Kenya Parliament to be digitized
MPs will now be registering ‘digitally’ as they enter the debating chambers, following the introduction of a new biometric system by the National Assembly that will replace the old manual routine.
The legislators, who resumed the sittings for the second session of the 11th Parliament yesterday will be expected to liaise with the House Information Communications Technology Department so as to have their details captured in the biometric system as from today until the end of the week so that the use of the biometric system can kick off officially next week.
The new system just like most digital concepts offers much convenience and saves on time compared to doing things manually. For instance, the old manual process that MPs used to register with required them to sign against their respective names before entering the debating chambers, something that resulted to long queues and time wastage but with the new biometric system MPs will just have to press a finger on the fingerprint reader and their presence will be automatically registered.
“Biometrics are our most unique physical (and behavioral) features that can be practically sensed by devices and interpreted by computers so that they may be used as proxies of our physical selves in the digital realm. In this way we can bond digital data to our identity with permanency, consistency, and unambiguity, and retrieve that data using computers in a rapid and automated fashion.”
NO ATTENDANCE NO ALLOWANCE
The digital process will also help in accountability as it will help in verifying all the MPs present during a seating thus the clandestine business of cheating on attendance that would see MPs sign in on behalf of their colleagues in the manual register in order for them to be eligible for the sitting allowances even when they were absent in the house will have been brought to an end.
According to Justin Muturi, the speaker of the National Assembly, the technology will discourage MPs from cheating on their house attendance and even committee sittings where they cheat to earn more allowances.
An MP is entitled to a sitting allowance of Sh5, 000 with the number of sittings by Parliamentary Committees not limited as the Salaries and Renumeration Committee (SRC) had advocated for during the salary row that rocked the two teams last year. Apparently, each MP belongs to at least one parliamentary committee.