role of Hansard in supporting Parliaments in many countries to undertake their full constitutional mandate in representing the interests of citizens, legislating and providing oversight of the executive branch of government, is an area that is not often publicised.
In delivering opening remarks at the start of a two-day training on Hansard for the National Parliament of Papua New Guinea (PNG) today, Julie Bukikun, the Assistant Representative for UNDP in PNG and Head of Governance, highlighted the important, yet understated function of Hansard.
“Hansard is an essential aspect of the secretariat’s work, central to the functioning of modern and democratic parliaments,” said Ms Bukikun.
She added, “It contributes directly to Parliament’s transparency, accountability and openness, and helps to guarantee that citizens are aware of the institution’s work and understand it.”
“By providing a clear, regular and timely account of debates, Hansard allows to keep track of all work being done by the core institution of representative democracy – Parliament. This is a crucial role, since a considerable proportion of parliamentary work consists of verbal discussions,” said Ms Bukikun.
The Hansard training involves the participation of resource people from the New Zealand Parliament which includes, Luke Harris, the Hansard Team Leader and Hayley Locke, a Hansard Editor.
Echoing the statements made by UNDP, Acting Clerk for the National Parliament of PNG, Mr Kala Aufa was grateful for the support of development partners in building the capacity of the Parliament Secretariat staff.
“I am pleased that this workshop will be covering one of the core functions of the Parliamentary Services which is the Hansard production,” said Mr Aufa.
“This is an integral part of development and training for all our staff in achieving professional and quality output of the Hansard production, publication and distribution.”
The training programme is supported by the Pacific Parliamentary Effectiveness Initiative (PPEI), which is implemented by UNDP Pacific Office with support from UNDP PNG and with funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) of New Zealand.
Jone Tuiipelehaki Raqauqau, Communications Associate – Effective Governance, email: email@example.com, tel: (679) 3227 541 or mob: (679) 9936 744
Harry Momos, Media Manager, National Parliament of PNG, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: (675) 73767062
Serahphina Aupong, UNDP Communications Officer, email: email@example.com, tel: (675) 737 48724