An interactive session on “Sharing Experiences and Best practices on E-Parliament focusing on the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the production of verbatim accounts (Hansard)” with the Manager Hansard and the Team from the New Zealand Parliament was held on 18th August 2022.
Jointly organized by the Parliamentary Development Unit (PDU), Senate Secretariat, and Office of the Inter-Parliamentary Relations (IPR) of the New Zealand Parliament, the virtual meeting between the Reporting Directorate, the I.T. Directorate teams of the Senate Secretariat, and the officials from the Hansard department of the New Zealand Parliament was held on Thursday, the 18th August 2022, in the Senate Committee Room No. 4 Parliament House, Islamabad.In line with the vision of the Hon’ble Chairman Senate regarding “Mutual Collaboration for Improving Parliamentary Performance”; this interactive session was the first of its kind to develop and manage partnerships with International Parliaments and strengthen parliamentary institutions through enhanced capacities, performances, and parliamentary diplomacy.Mr. Mir Shai Mazar Baloch (Director General, Coordination) being the moderator of the session welcomed the participants and emphasized strengthening parliamentary relations between the two sides.
Ms. Erin Grace, Manager (Hansard), and her team shared their experiences regarding transcribing the House debate in English and Māori languages through automated speech recognition software, an ASR system, and reporting from the respective chambers during the parliamentary sessions. The team members Reporters/Editors also shared practices of parliamentary reporting and mentioned that the technology adds to the accuracy and effectiveness of their official tasks.Mr. Faheem Ahmed, Director General (Reporting) Senate Secretariat gave a presentation regarding the functioning and providing services of the Reporting Directorate in connection to the House sessions. It was stated that the House proceedings are transcribed in Urdu and English languages. The Senate of Pakistan is the only legislative body in Pakistan where Bilingual Reporting is being practiced. Owing to this, the Hansard is prepared and uploaded on the website of the Senate of Pakistan within 24 hours. This feature has resulted in the timely and efficient disposal of the preparation of Hansard. Director General (I.T.) pointed out how the use of technology would not only save the efforts of the reporters but will contribute to their work effectiveness.Both sides interacted with each other in the Q & A session and found similarities in discharging their functions.
Moreover, both sides mutually appreciated the work that is being done by each side in their respective parliaments and proposed to hold more sessions to improve Hansard through the ICTs.