The Hansard department falls under the leadership of the Deputy Clerk, Ms. H.B. Dingani. This is the Department responsible for producing verbatim reports of Parliamentary proceedings, that is debates of the National Assembly and the Senate and reports of Committees and public hearings. The department is headed by the Director Hansard. It has a staff complement of 19; that is Director Hansard and 18 Reporters. The approved establishment is 28 – 4 Editors and 24 Reporters.
- To provide professional service through team work by producing, editing and indexing accurate verbatim reports of Parliamentary proceedings.
- To achieve excellence in overnight production of Hansard internationally by 2023.
HANSARD ISP GOAL FOR 2019 – 2023 IS:
- A Department that produces accurate and world class verbatim reports of Parliamentary proceedings.
First Floor close to Nelson Mandela Avenue. The Director Hansard’s Office is No. 156. 16 Cubicles, Amalgamation Office and Principal Hansard Editor’s Office No. 154. Hansard Training is on Second Floor – Office 214.
The name ‘Hansard’ comes from Thomas Curson Hansard, the man who is generally credited with first reporting the debates in the House of Commons in Westminster in 1811, as an unofficial observer. His name has served as the unofficial title for this document in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries. The Zimbabwean Hansard follows the principles laid down in 1907 by the House of Commons Select Committee on Parliamentary Debates –
“It is a full report, in the first person, of all speakers alike, a full report being defined as; ‘…one which, though not strictly verbatim, is substantially the verbatim report, with repetitions and redundancies omitted and with obvious mistakes corrected, but which on the other hand, leaves out nothing that adds to the meaning of the speech or illustrates the argume
HANSARD REPORTING AND TRANSCRIPTION PROCESS
When Parliament is in session, Hansard Reporters are scheduled on a duty roster to do ten minute ‘takes’ each. The speeches delivered by Members are recorded by the digital recording system, while pen writing in shorthand format is used to supplement the digital recording system in order to ensure accuracy of the report. If debate is in vernacular, interpretation to English is received through the recording system, as there are no shorthand forms for vernacular. The captured material is transcribed in 40 – 50 minutes into readable English (for a standard 3 page manuscript). For members to satisfy themselves that the report of their speeches is accurate, each member is supplied with a typescript of their contributions in the House so that they can check on the accuracy of the report. Attached to each typescript is a slip with the member’s name and the time by which any suggested alteration should be returned to the Editor for incorporation in the Daily Hansard. However, the revision of speeches by members must be confined to grammatical mistakes, errors in names, figures and no additions should be made which would profoundly change what was said in the House. It is not in order to add new matter or to delete any statements made.
The Hansard is produced overnight and should be delivered to Parliament , the following morning (pending availability of resources). Hon. Members are urged to read it and contact the Editor with any corrections for final entry in the Bound Volume.
[Note: Official Report. Unrevised – on Hansard copy]. Copy is produced procedurally, according to our own ‘House Style’. Though Reporter is the most noticeable in the production chain, and indeed a key player in producing the Hansard booklet, many other people contribute to the successful production of the copy. The production chain is as follows:
MP → Interpreter → Reporter → Amalgamation → Editor/MP → Printer
Hansard Distribution is done by the Public Relations Department, Third Floor, Pax House.
NEED TO KNOW:
- Hon Members are urged to make corrections to their speeches before they leave Parliament building.
- When Hon Members get their speeches from Editors for corrections, they should correct them within ten minutes and return them to the Editors for incorporation of those corrections in the main document.
- Queries that come after the Hansard has been printed can only be incorporated in the Bound Volume or through a corrigendum or an addendum.
- Members are encouraged to speak in moderation for audibility and easier capturing by reporters.
- Members who make contributions in the vernacular are also encouraged to speak slowly in order for interpreters to keep pace with them.
- Members who have written speeches are encouraged to hand them to the reporter in the House at that time or to the Editorial team to enhance accuracy.
- Should any speech be marked “Not recorded due to technical fault”: what it means is that the reporter was not able to capture that speech by hand or through the digital recording system. This is caused by technical faults beyond the control of reporters.
- Under normal circumstances, the Hansard is produced overnight, meaning that it should be ready for distribution the next morning, but due to the hash economic conditions, sometimes the Printer fails to meet the printing deadline. However, a soft copy of the Hansard can be accessed on the Parliament website 3 to 4 hours after adjournment of the House (s).
- Any queries pertaining to the Hansard should be directed to the Director Hansard or any officers manning the Amalgamation office.