Proposed changes to the Interpretation Act will speed up the legislative process, Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Public Affairs Senator Lucille Moe has promised, as the Government’s official newspaper heads for cyberspace.
The Interpretation (Amendment) Bill is intended to upgrade the manner in which regulations and acts of Parliament are brought into force by online publishing instead of printing in the Official Gazette.
She told the Senate: “It is clear that this methodology that we have found to diminish the amount of time it takes to ensure that something becomes law that can be used in a ready manner. Is a plus to Barbados’ modernisation, it is a plus to our ability to do business, plus it is a plus to Government’s ability to function efficiently. It forestalls all of the waiting and waiting that people encounter because something has not yet be gazetted.
“We are moving governance into a modern framework by utilising electronic printing. This gives the public ready access to what Government is doing which allows for greater transparency.”
In agreeing with the Government Senator, Deputy President of the Senate Senator Rudolph “Cappy” Greenidge said he saw the move as a change in the right direction.
“This young generation, they are not going to look at the printed paper at all,” said Senator Greenidge. “If it is there online I believe from time to time they may very well stumble upon something of extreme importance. I am not advocating that they should do away with the Official Gazette in its printed form forever. We have come to the point where there is a need to broaden the definition of what is meant by publish.”
Saying the change would also save the Government money, he added: “Having the Gazette primarily online would be more economical. The move to digital would save Government having to spend busloads of money.”