International Meeting: Achieving Greater Transparency in Legislatures through the Use of Open Document Standards
Date:Mon, 27/02/2012 - Wed, 29/02/2012
Organization:United Nations, Inter-Parliamentary Union and U.S. House of Representatives
Improvements in technology over the last decade offer parliaments new opportunities to foster the democratic values of transparency, openness and accountability. Making information available on a timely basis in machine readable and re-usable format has become a vital means for enhancing the transparency of legislative bodies and for improving public access to parliamentary documents. The use of open document standards is one of the essential and effective ways of achieving these goals through technology.
To address these challenges in an international context, the United Nations, the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the U.S. House of Representatives organized the event Achieving Greater Transparency in Legislatures through the Use of Open Document Standards. The International Meeting was held at the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. on 27, 28 and 29 February 2012.
It convened Secretaries General and staff of Parliaments that are currently using XML for parliamentary records with a view to: a) determine how XML has been implemented by parliaments around the world and how it is being used by them and by civil society organizations to enhance citizens’ participation; b) exchange experiences about the policy and organizational challenges faced by Parliaments’ senior management to increase transparency; c) identify current best practices and state of the art applications; d) outline projects anticipated by legislatures over the next five years and explore venues of possible collaborations and synergies to reduce costs; and e) elaborate policy and technical recommendations for the use of open document standards in parliaments.
Other invitees included legislative and legal informatics experts from a selected number of international organizations, universities, foundations and civil society organizations. Approximately 83 participants took part in the policy and technical debates during the three-day agenda.
U.S. House of Representatives Washington DC