LegisTech: The Americas - 2nd Edition Conference Concludes in Brasília, Brazil
How it was
Debate: Political Leadership for the Promotion of Legislative Modernisation
Debate: Governance of a Legislative Modernization Strategy
Open Data Strategies in Parliaments
Information Architecture for the Digital Legislative Process
LegisTech - Women in Leadership
Modernisation of the Legislative Drafting System
Members-friendly Digital Solutions
Artificial Intelligence in the Legislative
Participation Tools in the Legislative Process
Best Practices in Accessibility on Parliamentary Digital Transformation
Matching the Modernisation Strategy with the Rules of Procedure
Interparliamentary Cooperation for the Promotion of Legislative Modernisation
Priorities for the Modernisation of Legislative Committees
Debate about the book: Smart Parliaments - Data-Driven Democracy
The host of the Conference
The LegisTech: The Americas - 2nd Edition conference, organised by Bússola Tech, concluded on April 13th and 14th at the Senado Federal in Brasília, Brazil. This event marked the first in-person gathering on legislative modernisation after the global pandemic. The conference brought together experts from various parliaments and institutions worldwide to discuss pressing issues and opportunities in legislative modernisation.
The conference featured insightful debates on topics such as political leadership for the promotion of legislative modernisation, governance of legislative modernisation strategies, open data strategies in parliaments, information architecture for the digital legislative process, women in leadership, modernisation of legislative drafting systems, members-friendly digital solutions, artificial intelligence in the legislative, participation tools in the legislative process, best practices in accessibility on parliamentary digital transformation, matching modernisation strategies with the rules of procedure, interparliamentary cooperation for the promotion of legislative modernisation, and priorities for the modernisation of legislative committees. These discussions highlighted the diverse challenges and opportunities faced by parliaments worldwide as they strive to modernise and better serve their citizens.
Held in the Brazilian Capital of Brasília, the event was a testament to the resilience and adaptability of legislative institutions in the face of the unprecedented challenges presented by the pandemic. It showcased the potential for innovation and collaboration as parliaments worldwide work towards a more modern and inclusive future.
Key participating institutions included representatives from legislative bodies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, and other regions. Amongst the distinguished participants were Asamblea Legislativa de Costa Rica, Assembleia da República de Moçambique, Assembleia Legislativa do Estado do Rio Grande do Norte, Assembleia Nacional de Angola, Assembleia Nacional Popular de Guiné-Bissau, Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments, Cámara de Diputados de la Nación Argentina, Cámara de Diputados de México, Cámara de Senadores of Uruguay, Câmara dos Deputados do Brasil, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Congreso de la República de Perú, Congreso Nacional de Chile, Hellenic Parliament, House of Commons of Canada / Chambre des Communes du Canada, Knesset of Israel, La Convención Constitucional de Chile, LegalBot, National Assembly of Zambia, Nationale Assemblee of Suriname, NovaWorks Australia, ParlAmericas, Parliament of Namibia, Senado de Chile, Senado Federal do Brasil, Sindilegis, Govable.ai, U.S. House of Representatives, UNALE, IT.NEXT, Universidad Austral in Argentina, Western Cape Provincial Parliament, Torus Institute and Xcential Legislative Technologies.
These debates provided valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities in legislative modernisation, covering aspects such as transparency, efficiency, public engagement, technological adaptation, and inter-parliamentary cooperation. By sharing experiences and best practices, the participants of the conference offered a roadmap for legislatures worldwide to enhance their processes and better serve their citizens in an increasingly digital era.
Below, you can find the key considerations for each panel discussion:
Political Leadership for the Promotion of Legislative Modernisation:
Participants: Mr. Luís Kimaid from Bússola Tech, Mr. Márcio Tancredi from the Senado Federal of Brazil, Mr. José Pedro Montero from the Cámara de Senadores of Uruguay/ Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments, and Mrs. Anabella Zavagno from ParlAmericas.
