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  • Tourism and Entertainment Minister, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, says the new format for shorter Budget and Sectoral Debate presentations, which was introduced this year, has worked well.
  • The new format saw Government Ministers’ presentations being limited to 45 minutes, with 30 minutes allocated for Opposition Spokespersons.
  • Dr. McNeill noted that “our not being able to speak for two to three hours compelled us to be more disciplined, selective, and efficient.”

Tourism and Entertainment Minister, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, says the new format for shorter Budget and Sectoral Debate presentations, which was introduced this year, has worked well.

The new format saw Government Ministers’ presentations being limited to 45 minutes, with 30 minutes allocated for Opposition Spokespersons.

Delivering the closing 2015/16 Sectoral Debate presentation in the House of Representatives, on Wednesday (May 6), Dr. McNeill noted that “our not being able to speak for two to three hours compelled us to be more disciplined, selective, and efficient.”

Consequent on this, he said, speakers resorted to other means, such as Ministry Papers, to ensure that “various aspects of our work will be placed on the record in Hansard.”

“These shorter presentations received better than usual coverage in the media and, therefore, had greater reach,” he noted.

Hansard is the traditional name of the transcripts of Parliamentary Debates in Britain and many Commonwealth countries.

It is named after Thomas Curson Hansard (1776-1833), a London printer and publisher, who was the first official printer to the Parliament at Westminster in England..

Meanwhile, Dr. McNeill endorsed the introduction and incorporation of technology as part of speakers’ presentations, pointing out that “we must move with the times.”

“This additional innovation, no doubt, piqued the interest of the technology-savvy younger generation,” he said, while commending Leader of Government Business in the House, and Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, for spearheading the initiative.

“We can all agree that we are moving in the right direction. However, we must balance the technology so that it does not become a distraction, but, rather, an effective tool of communication,” Dr. McNeill said.

The Minister’s presentation was based on the theme: ‘A Stable Foundation for Growth and Development’.