The Hansard department is headed by Director Hansard who reports to the Deputy Clerk Journals and house Procedures. There are two sections within the department – Editorial section and Reporters Section, headed by the Director Hansard.
To achieve excellence in the overnight production of Hansard.
To professionally produce accurate verbatim reports of Parliamentary proceedings through teamwork.
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 official 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 argument.’
The Department is responsible for –
- Producing verbatim reports of Parliamentary proceedings; (Parliamentary Debates, Committee Oral Evidence/Public Hearings);.
- Indexing of Parliamentary Debates; and
- Production of Sessional Bound Volumes.
- To produce Hansard through Recording of Parliamentary Debates, transcribing and editing of manuscripts.
- To produce verbatim Committee reports by recording Committee Oral Evidence/Public Hearings, transcribing and editing.
- To produce indexing of Parliamentary debates.
- To train Hansard Reporters
- To offer Reporter Services to Parliamentary Special meetings and conferences (e.g. SADC PF and PAP)
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 chain is as follows:
MP → Interpreter → Reporter → Amalgamation → Editor/MP → Printer/Website → Hansard
The Hansard is produced overnight. A soft copy of the Hansard can be accessed on the Parliament website three and half hours after adjournment of the House (s). The hard copy is available on delivery and distribution is done by the Public Relations Department.
[Note: ‘Official Report. Unrevised’] – on Hansard copy implies that the Hansard is produced procedurally, according to Hansard ‘House Style‘ and admissible corrections can be made.