Open Standards and Open Source Applications for a Sustainable Open Access to Parliamentary Activities: the Experiences and Applications of Africa i-Parliaments

  • Video (starts at 40:00)

    African i-Parliaments Action Plan, an initiative of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA), was designed to build upon the technological opportunities provided by the Open Standards (OS) and Open Source Software (OSS). These opportunities have been largely ignored by the development assistance when in fact they are an unique opportunity to empower parliaments to effectively design, develop and deploy information systems and standards in a more efficient and sustainable way. Making information available in real time and also in semantic formats is the best way in which ICT can support the willingness of parliament to become more transparent, participatory and collaborative legislatures.

    The Project has:

    • supported the development of Akoma Ntoso – XML standard for parliamentary, legislative and judiciary documents . Now Akoma Ntoso is OASIS standard candidate under the OSASIS LegalDocumentML Technical Committee
    • designed and developed a suite of open source applications to support the work-flow of Parliaments Bungeni . The systems can also be adapted for use in public administration institutions. Alongside managing the legsilative process the system also includes a public access XML repository for all legal documents based on an Open Source XML database. Supporting tools include an based markup editor to support the creation of compliant Akoma Ntoso documents.

    The presentation will both focus on features of the applications developed and also how they could also be used in the wider context of Law Via Internet movement. We think that the conference will provide an unique opportunity for synergies with the wider network of open access to law as well as on the lesson learned in building an open source community to better support open access to parliamentary and legislative documents that will ultimately better support the common goal of free and open access not parliamentary and legislative documents.