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PARLIAMENTARY PERFORMANCE AND EMERGING TECHNOLOGY


This page: Mr. Andrew G. Mandelbaum, Senior Program Officer, Governance, NDI, and Ms. Aasiya Riaz, PILDAT Right: Hon. Harry Kalaba, MP, Deputy Prime Minister in the Office of the Vice President, Zambia, Ms Jen Bramley and Mr Paul Lenz, both from mySociety.


include comprehensive training pro- grammes on implementation of the access to information regime, as well as the importance of openness in society.” In addition, Recommendation 10.2 provided that “Parliamentarians should play a leadership role in this area, sending a clear signal to public officials that they fully support open- ness and setting a positive example through their own openness”. Finally, Recommendation 14.1, under the heading Parliamentary Openness, provided that “Parliament should play a leadership role in promoting open government by opening up its own practices and procedures to the wid- est possible extent”. • 2.2: While noting the CPA’s


long-standing leadership in this area, the Study Group also noted that developments in ICTs and the emergence of a community of PMOs globally provided new opportunities for advancing this long-standing aspiration of the CPA. In particular, the Study Group commended the efforts of PMOs to develop the Declaration on Parliamentary Openness and recommended that the Declaration be discussed at the 59th Common- wealth Parliamentary Conference with a view to endorsement by the conference participants. In this regard, the Study Group noted that the Dec- laration was currently supported by more than 120 PMOs in more than 70 countries and was also supported


208 | The Parliamentarian | 2013: Issue Three


by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation of Europe. • 2.3: The Study Group recognized the diversity of the Commonwealth’s Parliaments and that each Parlia- ment would need to determine which aspects of the Declaration were appropriate to be implemented at any point in time in any particular country. Specific note was made of the unique challenges facing small island nations within the Commonwealth, and the need to consider what was appropriate at the subnational as well as national level. Despite these quali- fications, the Study Group recom- mended the Declaration as a useful articulation of the ways in which CPA


Parliaments could help to advance the openness of our parliamentary institutions. • 2.4: The Study Group noted that there was a need to focus on the supply and demand sides of the information equation. There was a need to assist Parliaments in publish- ing greater information in “open” formats to enable citizens to easily access information relevant to their daily lives. • 2.5: The Study Group acknowl- edged the valuable services that non- partisan PMOs provided – to both citizens and public officials alike – in using electronic tools and techniques to make parliamentary information more “user-friendly”. Among other


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