Political leadership holds a pivotal role in facilitating legislative modernisation, particularly within parliamentary institutions that are prone to regular, and sometimes, drastic changes in leadership's direction, a notion strongly emphasised in a recent debate. Here we summarise the views and experiences of various speakers on the successful governance practices within administrative and legislative support teams, and identifies key components to ensure an organised bureaucratic structure, and a clear strategy to engage Members of Parliament (MPs) in the process of modernisation. In the dynamic environment of parliamentary institutions, strong governance within administrative and legislative support teams is essential. The leadership's commitment to legislative modernisation can significantly influence the success of these efforts. Experiences from various parliaments reveal that this commitment can be expressed through strategic planning, open communication, and robust accountability mechanisms. The establishment of an organised bureaucratic structure within legislatures is a fundamental component of this governance framework. This involves delineating clear roles and responsibilities and fostering a hierarchical structure that provides stability and predictability amidst the inherent uncertainties of the parliamentary landscape. This organisational structure serves as the backbone of the institution, enabling it to adapt to changes in leadership direction effectively and efficiently. Engaging MPs in the process of institutional modernisation is another critical aspect of this governance framework. MPs, being at the forefront of the legislative process, play a significant role in the promotion of modernisation efforts. However, to ensure their active participation, they must be fully aware of the benefits that modernisation can bring to their legislative work.
Governance of a Legislative Modernization Strategy:
Participants: Mr. Christopher Henry from the House of Commons of Canada, Mr. Achmat Patience from the Western Cape Provincial Parliament in South Africa, Mr. Jonathan Ruckert from NovaWorks Australia, Mr. Widjai Jaisri from the Nationale Assemblee of Suriname, Mr. Pedro Mascarenhas from Sindilegis, and Mr. Stephen Dwyer from the U.S. House of Representatives.
This debate focused on the challenges and opportunities related to governance in legislative modernization strategies, especially in the context of digital transformation. In the rapidly evolving digital world, legislatures face the formidable challenge of aligning their traditionally rigid structures with the fluid dynamics of digital modernization. Crucially, these transformations must be achieved with respect to the existing legislative process and the institution's rich history and traditions. The activity explored the governance barriers to digital modernization in legislatures, strategies to overcome these barriers, and the rethinking of roles for optimal integration of Information Technology (IT) skillsets in legislative work. Resistance to change emerges as a significant barrier to digital modernization within legislatures. Rooted in tradition, these institutions often harbour apprehension towards drastic shifts, particularly those related to technology. Addressing this resistance involves a delicate balance between modern technology integration and respect for the legislative culture. Encouraging a culture of innovation and adaptability, while maintaining reverence for the institution's historical foundations, is key to alleviating this barrier. Another notable obstacle is the lack of digital literacy among lawmakers and legislative staff. Mitigating this problem calls for the implementation of comprehensive training programs aimed at increasing digital literacy. Such programs should aim to demystify technological advancements and demonstrate their potential to enhance legislative efficiency, thereby fostering a more receptive attitude towards digital modernization. Moving to the second round of discussion, the organisational roles and responsibilities concerning IT skill sets within legislatures warrant reconsideration. A centralised IT capability may no longer be the optimal approach to deliver on organisation-wide digital modernization. Instead, the fusion of legislative Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) with traditional IT delivery teams could offer new opportunities. This proposed 'digital business' fusion model facilitates the combination of domain-specific knowledge with technical prowess, fostering a more nuanced understanding of how technology can be harnessed for legislative purposes. However, the successful implementation of this model necessitates a shift in governance towards a more collaborative and cross-functional approach. To support these fusion teams, a governance model that promotes shared responsibility and mutual learning should be employed. This model should encourage regular dialogues between IT and legislative teams, fostering a more inclusive understanding of the demands and possibilities on both sides. This approach can lead to more effective digital solutions that are well-aligned with the legislative process and its specific needs.
Open Data Strategies in Parliaments:
Participants: Mr. Rodolfo Vaz from the Câmara dos Deputados of Brazil, Mr. Alexandre Bess from Legalbot, Mr. Julius Kampamba from the National Assembly of Zambia, Mr. Óscar Benitez from the Cámara de Diputados de la Nación of Argentina, Mr. Neemias Emilio Muachendo from the Assembleia Nacional de Angola and Mr. Mark Stodder from Xcential Legislative Technologies.
