FAFEN Welcomes Public Release of Senators Attendance Record

ISLAMABAD, 18 August 2015: The Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) welcomes the Senate’s latest measure to make public the attendance record of members on its website and called it a major step towards parliamentary transparency, says a FAFEN press statement.

The step followed a similar measure that was taken by the National Assembly in June 2015 but only after the intervention of the President of Pakistan. However, the Senate promptly responded to a petition filed through its Public Petition Dropbox facility by a citizen. The online facility was open for public use on the directive of Senate Chairperson Raza Rabbani earlier this year as part of his effort to make the Senate responsive to public demands and interests.

The petition was filed by Shehzad Anwer, who works with FAFEN, on July 24, 2015, requesting the Senate Chairman to make public the attendance record of Senators in the House as well as in the standing committees.

Anwer received a letter from Deputy Secretary (Public Petition Cell) on August 18, 2015, thanking him for submitting a public petition and informing him about the updated status of his Petition No. PP-622. According to the petition status report made available to Anwer, his was examined on July 29, 2015 and the matter was disposed of on August 18, 2015. “The Chairman Senate approved publication of Members attendance in Senate Sessions as well as in Committee Meetings on Senate website,” the status report said.

FAFEN believes that this measure along with Chairman Rabbani’s earlier decision to online stream of live proceedings of the Upper House will pave the way for more transparent and open Parliament, which has also been a long-awaited demand of the citizens and media.

To download the press release, click here

Errors and omissions are excepted.