INFORMATION and Communication Technology (ICT) experts have visited the Parliament of Papua New Guinea and Bougainville House of Representatives to provide them with technical and strategic advice.

Appointed by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to review and assess existing ICT infrastructure at the complexes in Port Moresby and Buka, New Zealand’s Gerry Kessell-Haak and UK-based Richard Coombe also met with Parliamentary staff at the two centres.

Following the visit, the experts have begun to develop a costed ICT assessment report with timetables, which will help to implement new ICT strategies.

UNDP resident representative in PNG Roy Trivedy said the UNDP was happy to partner with both chambers to use its expertise for the benefit of the country.

“ICT provides critical tools for building strong, effective Parliaments’ that are able to advance inclusive and sustainable human development,” he said.

“This support will assist the PNG Parliament and the Autonomous Bougainville Government Parliament to improve the effectiveness of their legislative and representative work.”

PNG acting speaker Aide Ganasi thanked the UNDP for facilitating the exercise.

“Any assistance given to improve ICT infrastructure and processes in Parliament will assist in achieving the Speaker’s Theo Zurenuoc’s vision to modernise Parliament.”

Deputy Speaker of the Bougainville House of Representatives Francesca Semoso also thanked UNDP, saying that an improved ICT network would improve the conduct of parliamentary business.

“[It will also] further strengthen inter–parliamentary communication with other Parliaments that are part of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association,” she added.

The initiative is part of UNDP’s larger work on strengthening Parliaments around the world as an institution of governance.

In the Pacific, UNDP is working to strengthen the capacities of legislatures in Fiji, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Palau, Kiribati, PNG including Bougainville and Republic of Marshall Islands.