The (non)-utilisation of information provided by the senior information officers to the researchers in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    Members of legislatures are relying on the researchers to guide and advise them on the alternatives to deliver on their constitutional mandates of law making, oversight, public participation and cooperative governance. The researchers are also dependent on the Senior Information Officers for the provision of current comprehensive, unbiased and reliable information in order to develop research and advisory documents to be used by legislators when carrying out their mandates. However, legislators often decry the standard of research and advisory documents, citing the shortcomings which include among others: inadequateness, inaccuracy and lack of credibility of the information upon which they are to base their decisions or policy direction. This study was set out to investigate the extent to which researchers in the legislatures utilise the information provided by the Senior Information Officers (SIOs) and/or the reasons for non-utilisation thereof in cases where information is not utilised. The study used a qualitative research approach to establish meaning from the views of the participants. In-depth interviews were used as a key method of data collection. The findings of this study suggest that the Gauteng Provincial Legislature’s researchers do not make full use of the Information provided to them by the SIOs. Furthermore, researchers appeared not to value the role played by the SIOs in keeping the legislators informed but rather as duplicating the researchers’ role.