Transparency International Georgia and JumpStart Georgia address Parliament on occasion of the International Day of Democracy - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო
GEO

Transparency International Georgia and JumpStart Georgia address Parliament on occasion of the International Day of Democracy

15 September, 2014

On September 15 the world marks the International Day of Democracy. On this occasion, the Open Government Partnership (OGP) has launched its first-ever Global Legislative Openness Week (GLOW), which aims to connect a range of legislative openness activities, organized independently by civil society organizations and parliaments around the world.

The notion that parliamentarians serve at the behest of citizens is fundamental to democratic governance. Parliaments hold information not for themselves but as stewards of the public good, and information on and by legislatures thus belongs to the citizens. The principle of openness enjoys the broad support of a variety of international bodies such as the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, the Parliamentary Confederation of the Americas and the Open Government Partnership. It is also enshrined in the Declaration on Parliamentary Openness (http://www.openingparliament.org/declaration), a call to parliaments for an increased commitment to openness, endorsed by more than 150 of the world’s leading parliamentary monitoring organizations and a number of international associations of parliaments and MPs.

Public access to legislative data is already bringing lawmaking into the 21st century around the world. Parliamentary monitoring organizations often develop software that makes it easier for constituents to get in touch with their representatives (and vice versa), create visualizations that track the history of a particular issue and its supporters, illustrate how a bill has changed over time, or develop customized alert systems to follow legislative actions.

These initiatives are designed to strengthen and modernize legislatures, helping parliamentarians to respond to the challenge of declining trust in governing institutions worldwide, and to better represent and engage with an increasingly technology-enabled public. Proactive data sharing gives both parliaments and citizens access to low-cost tools for enhancing outreach, communication, monitoring and advocacy. It also strengthens non-governmental organizations, empowering them to interact with elected officials, and giving them a greater understanding of the laws and legislative actions that affect their lives.

We believe it is time for parliamentarians around the world to strengthen their roles as representatives elected by and for the public, and embrace new technologies that are changing how societies connect, communicate and govern.

Georgian Parliament can do these things by adopting the http://votes.parliament.ge application and the spirit in which it was built and by continuing to help civil society participate in improving the application to meet their needs of transparency and openness of important parliamentary information. This includes supporting Parliament's existing system to apply consistent unique identifiers to the lifecycle of a law from cradle to grave, among other improvements and by making public all votes and draft laws, whether or not the draft laws eventually are signed into law.

As partners in your efforts, we are ready to discuss your concerns, collaborate on overcoming technical or institutional challenges, or to help create a plan of action to strengthen legislative transparency.

 

Transparency International Georgia

JumpStart Georgia 

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