By REBECCA KUKU
PARLIAMENT is desperately trying to fix its faulty old conferencing system in time for its sitting next month – but does not have the K22 million for the repair, says Leader of Government Business Rainbo Paita, pictured.
He told The National that the system was more than 30 years old and in “critical need of replacement”.
Paita, the Communications and Energy Minister, said the Parliament information, communication technology (ICT) system was installed 34 years ago and had
deteriorated to a point of “disrepair”.
According to a 2018 Parliament Restoration and Upgrade Report, prepared by the United Nations Development Programme, the conditions of the chamber conferencing system was “critical”.
“If the issues identified in this report are not addressed, the Parliament will have to cancel sitting days for extended periods of time due to the increase in failures,” he said.
“This is a significant risk to the functioning of Papua New Guinea’s democracy.” Paita said it would cost around K22mil to “modernise” the Parliament ICT system.
“I know there is a lot of negative feedback on why the K22 million should be spent on modernising the ICT system but we have to also understand that the Parliament is an arm of the Government just like the courts,” he said.
“If we can invest in upgrading the courthouse, we must also upgrade Parliament House which is the people’s house.”
Paita said he was looking at ways to raise the K22 million needed to upgrade the system.
Parliament is expected to discuss the Supplementary Budget at its sitting next month.
By REBECCA KUKU