Working group on Technological Options for Capturing and Reporting Parliamentary Proceedings
Parliamentary documents such as committee reports and texts of debates and hearings are fundamental records of the legislature. These documents must be prepared quickly, efficiently and accurately. They must be distributed easily and then amended, revised and redistributed just as easily. And they must be archived effectively to ensure availability and long-term preservation. The findings of the 2010 edition of the World e-Parliament Report indicate that timely public availability of such legislative records is a key ingredient for a more open, transparent and accountable legislature, and therefore a cornerstone of healthy parliamentary democracies.
The Report further considers it a key criteria for assessing the level of e-parliament that a legislature can achieve, with those at the top levels more likely to have technological systems for managing all parliamentary records and making them available to citizens through multiple channels and in a timely manner.
However, a significant number of parliaments around the world have not developed yet such capabilities and are still struggling to produce accurate records within an acceptable timeframe. Many of these parliaments have voiced their need for support in order to understand the technological options that could be available to legislatures and to implement them in their environment.
During a specialised session on this topic at the World e-Parliament Conference 2009, participants called for more inter-parliamentary cooperation in this important area in order to share available expertise on the implementation of different technological solutions. In July 2010, the Global Centre for ICT in Parliament, in collaboration with the European Parliament, organized a Workshop on Technological Options for Recording Plenary and Committee Sessions in Parliament, which intended to assist parliaments of developing countries to improve their capacity in reporting proceedings. Participants at the Workshop recommended the establishment of a Working Group to develop guidelines for reporting parliamentary proceedings.
Objectives and role
The goal of the Working group on Technological Options for Capturing and Reporting Parliamentary Proceedings is to edit a Handbook intended to assist parliaments that do not publish recordings of plenary and committee proceedings regularly or on a timely basis and also those that are looking to improve their capacity to deliver a better service, and to identify good practices, innovative ideas and new technologies that could suit their needs.
The Handbook will also seek to assist legislatures in evaluating their current processes and technologies, and to highlight a few practically-oriented recommendations and guiding principles extrapolated from the direct experiences and observation of parliaments worldwide.
Working collaboratively under the moderation of a senior expert, members of the Working Group will draw upon their professional expertise to review the various policy and technical options for reporting parliamentary proceedings and share insights from their hands-on experience.