Strengthening Parliamentary Openness, Parliamentary and Legislative Transparency: Commitment 1: Tracking changes on bills (from submission to voting by Plenum)

Through its web portal, the Hellenic Parliament makes public the legislation processing stages, as well as all related documents. However, the current process of drafting and amending draft legislation texts does not allow for automated tracking of changes brought about in each processing stage, and consequently, for the publication of electronic files in machine readable and reusable format.
Commitment Description
The original text of bills is amended through various stages of processing, from the parliamentary committee level to voting in the Plenum. Commitment 1 is a basic requirement for legislative process documentation, aiming to achieve the adoption of a system that a) monitors the status and history of actions during processing of the bills by the Parliament, b) assists the production of different versions and c) allows for quick distribution, both internally to members of Parliament and the public. At the same time, it serves as a reliable information data base of the Parliament, allowing parliamentarians and the public to retrieve information in an accurate and timely manner, thus promoting the principles of parliamentary transparency.
OGP values
Access to information, legislative openness, technology and innovation for parliamentary transparency, and accountability.
Implementing bodies
Implementation: Hellenic Parliament.
Collaboration with general government bodies (ministries), the European Union, other Parliaments and institutions for protocol standardization and provision of free software
Objectives of this specific commitment are:
• Adopting a system that allows for changes’ easy tracking brought about to a bill during processing at the Parliamentary Committee and the Plenary level, following inclusion of amendments, improvements and corrections.
• The possibility of bill publication in a machine readable and reusable format for other applications and websites.
• Facilitating the exchange of documents between the services involved (Parliament, Government, Civil Society and foreign parliaments).
• Automated linking of related (to the bill) parliamentary documents (Minutes of Committees, Minutes of Plenary, reports, voting outcome).
• Support of multiple imaging modalities (different views of the bill: online, paper copy, merging into another document, use by disabled accessed websites).
• Ensuring long-term preservation of documents for future use via any technology.
Milestones – Timescales
The steps and actions to be followed for achieving the commitment are as follows:
• Collaboration with Central Government Bodies ( Ministries) to activate the process of certified electronic transmission and filing of Bills and ministerial amendments to parliament and the joint adoption of open standard XML in the drafting of bills and amendments.
• Reviewing information flow from bill submission to voting in Plenum and its subsequent transmission to the National Printing Office for publication.
• Internal review of drafting and modification processes regarding legislation documents and texts.
• Adoption of an international open standard XML for syntax and processing of legislative texts.