4 October, 2014, 12:00 am
FIJI has one of the most modern parliaments in the Pacific region thanks to the provision of $1.6million worth of equipment by donors through the United Nations Development Fund.
Facilities provided through the UNDP include a delegate conference system for Membes of Parliament to vote electronically and a portable delegate conference system.
The new parliament will also include state-of-the-art Hansard recording software and hardware to ensure accurate records of the proceedings.
When parliament sits on Monday, MPs will also receive iPads to access documents and desktops. Laptops have been provided for parliament secretariat staff. The $1.6m for ICT equipment represents a portion of funds given to the UNDP by the governments of Australia, NZ, Japan and the EU with the remainder of donor funds utilised in other areas of parliament and training.
UNDP resident representative Osnat Lubrani said technology in the parliament chamber placed Fiji ahead of many other parliaments.
“This is certainly one of the most advanced parliaments in the Pacific and possibly even broader in the Pacific,” Ms Lubrani said.
“A number of parliaments currently don’t use electronic voting but they see the merit that electronic voting can give so they are moving in that direction.
“Fiji, if you like, is in front of these other parliaments. It already has this equipment installed and the new parliament will be ready to hit the ground running when it meets.”
NZ High Commission acting head of mission Mark Ramsden said there would be many in the NZ Parliament who would be envious of Fiji’s parliament, adding NZ was pleased to be of assistance.
Australian head of mission Karina D’Alosio said they looked forward to providing further support.