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Advancing capacities of representative institutions: a proposal


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Presentation at the ICAP of the House of Representatives, Argentina, 31 August 2017

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Advancing capacities of representative institutions: a proposal

  1. 1. Advancing capacities of representative institutions: a proposal Dr.-Ing. Dipl.Wirt.-Ing. Fotios Fitsilis Head of Department Scientific Documentation and Supervision Scientific Service Hellenic Parliament 1 31 August 2017
  2. 2. Contents 2  Introduction  Parliamentary Research Services (PaRS)  Political and scientific parliamentary cooperation  Case studies of parliamentary research  Conclusions
  3. 3. 3 Prelude (1) Emerging technologies Gartner Hype Cycle, 2017
  4. 4. Introduction 1 Paradigm shift in technology Current discourse of a 3rd industrial revolution Advances in algorithms (e.g. Blockchain Technology, Artificial Intelligence/AI) and integrated systems (e.g. robots, drones) Unique properties (unlike any previous technological discoveries) machine-learning increasing man-machine interaction decreasing human dependency 4
  5. 5. Introduction II Major advantages quicker and more effective than humans General concerns digital unemployment breach of privacy ethical implications (e.g. killer robots, drones) destructive and dangerous choices (e.g. b AI/autonomous systems) 5
  6. 6. How can parliaments worldwide prepare themselves to address such major societal and economic challenges? 6 …and the question is ???
  7. 7. Strengthening of parliamentary capacities through:  Adequate Parliamentary Research Services  Developments of international political and scientific networks 7 Proposal
  8. 8. 8 Parliaments and innovation  Technology affects political behavior in societies  Role of tradition in parliamentary operation … tradition vs. innovation*  Parliaments have long kept technology debates out of their agenda The role of PaRS? * Technological and non- technological innovation
  9. 9. 9 Characteristics of PaRS  Research services in majority of parliaments  Accumulation of procedural and technical expertise  Necessity for parliamentary evolution  Innovation to strengthen… a) administrative capacity b) the role of Parliament in digital societies Redefine the role of PaRS?
  10. 10. IPU guidelines 5 key phases (own categorization)  13 distinct steps  Reverse engineering possible to assess existing PaRS! 10 Phase/Guideline Phase a: Governance 1. Determine where PaRS will be located in the organization Phase b: Define the mandate 2. Establishment and objectives 3. Identify who may access the service 4. Determine what types of services will be offered Phase c: Determine how the research service operates 5. Adopt a Service Charter and criteria for prioritizing demands 6. Identify staff requirements 7. Establish a process for quality control 8. Secure access to a range of information sources 9. Define information management requirements 10. Establish means of promotion and evaluation Phase d: Make the most of partnerships 11. Build partnerships within the parliamentary administration 12. Set up partnerships with other research services Phase e: Reporting to Parliament 13. Establish ways to report to parliament
  11. 11. 11 Role of PaRS I  Project management role in the introduction new technologies  Aggressive approach as in-house consultancy  Coordination of parliamentary experts and external consultants  Participation in research and/or technical assistance consortia to acquire necessary knowhow
  12. 12. 12 Role of PaRS II  Technology may be evolving fast, but some facettes may not be ripe enough to enter the parliamentary environment  Issues of privacy, confidentiality and ethics …  PaRS have to claim the role for themselves to guide the adoption of technologies in a controlled manner  Strengthened ties with parliamentary libraries Reforms to strengthen the functions of PaRS
  13. 13. Legal reporting Documentation In-house consultancy Technical assistance Main services 13 Case study: the HeP PaRS e.g. bilateral, Twinning, Europaid e.g. digitization, OCR, archiving
  14. 14. Scientific networking I  5 FP7 Programmes  Partners from 11 countries  EU Twinning (GR + RS) Efficient partnermix  Broad distributionung 14
  15. 15. Scientific networking II  36 different partner (47 in total)  6 different sectors  5 x HeP und 3 x AUP Universities 36% Research institutes 15% Companies 26% Parliaments 18% Media 3% NGOs 2% 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 GR DE UK AU NL ES BE IE IL LT FR 15
  16. 16. 16 Role of parliamentary cooperation  Governments are often reluctant to support parliamentary independence  Development of intra-parliamentary expertise  The role of “soft” diplomacy  Cooperation needs to extend further than mere international relations  Potentially counterbalances governmental superiority! A means to the strengthening of representative institutions
  17. 17. Case studies 17  Parliamentary experience: FP7, Horizon 2020, COST and Erasmus+  Digitalization and archiving  Modeling of parliamentary procedures  Study of impact of digital leap on political behavior  LEX-IS, +Spaces and NOMAD projects
  18. 18. Digitalization and archiving 18  HeP: image form*  House of Commons (via Hansard): Application Programming Interface (API)**  Italian Chamber of Deputies: SPARQL RDF query interface  German Bundestag: PDF docs * See: Elenchos/Mesa-Koinovouleutikou- Elegxou#Anazitisi_meson_koinovouleftikou_elegxou ** See:
  19. 19. Applied technologies  Pilot application in the 16th Parliamentary period: 4507 questions  Programming languages: R/python  OCR: ABBYY FineReader ® 14 Professional  TXT handling: Notepad++™  XML editor: <oXygen/>®XML Editor  MS Excel (limitations, e.g. 32,767 chars/cell) 19
  20. 20. FP7 Programme: LEX- IS  Web platform for public debate on draft laws  Cooperation between policy-makers and citizens on decision-making within a Parliamentary environment  Exchange of arguments, decision-making process 20
  21. 21. FP7 Programme: +Spaces Policy simulation in virtual spaces (2D & 3D)  Debate of draft laws and measurement of responsiveness  Development of data crawling, mining and evaluation technologies 21
  22. 22. FP7 Programme: NOMAD  Web 2.0 for decision-making  Automated solutions for content search, categorization and visualization 22
  23. 23. Conclusions 23  International tensions and emerging technologies pose great challenges to national parliaments  Parliaments need to advance their capacities to tackle contemporary and future challenges  The proposal presented here calls for:  Strengthening PaRS  Intensifying parliamentary cooperation (political and scientific)  Use the capacities and expertise of
  24. 24. Thank you! 24
  25. 25. Sources F. Fitsilis et al. “Content reconstruction of parliamentary questions”, SCIECONF (2017) Fitsilis et al. “Implementing Digital Parliament Innovative Concepts for Citizens and Policy Makers”, Human Computer Interaction International Conference (2017) F. Fitsilis, A. Koutsogiannis, “Strengthening the Capacity of Parliaments through Development of Parliamentary Research Services”, Wroxton Workshop (2017) F. Fitsilis, D. Koryzis, “Parliamentary control of Governmental actions on the interaction with European organs in the Hellenic Parliament and the National Assembly of Serbia”, Online Papers on Parliamentary Democracy, PADEMIA (2016) LEXIS, koblenz/fb4/iwvi/agvinf/projects/completedprojects/lex-is +Spaces, NOMAD, 25