The following description is the result of a comprehensive debate concerning the availability and use of legislative open data. The availability and utilisation of legislative open data has been a significant point of discussion among various stakeholders in parliaments around the world. The activity explored the main barriers to making legislative data available, the target users of open data, the root causes of underutilization of open data by society, and the potential actions parliaments could take to stimulate the usage of open data. Finally, the activity delved into the unexplored ideas for promoting open data usage. One of the primary barriers to making legislative data available is the lack of standardised processes and technological infrastructure. In many instances, legislative data is not collected or stored in a manner that facilitates easy access and analysis. Additionally, concerns over data privacy and security can impede efforts to make legislative data openly available. Overcoming these barriers requires investment in data management systems and the establishment of clear guidelines for data privacy and security. In terms of the user groups that parliaments should expect to reach with open data, the scope is broad and diverse. It encompasses legislators, legislative staff, researchers, civil society organisations, journalists, and the general public. Each of these user groups has distinct data needs and usage patterns, underscoring the importance of delivering data in a manner that is accessible and useful for all. Despite the availability of open data, its usage by society can often be limited. This underutilization can be attributed to several root causes, including lack of awareness about the existence or accessibility of the data, lack of necessary skills to interpret and use the data, and perceived lack of relevance or applicability of the data. Parliaments can take several actions to stimulate the usage of open data. These include conducting awareness campaigns about the availability and potential uses of open data, providing training programs to enhance data literacy, and actively seeking feedback from users to continually improve data provision.
Information Architecture for the Digital Legislative Process:
Participants: Mr. Flavio Heringer from the Senado Federal do Brasil, Mr. Jesus Covarrubias from the Cámara de Diputados de Mexico, Mr. Fotios Fitsilis from the Hellenic Parliament, Mrs. Robin Treistman from the Knesset, Mr. Ari Hershowitz from Govable.ai, and Mr. Christopher Henry from the House of Commons of Canada.
The description that follows encapsulates the insights garnered from a thought-provoking debate on Information Architecture for the Digital Legislative Process. The digital transformation of legislative processes requires careful conceptual modelling, robust information architecture, and a commitment to embracing the benefits and challenges that come with this transition. It explored how parliaments are handling the conceptualization of these models, the benefits of such models, the practices adopted for efficient digital legislative processes, and strategies for making these processes accessible to the public. Conceptual modelling in legislative processes is a complex undertaking that demands multidisciplinary human resources and considerable time investment. Despite the challenges, successful implementation can yield significant medium to long-term benefits including improved quality, resource efficiency, and enhanced integration. Balancing the pressure for immediate results with the need for planning and establishing stable conceptual models is key. This can be achieved by maintaining open communication about the long-term benefits of these models, and investing in professional development to strengthen the competencies required for their implementation. The benefits of well-crafted conceptual models for legislative processes are manifold. They enhance the quality of legislative work by providing a clear framework for action, save resources by streamlining procedures, and promote integration by providing a common language and understanding of the legislative process. Adopting best practices, methodologies, and techniques for an information architecture that supports a digital parliament is paramount. In this digital age, the demand for professionals skilled in digital legislative processes is growing. These professionals need to be adept at handling both the contents of propositions and the metadata associated with the process, reflecting a blend of legislative knowledge and digital expertise. One of the major challenges in transitioning to a fully digital legislative process is making the process understandable and accessible to the average citizen. Strategies to achieve this include the development of user-friendly digital tools for consultation and disclosure, public education campaigns about the legislative process, and ongoing feedback mechanisms to ensure the tools are meeting the needs of the public. Furthermore, the flexibility and complexity of the legislative process, coupled with the constant evolution of parliamentary norms, present unique challenges in structuring a meaningful process that respects the past, serves the present, and anticipates the future. To overcome these challenges, a phased approach could be adopted, focusing on digitising current and future processes while gradually incorporating legacy data. In an era of advanced textual search tools and artificial intelligence, the importance of information architecture for clarity and precision in legislative processes remains crucial. Such architecture provides a structured framework that guides the search process, ensuring more accurate and relevant results.
