Saturday, March 01, 2008

World E-Parliament Report 2008

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the Inter-Parliamentary Union published the World e‑Parliament Report 2008 earlier this week.

The report, based on information provided by 105 parliamentary assemblies from around the world, "represents a first effort to establish a baseline of how parliaments are using, or planning to use ICT to help them fulfill their responsibilities and to connect to their constituencies. The Report also provides an opportunity for sharing lessons learned and good practices from different regions of the world."

The report includes sections on Documenting the Legislative Process (access to bills, amendments, committee reports and texts of debates and hearings) and Parliamentary Websites.
"The results of the survey confirm that the income level of each country plays a significant role in determining the extent to which ICT are adopted in parliaments. However, technological legacies in older legislative bodies, organizational flexibilities in younger parliaments, and the rapid evolution of technologies are all factors that can help level the playing field among legislatures. Attaining a high level of performance in the application of ICT is not only dependent on resources; it also requires strong political leadership, active engagement of members, a skilled secretariat, well-trained technical staff, and a sustained commitment to the strategic implementation of information and communication technologies in the legislative setting."

"Approximately 10 per cent of the chambers and parliaments that replied to the survey have acquired extensive ICT capabilities across a wide range of key application areas. These include developing systems for managing essential documents, utilizing open document standards, creating rich websites that present information through a variety of formats and channels, and providing access to a wide range of online information linked to pending legislation. At the other end of the spectrum, many parliaments lack a strategic plan, an adequate ICT infrastructure, basic tools for members and staff, systems for managing documents and trained ICT staff. The status of the ICT systems and services of those parliaments that fall between these two groups is uneven. Many of them have implemented ICT applications that serve some of their most important functions. But many of these applications appear to be operating at the lowest level of utility and have not been enhanced to take greater advantage of ICT to improve efficiency and effectiveness, or to offer additional services (...)"

"The Report concludes that there is a significant gap between what is possible with ICT and what has actually been accomplished by parliaments thus far. On the other hand, survey responses clearly demonstrate that most parliaments have plans to improve their use of technology to support their goals and their work. The high level of participation in the World e-Parliament Conference 2007 and the enthusiastic response to the survey indicate that parliaments are acutely aware of the strategic
importance of ICT."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:10 pm

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