Using IT tools became ordinary in parliaments. This widespread digitalization phenomena in the legislation has not avoided Hungary, either. Within this wide area, the management of legislative documents and related workflows seems to be one of the most challenging subplots.
Essentially, the cornerstone of various document management systems is to provide the stakeholders of legislation with adequate information on the parliamentary business, and recently to grant opportunities to participate in the legislative work efficiently – without spatial restrictions – in an economically more sustainable way. These IT systems are usually created to satisfy this need with (re)usable documents, although their complexity varies greatly. Expansion of open document formats (ODF) appeared to be the most remarkable trend in the last years.
The main societal benefit of these systems and the connected parliamentary websites is to provide citizens with greater transparency on regulation and policy-making. By using the outputs of these IT tools –publishing often real-time on the Web– the legislative awareness of citizens evolved gradually, resulting in a more demanding attitude towards the opened and transparent operation of parliaments than ever since.
The ParLex (Parliamentary Knowledge Management of Legislation) project was launched in 2014 to effectively address these challenges. The Office of the Hungarian National Assembly started the development of a sophisticated, web-based software in order to bolster the bulk of the legislative work. ParLex provides an advanced solution for developing legislative process by enhancing the engagement of stakeholders and increasing the level of transparency.
ParLex enables not only MPs and their staff to create, edit, propose bills, amendments and other legislative documents in XML and ask for professional opinions prior to the submission, but supports also the work of civil servants in the offices in charge. The legislative work including office tasks within the Parliament are covered by the system from the formulation of a legislative proposal to the consolidation of the adopted law’s content after the final vote, and the automatic publication on the website of the Parliament.
As one of the greatest achievements, ParLex diminishes the problem of geographical distance in legislation, and contributes to relax time constraints, too. Once dedicated users have their online office gadgets they can work even if, they are in their constituencies or elsewhere. In addition, timing of submissions can be programmed not to be hindered by office hours. Consequentially, these automatically registered and published legislative documents may be available to the public sooner than in the past resulting in increasing transparency.
This approach also accelerates the decision-making process by ensuring concerned stakeholders to spend the highest possible extent of time on formulating public policy decisions, instead of coping with the administrative burden.
After finalizing a proposal the system helps authorized users with several automated features to check the validity of the content contributing so to the quality legislation.
Civil servants in the Parliament deal with their duties, such as: formulating legal-professional opinions, creating background materials for the committee sittings from -even extraordinarily huge number of- tabled amendments, managing and generating the scenarios for committee and plenary voting sessions, etc. without logging out.
ParLex tackles the results of voting on amendments, too. Thus, consolidated text of the bills can be generated automatically with special attention to changes of cross-references in the content. Analogously, ParLex also calculates the grand sums of the Budget Bill.
ParLex gained ground gradually since the official implementation to the operation in 2017. From the onset of the running parliamentary cycle (May, 2018) more than 2480 legislative proposals (incl. bills, resolutions,etc.) and over 3370 subsidiary motions were introduced via the system.
Among all innovations what ParLex brought, one of the greatest is the greener legislation. Owing to the interconnection of the Parliament’s website and the ParLex, legislative work can be managed without a single sheet of paper printed out. As a piece of work is done, the information appears online on the website automatically, without extra need for human labour. The published documents are available in ODF enabling users to reuse the official content freely.
Accelerated decision-making process with lowered administrative burden on the legislation, increased level of transparency safeguarded by the automated systemic operation combined with greener legislation was unthinkable even a few years ago. Now, this is the reality.
Based on the accomplishments of ParLex we hope in the positive evaluation of our multi-dimensional, innovative approach for addressing the challenges of the legislation in the 21st century.
|Award category:||new solutions to complex challenges - a public sector citizen-centric, sustainable and fit for the future - european or national level|
|Type of activity:|
|Keywords:||e-legislation, enhanced decision-making, incresing transparency, greener legislation, organisational reform, reusable documents|
|Short English description:||ParLex enables not only MPs and their staff to create, edit, propose bills, amendments and other legislative documents in XML and ask for professional opinions prior to the submission, but supports also the work of civil servants in the offices in charge. The legislative work including office tasks within the Parliament are covered by the system from the formulation of a legislative proposal to the consolidation of the adopted law’s content after the final vote, and the automatic publication on the website of the Parliament.|
|Organisation:||Office of the Hungarian National Assembly|
|Homepage:||https://parlex.parlament.hu/ , https://www.parlament.hu/parlex|
|Level of government:||national level|
|Size of organisation:||>100|
|Number of people involved:||>15|
|EU membership:||EU member|