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Technology may lock out MPs

01 October 2013, 12:19

Nairobi - Members of Parliament (MPs) risk being locked out of the House of Assembly if they do not comply with the new rules that demand the complete adoption of electronic cards to conduct business in the House.

The new law was expected to take effect with leaders of the house insisting it would apply to all legislators “without favour”

“Those of you (legislators) who keep losing your cards or forgetting to carry them in the House are slowing down Parliament’s move to go digital,” House Speaker, Justin Muturi, said.

Punitive measures have been attached to those who will violate the laws including a KES 2 000 for losing the electronic card.

The MPs will also be denied their KES 5 000 sitting allowance in the event that they lacked the card.

The electronic card will be used to notify the speaker a breach of House rules. It will also be used whenever a member wants to speak besides taking a vote. The House laws state that manual voting will only be used when the electronic system has developed a technical problem or when confusion occurring during voting.

The new card system is part of a number of initiatives aimed at modernizing the Parliament.

Recently, plans were put in place to digitise more than 1 750 editions of parliamentary debates dating back more than 50 years. Until then, the records were available as inconvenient hard copies.

 - CAJ News



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