World e-parliament report 2008

World e-parliament report 2008

Global assessment of the use of ICT by parliaments

The World e-Parliament Report 2008 presents a global assessment of the use of ICT by parliaments, based mainly on survey evidence. The report’s main objective is to help legislatures evaluate the potential benefits of technology for their work and establish key goals and priorities for exploiting this critical resource. Other objectives include:

  • establishing an authoritative baseline of how parliaments are using, or planning to use ICT to help them fulfil their responsibilities for law-making, oversight, and representation
  • providing an opportunity for sharing lessons learned and good practices from different regions of the world · using analyses and findings from the document to assist legislatures fulfil their constitutional duties
The report notes that 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 ICT in the legislative setting. It finds that:
  • approximately 10% of parliaments have acquired extensive ICT capabilities across a wide range of key application areas
  • at the other end of the spectrum, many parliaments lack a strategic plan, and an adequate ICT infrastructure
  • in between are parliaments that 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
  • very few legislatures have any systematic capabilities for interactive communication with citizens.

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
  • narrowing this gap will require increased cooperation and coordination among parliaments, in partnership with other stakeholders
It suggests that parliaments will be better positioned to fulfil citizens’ legitimate expectations, achieve common goals and advance the principles of the World Summit on the Information Society if:
  • coordinated support and training for those parliaments with fewer resources is offerred
  • opportunities for sharing expertise and software at a global level are increased
  •  by providing greater access to parliamentary information resources,
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