LegisTech - Women in Leadership:
Participants: Mrs. Sarah Fernn from Bússola Tech, Mrs. Anabella Zavagno from ParlAmericas, Mrs. Rocío Noriega from the Congreso Nacional de Chile, Mrs. Filomena da Conceição Grachane from the Assembleia da República de Moçambique, and Mrs. Sabrina Vigneux from Xcential Legislative Technologies.
"The 'LegisTech - Women in Leadership' debate opened up a dynamic space for respected speakers from various parliaments around the world to voice their insights and experiences pertaining to women's leadership in the sphere of institutional modernization. This conversation underscored the powerful role women play in spearheading change and innovation within parliamentary settings, enriching the discussion with a myriad of perspectives derived from their unique experiences and expertise.
The importance of women's leadership extends beyond the mere incorporation of a gender lens into institutional workings. It is about acknowledging and valuing the distinct perspectives and skills women leaders bring to the table. They often display a greater propensity for collaborative decision-making, emotional intelligence, and a balanced approach to risk management - all of which are critical elements in driving sustainable innovation.
A diverse leadership contributes significantly to a more inclusive and innovative legislative process. Such diversity, which is inclusive of gender, ethnicity, age, and more, offers multiple vantage points, thereby promoting a thorough analysis of issues and the development of comprehensive solutions that consider the needs of all segments of society. This richness of perspectives facilitates the creation of more inclusive and effective legislation, ultimately leading to increased public trust and societal harmony.
The conversation progressed to focus on cultivating an environment of innovation and change within organisations. Diversity plays a crucial role in this regard. A diverse team is not just about representation; it is an incubator for creativity and innovation. Varied backgrounds and experiences bring a broader range of ideas, encouraging unique problem-solving approaches and enhancing the organisation's adaptability in the face of change.
Modernisation of the Legislative Drafting System:
Participants: Mr. Luis Fernando Pires Machado from the Senado Federal of Brazil, Mr. Danilo Augusto Barboza de Aguiar from the Senado Federal of Brazil, Mr. Mark Stodder from Xcential Legislative Technologies, Mr. Luis Rojas from La Convención Constitucional de Chile, Mr. Wade Ballou from the U.S. House of Representatives, and Mrs. Filomena da Conceição Grachane from the Assembleia da República de Moçambique.
This description is a reflection on a rich debate concerning the modernization of legislative drafting processes, examining the convergence of technology, legislative science, and governance strategies to deliver laws with quality and positive social impact. The need for modernization in the legislative drafting process is a pressing issue in today's rapidly evolving digital world. Utilising technology, the drafting process can be streamlined, enhancing both efficiency and effectiveness. The successful experiences shared in the debate underscored that technology can not only expedite the process but also improve the quality of laws, leading to substantial societal benefits. The science of legislation, both formal and material legistics, plays an integral role in modernization. Formal legistics, focusing on the structure and language of legislation, and material legistics, concerning the substance and applicability of laws, are essential to ensure that the laws are clear, precise, and enforceable. Modernization initiatives that consider these aspects ensure laws are comprehensible and accessible to citizens. Adopting governance strategies is another crucial element to improve the legislative drafting process. Transparency, equity, accountability, and regulatory compliance are fundamental principles that must be embedded in the process. They ensure the laws are fair, just, and effectively serve the citizenry. As discussed in the debate, the maturity of legislative houses in embracing these governance strategies significantly influences the success of modernization efforts. The modernization of the legislative drafting process is not merely about technology adoption; it's a holistic endeavour that requires a deep understanding of legislative science, commitment to good governance, and a future-oriented perspective. The debate underscored that successful modernization initiatives could lead to better laws with higher societal impact, thereby fostering a more informed and engaged citizenry.
