The project ‘Open Politics Bern (Bern 2.0)’ seeks to improve access to documents and decisions made by the Bernese Cantonal Parliament and Government. It also enables better political participation of society by ensuring electronic access to official documents. Access to proceedings and documents of the authorities is an important element of the principle of publicity. The meetings, documents and decisions of the Cantonal Parliament are public. Even though meetings of the Cantonal Government are not public, most of its decisions are.
In the past, the organisation of government and parliament meetings was exclusively focused on paper documents. This made it very difficult to communicate political decisions. It was not possible to provide paper documents to the public on a larger scale. As a result, there was no systematic and proactive communication on political decisions regardless of location and time. Although in theory the constitutionally guaranteed principle of public access to information provides for transparency, in reality, however, access to information was limited only to a relatively small group of people in the know. Little use of modern media made it difficult for citizens to participate actively in political life. Also the internal administrative costs and the paper costs were high. The main objective of the project was to offer better public access to documents of the Cantonal Parliament and Government. This should guarantee greater transparency, innovation and sustainability. It should also improve the information management system according to international standards; facilitate political participation by implementing electronic information services, enable different linguistic versions of public documents, save paper and strengthen the confidence in politics and the interest in democratic processes by facilitating access to information. This will improve the overall communication policy, as well as trigger positive impulses in all three dimensions of sustainable development (society, economic and environment).
The entire project was implemented by the State Chancellery of the Canton Bern. The Cantonal Chancellery is the secretariat and liaison office for the Cantonal Parliament and the Cantonal Government. The Cantonal Chancellery is responsible for organising the 45 weekly meetings of the government and the 5 sessions of the parliament. Consequently, the State Chancellery has an important coordinating role within the cantonal administration. The project in question involved several of the chancellery’s departments. The majority of the work was carried out by the office of communications and the general secretariat. The project was implemented in several stages. From the parliamentary examination order to the full implementation of all three subprojects (‘Konsul’, ‘WebGR’ and ‘WebRR’), it took six years.
|Award category:||opening up the public sector|
|Sector:||Information society, technology, media and audiovisual|
|Type of activity:|
|Keywords:||State Chancellery of the Canton Bern, transparency, sustainability, principle of publicity, public access to information, electronic management, politics, parliament, government, administration, legislative, executive, Civil society|
|Short English description:||The project ‘Open Politics Bern (Bern 2.0)’ seeks to improve access to documents and decisions made by the Bernese Cantonal Parliament and Government.|
|Organisation:||State Chancellery of Canton Bern|
|Level of government:||regional level|
|Size of organisation:||>100|
|Number of people involved:||1-5|
|EU membership:||other European country|