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Day 2: Openness: making use of open data, Ms. Dubravka Filipovski, Member of Parliament, Serbia

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At first, it was assumed that if parliaments made their data available, people would come and get it. More recently, it has become clear that there is still much to do to make open data “profitable” and usable in a constant and reliable way. The session will also question parliament’s ability to access and use data from the executive branch of government and elsewhere in its own research activities.

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Day 2: Openness: making use of open data, Ms. Dubravka Filipovski, Member of Parliament, Serbia

  1. 1. World e-Parliament Conference 2016 #eParliament 28-30 June 2016 // Chamber of Deputies of Chile // Valparaiso Open Parliaments – Engaged Citizens Republic of Serbia
  2. 2. Serbian parliament has made a great effort in recent period in order to enable citizens to have closer look at its work thus giving them opportunity to take active part in decision-making process, stressing the importance of civil society as an important partner and link in communication between citizens and parliament. During realization of the Project: “Strengthening of the Oversight Role of the Parliament”, implemented in cooperation with UNDP and Swiss Agency for Development from 2011 to 2015, the Serbian Parliament achieved three major results: 1.Parliament’s oversight role over the Executive power has significantly improved; 2.Conditions have been created for the opening of Government data within the Portal for tracking the public budget expenditures. 3.Parliament has established better cooperation with citizens and representatives of civil sector in the Republic of Serbia.
  3. 3. Portal for Oversight of Public Finance  Electronic link between the Treasury and Parliament providing MPs with timely information on State budget expenditures (as opposed to previous hard copy reporting of the Executive to the Parliament)  Developed from 2011 to 2015 through UNDP/SDC project  Inspired by SIGA Brasil and World e-Parliament Report 2008  Legal basis: National Anticorruption Strategy  Data: Pre-defined reports show: a. Identification of direct budget user b. Execution of budget c. Execution of the budget based on the source of funding d. Execution of the budget based on the economic classification (purpose of funding) Dynamic reports show: a. Search based on user request
  4. 4. The Serbian Parliament has been continuously advancing its scrutiny through the following institutes: 1.Members of Parliament are entitled to ask government questions twice a week, every Tuesday and Thursday, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia. On top of this, the members of the Government are obliged to personally answer the MP’s questions on the last Thursday of the month.
  5. 5. 2. During the period of 3 years, 34 public hearings have been held, regarding very wide range of topics such as:  prevention of the violence against women;  cybercrime;  improving of the production and the export of raspberries;  online system which enables citizens to refer petitions regarding public hearing’s topics, has been also established – web page. 3. The cooperation between the Parliament and the independent bodies has become more functional; not only through regular reviews of their reports in the Parliament but also through relevant parliamentary committees monitoring more frequently the implementation of their recommendations.
  6. 6. 4. 11 Mobile Parliamentary Committees session took place during the 2014 – 2015 period. Some of the results are:  payment of overdue subsidies for farmers;  resolving problems concerning the agricultural land etc. 5. With the help of recently established portal “Open Parliament” citizens have easy access to the information about activities and work of the parliament. 6. Live streaming of the parliament’s sessions has motivated citizens to take more active part in solving their own problems. The National Assembly’s website features easy access to exposures of every single MP of current convocation as well as to daily and weekly reports covering plenary and committee's sessions. The site also features internal and external Bulletins "Kvorum" and "Bilten" aimed at outreach to citizens and media. The NARS website will also feature two-way communication with citizens for public hearing submissions and portal reports on public expenditures.
  7. 7. 7. Another joint attempt at public participation and constituency work was the National TV Debate featuring MPs from particular region speaking on regional topics in a mobile studio. 8. Several important and very active informal cross-party caucuses have been founded in the Serbian parliament: Women’s Parliamentary Network, National branch of the GOPAC, Economic Caucus, the “Green” group, Energy Policy Forum, Parliamentary Group for Open Parliament etc.
  8. 8. Three most important achievements of Women’s Parliamentary Network and GOPAC in Serbia are: 1.Serbia, along with Great Britain, became the only European country in which sexual assault does not become obsolete, as a result of Women’s Parliamentary Network’s initiative to amend the Criminal Code. 2.Women’s Parliamentary Network of Serbia initiated the networking of female MPs from 11 countries of south east Europe with the goal of putting the joint effort in amending laws regarding gender equality. 3.For the first time in the history of Serbia gender budgeting, better utilization of budgetary resources by gender, became integral part of the Budget Law for year 2016; thanks to activity of Women’s Parliamentary Network 50 local councilors networks have been created in recent period.
  9. 9. 1. National branch of GOPAC Serbia, together with Parliamentary Committee for the control of Public Finances initiated the formation of working group for creating the Portal for the oversight of the public finances. This portal allows MPs and other specialized parliament’s structures the monitoring of all the incomes and expenditures in the state budget on the daily basis. Outcome: The Portal was put in action on December 1, 2015. 2. GOPAC Serbia initiated regional cooperation in fighting against corruption and also helped establishing national branches of GOPAC in other countries of the region. 3. GOPAC Serbia initiated the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding at an international conference “Transparency and accountability for effective control” held in Belgrade on 22-23 May 2015 with the aim to promote the need to combat corruption. 
  10. 10. Activities and results of Women’s Parliamentary Network and GOPAC Serbia can be followed at blogs and the twitter of this two informal groups: https://zpmsrbijawordpress.com and twitter@zpmsrbija https://gopacsrbijawordpress.com and twitter@gopacsrbija
  11. 11.  Parliamentary Group for Open Parliament /twitter@O_Parlament/ was founded in September 2015, aiming to increase both the visibility of the Parliament and positive perceptions of citizens towards this institution. Activities: • Marking the Week of Parliamentarism in Serbia from October 19 till October 24, 2015. (with participation of 3500 citizens) • The Index of openness and transparency of Parliaments of Western Balkan countries has been recently published, hence placing Serbian Parliament in one of leading position, alongside with the Parliament of Montenegro.
  12. 12.  The program and activities of informal Parliamentary “Greens” group /twitter@zelenisrbije/ have been dedicated to improving legislative framework in the field of environmental protection and faster opening of chapters in negotiations of Serbia and the EU regarding this particular issue.  Economic caucus /twitter@ekon_kokus/ has focused its activities on improving general business environment in the Republic of Serbia. This informal group submitted numerous amendments regarding financial laws, most of which were accepted.
  13. 13. The public opinion poll by CESID has signaled 8% increase of positive perception of citizens regarding the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia. The report can be found on the web page of the Serbian Parliament. What else should be done: •The citizens are to be additionally informed about possibilities of their more intensive participation in the parliamentary activities. •It is necessary to stabilize two-way communication with citizens and civil society in order to collect submissions of citizens at public hearings. •It is necessary to provide an access to all submitted amendments within the electronic parliament system and also to establish e- module for submitting commentaries on draft laws. •Efficient use of the Portal for the oversight of public finances with the ultimate goal of achieving a strong anti- corruptive effect. •Local authorities should implement all the positive experiences in their work and overall activities.
  14. 14. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION! Dubravka Filipovski Member of Parliament of the Republic of Serbia Tel: + 381 63 559550 Email: dubravkafilipovski@gmail.com twitter: @DubravkaFilipov

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