Members-friendly Digital Solutions:
Participants: Mr. Fabricio Rocha from the Câmara dos Deputados of Brazil, Mr. Chad Alexander from the Western Cape Provincial Parliament in South Africa, Mr. Stephen Dwyer from the U.S. House of Representatives, Mr. Jonathan Ruckert from NovaWorks Australia, Mr. Immanuel Kooper from the Parliament of Namibia, and Mr. Mário Sérgio Gurgel Assembleia Legislativa do Estado do Rio Grande do Norte in Brazil.
The recent global debate on member-friendly digital solutions for parliaments has sparked intriguing discussions around understanding the needs and preferences of Members of Parliament (MPs) in the digital age. In this context, the public is primarily the MPs who are the direct users and beneficiaries of these digital solutions. The persona of an MP can be seen as an individual navigating multiple roles - legislator, representative, and policy advocate, often under time constraints and high-pressure environments. However, it's important to question whether these MPs are being actively heard regarding their digital needs and wants. While there may be instances of these needs being considered, there seems to be a lack of a structured, periodical process of meetings or interviews for gathering digital requirements. This process varies globally, with some institutions having occasional consultations and others adopting a more organised approach. Interestingly, we're witnessing a demographic shift in parliaments as those born in the early 1980s, who were exposed to early computer literacy programs, now assume roles in these institutions. This exposure may influence their use of technology and expectations from digital solutions. Evidence suggests that this group displays a higher comfort level with technology, indicating a positive correlation. However, there's another aspect to consider. Quite often, digital solutions intended for MPs are used more by their staff. This trend is expected, given the extensive responsibilities of MPs, and highlights the necessity of considering both MPs and their staff while designing digital solutions. On the topic of applications, most digital tools for parliamentary work are functional but not particularly engaging. However, several promising fields could lead to more engaging applications. These include tools for societal engagement, legislative writing aids, personal assistance for meetings and events, and data-based lawmaking software. Finally, considering the interface and device preferences, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Depending on the context, MPs may prefer mobile web-connected applications, multimedia-enabled audiovisual interfaces, textual conversational interfaces, live video apps, or voice-enabled systems. Regardless, the ultimate goal remains the same: creating member-friendly digital solutions that cater to the unique needs and personas of MPs worldwide.
Artificial Intelligence in the Legislative:
Participants: Mr. Luís Kimaid from Bússola Tech, Mr. Jonathan Ruckert from NovaWorks Australia, Mr. German Tarasewiez from the Cámara de Diputados de la Nación of Argentina, Mr. Fotios Fitsilis from the Hellenic Parliament, Mr. Cristiano Ferri from the Câmara dos Deputados of Brazil, Mr. Victor Marcel Pinheiro from the Senado Federal of Brazil.
A recent global debate explored the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in legislative bodies, providing substantial insights. AI, within a broader digital transformation strategy, has immense potential to boost legislative processes and public policy oversight. However, the effectiveness of AI tools and the maturity of data governance were highlighted as critical considerations. Initiating AI integration requires a solid digital transformation strategy and robust data governance. Legislatures must also gauge their readiness to adopt AI, considering technological, policy, regulatory, and workforce skills aspects. A phased approach to AI adoption, starting with pilot projects, was recommended. Audience queries underlined interest in AI's role in legislative processes, especially regarding ethical considerations, transparency, and accountability. In summary, AI's transformative potential for parliamentary processes is significant, but it calls for thoughtful planning and ethical considerations.
Participation Tools in the Legislative Process:
Participants: Mr. Bruno Freitas from the Torus Institute, Mrs. Rocío Noriega Congreso Nacional de Chile, Mr. Alisson Bruno de Queiroz from the Senado Federal of Brazil, Mr. Jonathan Ruckert from NovaWorks Australia, Mrs. Olga Gianniadi from IT Next, and Mr. Pedro de Neri, from the Assembleia Nacional of Angola.
