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Monday, July 4, 2011

Thoughts on Parliament's ICT Day

Last week, on Thursday, the last day of the financial year, Kenya's National Assembly had the ICT Day for MPs. Of course, only less than 10 MPs attended the event.

The Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende did not attend. He was instead represented by the chairman of Parliament's Communications and Energy Committee.

The Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr Patrick Gichohi did attend, but he came later after the speeches. Senior Deputy Clerk PC Omolo held the brief for the Clerk before he came. Now, there's something about IT and organisations --it is a tool, it is never taken seriously, but everyone wants to speak favourably about it. Really, it is just lip-service.

Unless the Speaker as the head of all MPs begins to show up for such functions and order MPs to attend such functions, and have them learn how to use the tools, the 700 reams of paper used every week in Parliament will remain just that in the coming weeks.

But when Parliament hits 412 MPs, then, well, I'd love to be a contractor to provide stationery...can you imagine how big paper business will be in 2013 and beyond.

Unless they act first on the automation dream, and have all MPs train on computers and not just leave the likes of James Rege and William Kabogo to be the only ones able to use an Ipad, then stationery suppliers will smile all the way to the banks.

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