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Parliament signs MoU with PoN

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The Namibian Parliament through its Support Programme signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN) through which PoN will develop a better parliamentary website, in the capital on Thursday.

The website is aimed at expanding the opportunity for exchange of ideas between parliament and the electorate, hence increasing the electorate participation in the democratic process.

The Speaker of the National Assembly Theo-Ben Gurirab and the Chairperson of the National Council Asser Kapere signed on behalf of the National Assembly and the National Council respectively, while the Rector of PoN Tjama Tjivikua signed on behalf of the PoN.

In his speech, Gurirab explained that the MoU commits the three institutions to work together more closely towards the common goal of development and maintenance of the parliamentary website.

This he added includes amongst others the development of a user friendly and best practice content management system, database and the training of Members of Parliament (MPs) and staff on the sustainable usage of the new web presence.

He added that: “ These are indeed exciting developments and will undoubtedly usher the Namibian Parliament into a new era of citizen engagement.”

The Speaker noted that parliamentarians are elected by the voting public to represent their interest, hence there is a need for regular dialogue with their constituents.

Parliamentary websites have evolved over the years from merely providing information about the legislature and its work to linking parliament to citizens in order to allow them to freely engage their representatives on critical issues affecting them, he said.

“Having a website in itself is not enough, a website must be easily understandable and freely accessible. Most importantly it must be well managed and supported and updated daily,” he stressed.

On his part, Kapere explained that the MoU is a clear step towards the realization of a better parliamentary website which is intended to a custodian of information on parliament's functions and activities, a transmitter of parliamentary current affairs, a custodian of all current Namibian legislation in digital format and a communication channel between parliament, the electorate and the nation at large.

He said parliamentary websites have become more sophisticated and more demanding in a sense that websites need to be fed constantly with current information and need to contain information that meets the expectations of the end users.

Meanwhile, Tjivikua said management of information has become a daunting challenge and it calls for investments in strengthening information systems as well as enhancing skills within those institutions.

In a democracy, readily access to information is a precondition for citizens' participation and governance and this MoU speaks directly to this point, he added.

He said public access to parliament in modern times can be equated to, or simplified by online access which is public internet access.

(edited)WINDHOEK: The Namibian Parliament through its Support Programme signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN) here on Thursday.

The MoU will see the PoN develop an improved Parliamentary website.

The website is aimed at expanding the opportunity for exchange of ideas between Parliament and the electorate, thereby increasing the electorate’s participation in the democratic process.

The Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Theo-Ben Gurirab and the Chairperson of the National Council, Asser Kapere signed the MoU on behalf of the National Assembly and the National Council respectively, while PoN Rector Tjama Tjivikua signed on behalf of the Polytechnic.

Addressing the event, Gurirab explained that the MoU commits the three institutions to work together more closely towards the common goal of the development and maintenance of the Parliamentary website.

This includes the development of a user-friendly and best practice content management system, database, and the training of Members of Parliament (MPs) and staff on the sustainable usage of the new web presence.

“These are indeed exciting developments and will undoubtedly usher the Namibian Parliament into a new era of citizen engagement,” Gurirab said.

The Speaker noted that Parliamentarians are elected by the voting public to represent their interests, hence there is a need for regular dialogue with their constituents.

Parliamentary websites have evolved over the years from merely providing information about the legislature and its work to linking Parliament to citizens in order to allow them to freely engage their representatives on critical issues affecting them, he said.

“Having a website in itself is not enough, a website must be easily understandable and freely accessible. Most importantly, it must be well managed and supported and updated daily,” he stressed.

On his part, Kapere explained that the MoU is a clear step towards the realisation of a better website for Parliament which is intended to be a custodian of information on Parliament's functions and activities, a transmitter of Parliamentary current affairs, a custodian of all current Namibian legislation in digital format and a communication channel between Parliament, the electorate and the nation at large.

He said Parliamentary websites have become more sophisticated and more demanding in the sense that websites need to be fed constantly with current information and needs to contain information that meets the expectations of the end users.

Meanwhile, Tjivikua said management of information has become a daunting challenge and it calls for investments in strengthening information systems as well as enhancing skills within those institutions.

In a democracy, ready access to information is a precondition for citizens' participation and governance and this MoU speaks directly to this point, he added.

NAMPA

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/asianet/130412/parliament-signs-mou-pon