The discussion about Participation Tools in the Legislative Process commenced with the emphasis on designing participation tools with user-friendliness in mind, highlighting the necessity to adjust and simplify these tools for maximum usability. The importance of continuous feedback and iterative improvements were underscored to ensure that the tools stay relevant and effective. The conversation then moved to the experience of a country in Southern Africa. The critical role of training sessions for both the parliamentarians and the citizens was discussed, in order to effectively use these tools and encourage participation. The process of overcoming the digital divide and literacy challenges was also shared. The role of transparent communication and establishing trust between citizens and the legislative body was also underscored.
Best Practices in Accessibility on Parliamentary Digital Transformation:
Participants: Mrs. Sarah Fernn from Bússola Tech, Mr. Clive Barker from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Mr. Jonathan Ruckert from NovaWorks Australia, Mr. Jesus Covarrubias from the Cámara de Diputados de México, Mr. Ben Dicaire from the House of Commons of Canada and Mr. Juan Carlos Chavarria Herrera from the Asamblea Legislativa de Costa Rica.
In the context of the debate on Best Practices in Accessibility on Parliamentary Digital Transformation, a concise yet comprehensive approach is recommended. The first step involves establishing an adaptable roadmap that takes into account the varying resources of parliamentary Houses worldwide. This roadmap should focus firstly on enhancing accessibility for internal users, such as Members of Parliament and technical staff, setting a foundation for broader improvements. Private sector partnerships can play a crucial role in accelerating this digital transformation and to provide knowledge exchange. Technical teams should prioritise accessibility by design, integrating cloud-based solutions and specialised products to ensure a wide reach. The guiding principle here should be user autonomy and inclusion, adhering to international accessibility standards to measure progress as provided by documents as Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), developed by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Furthermore, leveraging existing data collection and interpretation mechanisms is essential. While it presents challenges in terms of data analysis, it also offers opportunities for continuous improvement based on civil society feedback. The initial user data can serve as a valuable resource for identifying areas of improvement and tailoring the digital platforms to better meet user needs. This could help in areas like: to understand user behaviour, identify pain points, improve user experience and interaction, and improve how frequently the users use the solutions, for example. In essence, improving accessibility in parliamentary digital transformation requires a concerted approach that combines a strategic roadmap, private sector involvement, and effective utilisation of user feedback. This will lead to more inclusive, user-friendly digital platforms, strengthening the connection between governments and civil society.
Matching the Modernisation Strategy with the Rules of Procedure:
Participants: Mr. Müller Medeiros from the Senado Federal of Brazil, Mr. Mark Stodder from Xcential Legislative Technologies, Mr. José Pedro Montero from the Cámara de Senadores of Uruguay/ Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments, and Mr. Luis Rojas from La Convención Constitucional de Chile.
This debate delves into the intersection of digital transformation and parliamentary procedures, and how modernization strategies are reshaping traditional legislative practices. In essence, the discussion highlights that the digital shift is not merely about speeding up existing practices, but rather about revolutionising them for enhanced democratic gains, transparency, and social participation. The participants shared insights and experiences regarding recent or proposed changes in their respective parliaments' bylaws, focusing on five key areas: a) Remote Participation: The debate examined the advancements in enabling parliamentarians to participate remotely in legislative work, from proposing bills and amendments to participating in debates and votes. b) Social and Minority Participation: The discussion also explored how digital democracy mechanisms are fostering increased social participation and giving a voice to political minorities. c) Transparency: The emphasis was on how digital transformation is enhancing the transparency of legislative activities, thereby fostering greater trust and accountability. d) Legislative Impact Assessment and Evidence-based Legislation: The debate highlighted the role of digital tools in facilitating legislative impact assessments and fostering an evidence-based approach to legislation. e) Automation and AI in Parliamentary Activities: The participants also discussed the implications and possibilities of utilising automation and artificial intelligence tools in parliamentary activities, underscoring the potential benefits and challenges. Through these discussions, the debate underscored the necessity of aligning modernisation strategies with the rules of procedure in the era of digital transformation, to ensure effective, inclusive, and transparent legislative practices.
