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Sinar Freedom & Openess Series: Open Government

30 May 2015 How an open and transparent government with citizen engagement is important for good governance.

There is a lot of publicity regarding the Open Government Partnership internationally about how Open Government makes government more open, transparent and accountable.

We will be going through the goals of the  Declaration on Parliamentary Openness and highlight how the policies we're lobbying on and the technical tools we're working on work towards these goals. We will also highlight how important the collective work of other NGOs and how they fit into this process of better governance.

A summary of the main goals of Parliamentary Openness:

Promoting a Culture of Openness: Parliamentary information belongs to the public. Parliamentary information shall be able to be reused or republished by citizens with any limited restrictions narrowly defined by law. To enable a culture of parliamentary openness, parliament must enact measures to ensure inclusive citizen participation and a free civil society, enable effective parliamentary monitoring, and vigorously protect these rights through its oversight role. Parliament shall also ensure that citizens have legal recourse to enforce their right to access parliamentary information. Parliament has an affirmative duty to promote citizen understanding of parliamentary functioning and share good practices with other parliaments to increase openness and transparency. Parliament shall work collaboratively with PMOs and citizens to ensure that parliamentary information is complete, accurate, and timely.

Making Parliamentary Information Transparent: Parliament shall adopt policies that ensure proactive publication of parliamentary information, and shall review these policies periodically to take advantage of evolving good practices. Parliamentary information includes information about parliament’s roles and functions, and information generated throughout the legislative process, including the text of introduced legislation and amendments, votes, the parliamentary agenda and schedule, records of plenary and committee proceedings, historical information, and all other information that forms a part of the parliamentary record, such as reports created for or by parliament. Parliament shall provide information on the management and administration of parliament, parliamentary staff, and comprehensive and detailed parliamentary budget information. Parliament shall provide information about the backgrounds, activities and affairs of members, including sufficient information for citizens to make informed judgments regarding their integrity and probity, and potential conflicts of interest.

Easing Access to Parliamentary Information: Parliament shall ensure that information is broadly accessible to all citizens on a non-discriminatory basis through multiple channels, including first-person observation, print media, radio, and live and on-demand broadcasts and streaming. Physical access to parliament shall be provided to all citizens, subject to space and safety limitations, with clearly defined and publicly available policies for ensuring access by media and observers. Parliamentary information must also be available free of charge, in multiple national and working languages, and through tools, such as plain language summaries, that help ensure that parliamentary information is understandable to a broad range of citizens.

Enabling Electronic Communication of Parliamentary Information: Parliamentary information shall be released online in open and structured formats that allow citizens to analyze and reuse this information using the full range of technology tools. Parliamentary information shall be linked to related information and be easily searchable, as well as downloadable in bulk to encourage the development of new technologies for its exploration. Parliamentary websites enable communication with citizens even in societies with limited Internet penetration, by facilitating information access to intermediaries, which can further disseminate the information to citizens. Parliamentary websites shall seek to use interactive tools to engage citizens and offer alert or mobile services. Parliament shall give preference to the use of non-proprietary formats, and free and open-source software. Parliament has a duty to ensure technological usability of parliamentary information, while guaranteeing the privacy for those accessing the information.

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5/30/2015 11:00 AM

5/30/2015 1:00 PM




Ng Swee Meng




MCCHR Pusat Rakyat LB


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