Parliament’s Refurbishment and IT Conference System Upgrade Commissioned

The $4.4million upgrade of the Parliament’s Refurbishment and IT Conference system was commissioned today by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji, Hon. Sitiveni Rabuka.
In attendance were the Talatala Qase Levu for the Methodist Church of Fiji, Rev. Dr Semisi Turagavou, who blessed the refurbished Parliament Chamber, the Speaker of the Fijian Parliament, Hon. Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation and Education, Hon. Viliame Gavoka, the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Waterways, Hon. Tomasi Tunabuna, the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Inia Seruiratu and those that were involved in the refurbishment process.
The Hon. Prime Minister expressed his gratitude to the Parliament secretariat and all those that were involved in the completion of the project, which began in November last year.
The Secretary-General to Parliament, Mrs Jeanette Emberson, while welcoming the distinguished guests, said that today was an exciting day for Parliament as we round up months of late nights and early starts to ensure that the system was ready for another period of Parliament Sitting, which will be opened by His Excellency the President, Ratu Wiliame Katonivere on Monday next week, March 4, 2024.
“Our vision for this term of Parliament was clear, and that was to be “An innovative and transformative Parliament, driven by excellence and passion to serve ALL Fijians. This upgraded system takes us further into that vision and our goal of a more open, transparent and inclusive Parliament.”
Mrs Emberson also thanked the Government, led by the Honourable Prime Minister, for the approval of the funding and recognising the institution as part of the democratic process.
“This upgrade means that the Fijian people continue to access the Parliamentary sittings and Standing Committee proceedings and thereby improving, strengthening and heightening the representative, legislative, oversight and scrutiny functions of the elected representatives of the people.”
“This will also allow for better accountability and transparency, which ultimately, will enhance efforts to advance the Parliament’s stride towards SDG 16 particularly on promoting peace, justice, and strong institutions as a key enabler of the entire SDG framework.”
Inside the Parliamentary Chamber, the Speaker Hon. Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu elaborated on the significant changes which includes a ‘masi’ backdrop behind his chair to display the artwork performed by our women, an old Chair that was used in 1939 by the first Speaker of the Legislative Council, Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna now being brought back, the elevated public gallery, the change in the color of the carpet and the newly installed TV screens.
The deployment of the project was 5-fold and consisted of the following targets –
  • Procurement of a new conferencing system;
  • Refurbishment of the Parliament Chambers;
  • Procurement of the Uninterrupted Power Supply equipment;
  • Upgrading of the Audio-Visual Distribution System from Analog to Digital; and
  • The Multi-language Translations and Captioning.
The Secretary-General also thanked the Permanent Secretary for Public Works, Meteorological Services and Transport and his staff, from the Joinery and Electrical units, the team from TFL and Professional Electronics Limited and not forgetting our own IT and Assets team who gave up their Christmas holidays and festive season for the timely completion of this project.