Open data: Parliaments now more transparent with videorecording

The data given in the latest report of the “Global Centre for ICT in Parliament”

Recording and archiving online the minutes and parliamentary sessions with technological tools such as videorecording and videoassembly, are now a parameter to be used as reference in evaluating the transparency of Legislative Assemblies and the level of democracy of a country.

It is said that Open Government is becoming more and more apparent as well as the need to provide visibility straight away to the public of all the documents related to Legislative Assembly activities.

Parliaments all over the world, busy in plenary sessions through to recording Commission minutes, are more and more aware of the importance of promoting citizen participation and consequently involving them in decisional processes through the use of digital tools.

This concerns above all producing documents in multimedia form able to ensure:

  • efficiency and rapidity of publication
  • access in real time in parliamentary activities
  • accuracy of contents
  • archiving and availability over the long time

If, for many years, stenographic records were the only instrument available, today these goals are reached more easily thanks to modern technologies.

According to a survey performed by the Global Centre for ICT in Parliament, involving 63 world Parliaments, tools that were more used to record and archive plenary sessions and Commission minutes were both audio and video, used respectively by 98% and 83% of the Assemblies covered in the survey.

Technological solutions such as videorecording or streaming of the sessions, have greatly changed the dynamics and methods used to record debates, voting and administrative activities offering a wide variety of tools, based on the resources and requirements of the Assemblies.

The term Videorecording, for example, means that all the minutes of a session can be recorded both in analog as well as digital form and then indexed on the basis of the various parameters: the topic dealt with during each intervention, the name of the speaker as well as each verification and voting phases.

The Videoassembly, on the other hand enables publishing sessions online in streaming via a public WebTV.

Technology such as the Eurel Informatica S.p.A Integrated Multimedia System enables incorporating an advanced research of the audio/visual contents on the basis of specific search keys.

These tools are at present indispensable for evaluating the level of democracy of institutions as decreed as well in the Declaration on Parliamentary Openness.

The document that illustrates the world guidelines for Parliament transparency, explicitly invites Assemblies all over the world to "create, preserve and publish in an easily accessible manner the recordings of all the activities related to plenary sessions, preferably in the form of audio or video recordings

This is a further boost for the ongoing enhancement of the technologic quality of these tools now absolutely necessary to guarantee the democratic life of a country.

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