Parliament launches website, guide
Speaker urges continuation of leaders' dialogue
Stabroek News
January 27, 2004

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A how to: Speaker of the National Assembly Ralph Ramkarran (sitting) is shown how to access Parliament's website, which was officially launched yesterday. Looking on are Attorney-General Doodnauth Singh (third from left), Country Director of the National

The Speaker of the National Assembly yesterday urged the continuation of the dialogue between the President and the Opposition Leader as parliament launched its website to bring the workings of government closer to the people.

Speaker Ralph Ramkarran said it is in the interest of the country that the "constructive engagement" between President Bharrat Jagdeo and Opposition Leader Robert Corbin continues and he said with the support and commitment of parliament and the international community, great strides can be made.

"This is not a big thing, the establishment of a website. But for us in Parliament, and in Guyana, it is an innovation of vast importance," said Ramkarran at the launching yesterday at the Parliamentary Library at the Public Buildings.

Ramkarran noted that there is public interest in the National Assembly while the interest of Members of Parliament and other agencies are key to improving the website and the work of the Parliament.

"We will rely on critical analysis of what we do in order to improve what we are doing," he said. was developed by the Parlia-ment Office in collaboration with the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the Sustainable Development Network Programme (SDNP). The site will be hosted by the SDNP.

The website includes useful documents such as the Guyana Constitution, the Standing Orders, the names of Members of Parliament and a listing of all the Acts of Parliament between 1993 and last year.

SDNP Manager Vidya Kissoon, who described the website as a work in progress said the launching was a milestone. He said SDNP would hope to achieve even more with the Guyana Develop-ment Gateway, a project that will seek to encourage and increase the interaction between Government and citizens through information technology.

The NDI is a US-based non-governmental organisation working to strengthen democracy and governance around the world. In Guyana, the NDI has been engaged by USAID to implement the programme for More Responsive and Participatory Governance and Rule of Law in Guyana. An NDI press release said that over the past seven years the NDI has provided vital support and assistance to Parliament with funding from USAID. This has included construction and furnishing of the parliamentary library and donation of computer accessories.

Also launched at the ceremony yesterday was the explanatory booklet, the Guyana Parliament Guide.

In his introduction to the Guide, Ramkarran said he hopes that the National Assembly will play a more important role in the governing of Guyana, through the establishment of Parliamen-tary Standing Committees and Sub-Committees. He said he also hoped for the establishment of a Parliamentary complex with modern facilities and the provision of research services by the Secretariat for Members of the Assembly.

The guide among other things describes the legislative procedure, parliamentary committees and the structure of Parliament Office.