The name 'Hansard' comes from Thomas Cursan 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 unofficial title for this document in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries ever since and has become officially recognised in recent years.
Zimbabwean Hansard follows the principles laid down in 1907 by the House of Commons Select Committee on Parliamentary Debates, that; 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 but adds to the meaning of the speech or illustrates the argument.
To respect the sanctity of honest contribution and provide professional service through teamwork by producing, editing and indexing accurate verbatim reports of Parliamentary proceedings.
To achieve excellence in the overnight production of Hansard regionally by 2013.
The Hansard Department is responsible for the production of ordinary verbatim reports of debates and proceedings of the House in English and for various Parliamentary Committees when the Committees are taking oral evidence. These Parliamentary debates are the full edited reports of the Speeches of Members of Parliament as well as Questions with or without notice and Answers thereto, and details of Divisions.
The final transcripts of Parliamentary debates are ready for the printer two hours after Parliament has adjourned. The whole process results in an overnight production of debates and proceedings. It should be noted that Parliament of Zimbabwe is one of the few Parliaments that produce Hansard overnight .
Printed Hansard copies are available and delivered to Parliament by 0900 hours on the morning after Sitting.
The department produces verbatim oral evidence of all Portfolio and Thematic Committees, inquiries, deliberations of Public Hearings and Conferences connected with Parliament. Transcripts of these are available five working days after a Committee hearing.
An index to what takes place in Parliament is compiled under the headings of Bills, Speeches and Subjects for insertion in the Bound Volume. When members and the public require information pertaining to what was said in Parliament for their use, they can visit the Parliament website on www.parlzim.gov.zw as it has an index that assists in locating the particular Hansard copy. They can also access details of the Speaker's Rulings, Ministerial Responses to Questions and Motions and Ministerial Statements.
DISTRIBUTION OF HANSARD
Distribution is done by the Public Relations Department and queries related to this, e.g. subscription, collection and purchase points should be addressed to the department. However, Hansard can also be accessed on http://www.parlzim.gov.zw.