Opening Legislative Data

Around the world, parliaments are increasingly publishing legislative information online as open data, with a handful of parliaments maintaining dedicated open data portals to provide access to the raw data. Many parliaments also rely on open data to conduct oversight, analyze legislation, and conduct other basic legislative functions.

This session would explore the importance of open legislative data, focusing specifically on how parliaments publish open data, who uses that data, and how open legislative data commitments can be included in OGP National Action Plans. By sharing examples of ongoing work and discussing potential commitments that could be made in this area, the session would intend to inspire and inform efforts to increase the quality and quantity of legislative data offerings. Speakers would also reference available tools and resources that parliaments could draw upon to more effectively publish open data.

This session is being organized by OGP’s Legislative Openness Working Group.

While this session would provide each speaker with the opportunity to offer formal remarks regarding their organization’s experience in relation to open legislative data, the bulk of this session would be a moderated conversation with significant levels of audience participation. The moderator would open the session and offer framing remarks to the discussion. Panelists with the audience will try to develop the main points of open legaslative data. Presentation topics are outlined below.

Nadiia Babynska, Consultant, Opora (Ukraine): As a product manager of the Ukrainian parliament’s open data portal, Nadiia would discuss her experiences publishing open data from the parliamentary side, focusing in part on how open data makes the work of parliament easier and more efficient, as well as how civil society use open data for analysis and oversight.

Jean-Noé Landry, Executive Director, Open North (Canada): Jean-Noé would discuss efforts to include legislative open data commitments in Canada’s National Action Plan. In his remarks, he would address why he believed these commitments were important, what demand exists for open legislative data in Canada, and the importance of engaging data users to ensure that the information being released is meeting their demands. Jean-Noé is the cofounder of the Canadian Open Government Civil Society Network.

Andy Williamson, Author, World e-Parliament Report (UK): Andy would discuss the role that PMOs play in providing open legislative data, particularly in contexts where the parliament either lacks the capacity or has not made significant progress towards publishing open data. Andy would also provide a general overview of the state of legislative open data, drawing on the findings of the World e-Parliament Report, which he authored. Andy serves as the UK OGP co-lead for public accountability.

Noel Alonso Murray, the general director of Directorio Legislativo, a leading legislative openness advocate in Latin America. Noel will discuss the preliminary results of the recent launch of the Latin American Legislative Transparency Index that measures 13 Legislative Branches and the importance of thinking possible strategies once legislative information is published on open data formats.

Carlo Marchetti, the head of information systems development at the Italian Senate, coordinator of projects, programmes and services connected with the publishing of information on Senate's institutional websites, will speak about open data and open documents in the Italian Senate, cooperation with MPOs and governement, reaction and engagement MPs to the open data.

Following these brief presentations, the moderator would facilitate a short discussion among the panelists about how OGP can be leveraged to expand open legislative data offerings. The moderator would ask panelists to consider the following questions. What types of commitments can parliaments and governments make in this area? What particularly innovative approaches to this issue would you encourage parliaments to consider? How can civil society effectively support implementation of commitments? Following this informal conversation, the moderator would open the floor to comments and questions from the audience. The moderator would then close the session and provide each panelist with an opportunity to offer closing remarks.

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