Parliamentary proceedings go online

Business

By Fredrick Obura

Kenyans can now access records of parliamentary proceedings dating back from 1959 online.

This follows digitisation of parliamentary Hansard by the Kenya Law Report, Google Kenya, Kenya ICT Board, and the National Assembly.

Speaking yesterday during the official launch in Nairobi, Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza said the move was aimed at improving access to information by the public.

"We are witnessing another milestone in improving access of parliamentary information to the public," she said.

"Availability of parliamentary proceedings from 1959 to date online would help electorate know inside story of Parliament debates at a click of a button," she said.

"We urge wananchi to use these advancements in technology to form their decision before electing public leaders," she said. The four partners have made it easier to access parliamentary proceedings through selected portals such as www.kenyalaw.org, www.parliament.go.ke, and the www.google .co.ke

Information and Communication PS Bitange Ndemo said the development presents Kenyans with an opportunity to know whether issues affecting them at the local level are being raised for debate.

Open, technology

"We have now made it possible for Kenyans to know whether issues affecting you at the county level are being addressed," Dr Ndemo said.

Ndemo urged Kenyans to use the records as a research resource.

The availability of parliamentary Hansard online is expected to enhance capacity of organisations such as the National Council for Law reporting in managing and distributing public information.

Mr Michael Murungi of National Council for Law reporting said the initiative would help his organisation develop and implement an open, technology-neutral standard for the management of current and future public legal information.

Ms Jennifer Shamalla, the convenor ICT/Intellectual Property Rights Committee urged the Government to reduce internet and computer prices to enable all Kenyans access the parliamentary report.

Shammalla urged the Kenya ICT Board to speed up its digital villages programme in rural areas.

She said the villages would play an important role in enabling the public access important government services and information.

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