In this news section you will find Archival Platform announcements. You can also download Archival Platform newsletters.

Archival activism strengthening democracy: The Parliamentary Monitoring Group (PMG)

Established in 1995 as a partnership between Black Sash, Human Rights Committee and Idasa, the PMG makes information about Parliamentary Committee meetings available through its website.

Website content includes: Bills, and a very handy Bill Tracker function which enables users to track the progress of Bills as they move through the system; Calls for Comments, which enables activists to see, at a glance, where they should be intervening; Information about National Assembly, National Council of Provinces and Joint Committees. This section includes information about Committee Members so it’s easy to see who to lobby; Daily Schedules of meetings – many of which are open to the public; Hansards; members of Parliament; Media Briefings; Policy Documents – a particularly useful archive of these often hard to access documents; Questions raised in Parliament and replies to these; and Tabled Committee Reports.

Reports of Committee meetings are a particularly useful source of information. They include a summary of the meeting, minutes, an audio-recording and copies of documents and presentations tabled. This is the only source of information for this information.  It is also often the only website on which documents which should be easily available in the public domain – policies, strategic plans and annual reports are to be found.

Beyond the reporting of Committee proceedings, PMG provides: early notification of requests for submissions; details of public hearings; Committee and parliamentary programme; legislative programmes for each department; a weekly progress report of the status of each bill in the legislative process; a monthly newsletter about what was discussed in Parliament of relevance to communities (emailed and posted); a quarterly newsletter about successful partnership projects between communities and government

With multiple user-friendly search functions – which order information in various ways – its an easy to use site!

The PMG is funded by: Open Society Foundation; Raith Foundation; Heinrich Böell Foundation; Government of Flanders; and the Indigo Trust.

Access to information on the website is offered free to civil society and by subscription to commercial and government users.

It’s a great service and goes a long way towards ensuring that information needed by social justice organisations to lobby the Parliament of South Africa on pieces of legislation, matters of democratic processes and parliamentary oversight of the executive.

For More information see the PMG website

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