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September 09, 2013

CREW Endorses “Declaration on Parliamentary Openness”

By Daniel Schuman

Magnifying GlassCREW is pleased to support the “Declaration on Parliamentary Openness,” which articulates transparency principles that all legislatures should follow. More than 130 parliamentary monitoring organizations from around the world endorse the document.

The declaration’s principles can be broken down into four major areas.

First, legislative information belongs to the public and any information released by a legislature should be accurate, timely, and complete.

Second, legislatures should proactively publish legislative information, including information about legislators, legislation, how legislatures function, and ethical matters.

Third, legislatures should use a variety of means to make information available to the public to ensure widespread access and understanding.

Finally, when legislatures publish information online, they should use smart technology that maximizes the usefulness (and reusability) of information.

All in all, the declaration contains 44 specific commitments across four categories. These efforts to identify international norms around legislative openness strengthen the efforts of non-profit organizations in our push for greater legislative transparency and also establish a clear set of expectations for legislatures to meet.

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