Interparliamentary Cooperation for the Promotion of Legislative Modernisation:
Participants: Mr. Luís Kimaid from Bússola Tech, Mrs. Anabella Zavagno from ParlAmericas, Mr. Romeo Adams from the Western Cape Provincial Parliament in South Africa, Mr. José Carlos da Fonseca from the Assembleia Nacional Popular de Guiné-Bissau, Mr. Juan Ose from the Senado de Chile, and Mr. José Laviola from UNALE.
The debate at the conference centred on harnessing interparliamentary cooperation to drive legislative digital transformation. Instead of primarily focusing on technology, the discussion emphasised the importance of establishing and nurturing channels for collaboration. Participants shared insights into the benefits of cooperation, underscoring its role in driving innovation and overcoming challenges in the digital transformation journey. They reflected on the unprecedented bonds of institutional friendship forged during the COVID-19 pandemic, stressing the need to maintain these relationships post-pandemic. The conversation also touched upon the digital maturity of legislative institutions, the importance of transparency policies, and the role of open data. It was recognized that maintaining these collaborative channels is crucial not only for digital transformation but also for strengthening democratic processes and legislative resilience. The debate concluded with guidance for legislative bodies on initial steps towards digital transformation, emphasising the importance of continued collaboration in this journey.
Priorities for the Modernisation of Legislative Committees:
Participants: Mr. Luís Kimaid from Bússola Tech, Mr. Luis Rojas from La Convención Constitucional de Chile, Mr. Marcos Machado Melo from Senado Federal of Brazil, Mr. Gabriel Duarte from Congreso de la República de Perú and Mr. Dino Oedit from the Nationale Assemblee of Suriname.
In this debate, panellists discussed their experiences and perspectives on the key aspects of modernising committee activities, with a focus on management rather than technology. They emphasised the importance of legislative committees as the heart of the legislative process, enabling collaborative proposal-building, public participation, and consensus-building among political leaders.
The covid-19 pandemic has generated unique challenges for the continuity of the functions of parliaments, forcing them to approve modifications to their internal regulations to guarantee the legality of parliamentary acts agreed in remote sessions, having to exploit technological resources to the maximum with in order to continue operating in the standards that the context allows and in accordance with the capacities of each institution. The conversation centred on the capabilities required for committees to operate effectively at a distance, as well as the necessary procedural and structural changes to support hybrid or virtual meetings. Panellists also addressed the challenges and opportunities in managing complex workflows, enhancing collaboration among committee members, and engaging the public in committee work. They shared best practices and innovative solutions for streamlining committee processes and improving overall efficiency, while maintaining the principles of transparency and openness.
Debate about the book: Smart Parliaments - Data-Driven Democracy
Participants: Mr. Luís Kimaid from Bússola Tech, Mr. Juan de Dios Cincunegui from the Universidad Austral, Mr. Fotios Fitsilis from the Hellenic Parliament, and Mrs. Érica Ceolin from the Senado Federal of Brazil.
In this debate, panellists discussed the book "Smart Parliaments: Data-Driven Democracy," which delves into the digital transformation of parliamentary institutions and the challenges they face in leveraging open data. The conversation revolved around the book's emphasis on balancing tradition and innovation, as well as its practical approach to parliamentary evolution. Participants explored ideas and solutions to overcome obstacles such as scarce resources, internal resistance to change, and inadequate organisational structures, which are crucial for unlocking the potential of data-driven democracy. The debate provided a valuable opportunity for professionals and stakeholders to exchange ideas on improving parliamentary discourse and optimising the use of open data in the pursuit of a more transparent and efficient democratic system.
The organisers would like to express their heartfelt appreciation to the host Parliament, the Senado Federal, as well as their strategic partners Sindilegis, Xcential Legislative Technologies, NovaWorks Australia, Govable.ai, Torus Institute, and the Society of the Clerks of the Table - Africa Region. Additionally, they extend their gratitude to the supporting partners ParlAmericas, the Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments (ASGP), Universidad Austral, Argentina, Legalbot, Interlegis, Hellenic OCR Team, Unale - União Nacional dos Legisladores e Legislativos Estaduais, and CONACATE. The success of the event would not have been possible without their dedication and commitment to fostering meaningful discussions and promoting legislative modernisation on a global scale.