Jun 23, 2020

Parliamentary sessions to go virtual? Featured

Plans are underway to hold virtual parliamentary sessions if social distancing rules would be deemed further necessary in the future due to the Covid-19 epidemic.

Accordingly, a mock exercise was held yesterday (22) by the senior management of the Parliament Secretariat with the participation of the Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake and Chief of Staff and Deputy Secretary General Neil Iddawala.

Representatives of Committees, Government Officials and the general public can participate in Committee Meetings online using digital technology without the presence of Parliament.

Dhammika Dasanayake, Secretary General of Parliament, said that the proposal would be introduced in Parliament once the ninth Parliament is established.

Commenting on the mock exercise - Dhammika Dasanayake, stated that many committee rooms are already equipped with the requisite camera facilities to live record, thus, the possibilities of conducting meetings digitally are being explored.

He added that the secretariat is in the process of identifying the shortcomings and the glitches in the technology.

The process wishes to hold online meetings with a minimum number of participants where officials and other Government institutes can virtually be present at the meetings also enabling Members of Parliament, Government officials and general public to take part in the Committee meeting without travelling to Parliament.