KINGSTON — The Senate, on Friday July 15, 2011, passed a resolution calling for a review of the standing orders of the Senate so as to allow for the use of technology during the sittings.
Senator Norman Grant, who moved the resolution, said “it will not only bring to the Upper House, practices in line with that of the House of Representatives, but also in line with international trends, where a number of Parliaments across the globe are amending their standing orders and practices to adopt the use of information communication technology."
He noted that the move by Government agencies to prepare and present their annual reports on compact disc necessitate the use of computers to access such data to facilitate informed debates on the reports.
“A number of agencies are presenting their annual reports in this form. These reports are normally examined when tabled by some members. The standing orders will permit members to ask questions immediately as the reports are tabled or at a future date. If technology cannot be used then there is no way that the information that is presented can be accessed,” Senator Grant argued.
“A change in the standing orders will signal the maturing of the Upper House as we seek to leap into the feature to lead a process of transformation for our people,” he added.
Government Senator, Camina Johnson Smith, in voicing agreement, said that the use of technology in the Senate will open “us to be more accepting of technology and its role or its assistance of us in the performance of our roles."
“It is in this context that I commend the motion to my fellow colleagues and I ask that they not only support the motion, but that they use the opportunity to advocate for further change and further development of the use of technology by this House, the seat of national development, so that we can all together move forward into the digital age,” she stated.
The resolution was referred to the Standing Orders Committee of the Senate for its consideration and report.
By LATONYA LINTON, JIS Reporter