PARLIAMENTARY REPORTS: THEY TOO MUST CONFORM TO SOME BASIC RULES OF WRITING

I am in the process of writing my Thesis proposal. In order to gather as much materials as possible, I am reading far and wide  from different materials by different scholars and agencies. This fishing expedition saw me dig into different reports of the Kenya National Assembly Committees. One such report is the one  by the Joint Committee on Administration and National Security and Defence and Foreign Relations on The Inquiry into the West gate terrorist Attack and other terror attacks in Mandera in North Eastern and Kilifi in the coastal Region (http://info.mzalendo.com/media_root/file_archive/REPORT_OF_THE_COMMITTEE_ON_WESTGATE_ATTACK_-_4.pdf)

This report was rejected by the whole house due to other issues but not on its structure. Although the report raises weighty matters and even makes wide reaching recommendations,  I dare say it is lacking in basic rules of academic writing. Yes it is not academic but being such a serious document of the National Assembly, my assumption is that it would show some efforts in simple things like citations and referencing. for example, it attempts to define terrorism but does not tell us according to who! It also gives information that is clearly lifted from some source like other reports or books but still does not acknowledge the source…..I may be out of order or stranger to the house but quite frankly I believe that reports of Parliaments should be well done so that anybody looking at them for scholarly or any other purpose has confidence when referring to them. yes, the MPs may not have to do this but I believe there are people paid by parliament to be secretariats to such committees and the onus is on such people to make sure that the reports conform to basic writing rules…..why would such a report assume that they can just lift information or definitions any how without acknowledging that someone did come up with such definitions or figures they are quoting? Is it fine for this to happen?

Well, I do not know but my view is that, YES: parliamentary reports too should conform to basic writing rules….plagiarism is not  a preserve of the academic world alone! it is universal and covers all forms of writing…may be except fiction…but in that too you can not copy another person’s writing and present is as your own! That is theft reloaded folks!

What is your take?

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