The acting Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, Northwest Territories, Ms Colette Langlois, has completed a study visit to Tynwald.
Ms Langlois attended a four-day training programme arranged by the Office of the Clerk of Tynwald, during which she studied the parliamentary procedures and administrative functions of Tynwald and observed the Hansard voice recognition system in operation.
‘It has been extremely valuable to study the workings of Tynwald which, like ours, is one of the few small jurisdictions with a non-party political system. Prior to my visit I conducted some research but meeting Members and officers face to face and seeing the Manx parliament in action is enormously useful,’ said Ms Langlois who, after attending a sitting of Tynwald, observed how Members’ more formal style of delivery was different from that to which she was accustomed, ‘Largely because our proceedings are televised,’ she explained.
‘I was also interested to note how many Members hold departmental roles. This is something I shall take back for consideration as it clearly leads to greater involvement in government.’
During her visit she was able to see how Hansard was recorded using voice recognition technology. ‘I was most impressed with the system. We are a pared-down operation that outsources its Hansard requirements to free up our resources, so on my return I shall recommend that further discussions take place concerning the possibility of our using Tynwald’s Hansard service.’
In a question-and-answer presentation to Members Ms Langlois outlined some of the Legislative Assembly’s similarities to Tynwald and the practical administrative challenges the territory’s size presented, explaining to her audience that ‘the Northwest Territories cover around 1.3 million square kilometres; that’s about twice the size of France.’
She said: ‘This was my first time in the Isle of Man. I have been so warmly welcomed by everyone I have met and fascinated to learn about the thousand years of parliamentary history that have contributed to such a stable democracy.’
Clerk of Tynwald Roger Phillips said: ‘We are always delighted to welcome visiting parliamentary officers to Tynwald and to support them in their research by providing bespoke training programmes. Discussions with Colette have been especially absorbing given there are some similarities between our two jurisdictions, though clearly not in terms of geographical area. We are also pleased that our transcription service proved of interest and look forward to perhaps having the opportunity to share our Hansard team’s expertise with the Northwest Territories’ Legislative Assembly.’
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