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Greece

Provision of historical parliamentary documents to the public (GR0028)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Greece Second Action Plan for 2014-2016

Action Plan Cycle: 2014

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Hellenic Parliament

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

E-Government, Legislature, Records Management

IRM Review

IRM Report: Greece End-of-Term Report 2014-2016

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

The commitment aims to enrich the Parliament web portal content with the publication-in accordance with open standards- of digitized material concerning:
- Plenary Session Minutes from the 1st Legislative period to the 8th Legislative period (9-12-1974 to 22-8-1996)
- Introductory reports of bills tabled from 1975 to 1993.
It also aims at the partial conversion of parliamentary archives into electronic books (e-books), making
them available to the public through the web portal.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 4.4. Open historical parliamentary data

Commitment Text:

The commitment aims to enrich the Parliament web portal content with the publication-in accordance with open standards- of digitized material concerning:

Plenary Session Minutes from the 1st Legislative period to the 8th Legislative period (9-12-1974 to 22-8-1996), Introductory reports of bills tabled from 1975 to 1993.

It also aims at the partial conversion of parliamentary archives into electronic books (e-books), making them available to the public through the web portal.

4.4.1. Digitize public historical Parliament material

Milestones –Timescales

Implementation (gradually) by June 2016:

       Investigation and adoption of specialized optical character reading software (OCR) that will be able to accurately digitize printed historical material relating to Minutes of Plenary Sessions and to Bills introductory reports that was once written on a typewriter.

       Systematic quality control in resulting digitized text files and application of necessary corrections.

        Documentation of the digitized material and its progressive publication on the Hellenic Parliament portal.

Concerning e-books creation, the following actions will be implemented:

4.4.2. Standards and public access to Parliament e-books

Completion by October 2015:

       Exploration and adoption of open standards for the creation and reading of electronic books and open source applications.

       Pilot electronic book creation on different categories of parliamentary documents.

       Finalization of e- books structuring by category of parliamentary documents.

Implementation (gradually) by June 2016:

       Activation of e- books creation and publication process for selected categories of parliamentary material.

Editorial note: Commitments 4.3 and 4.4 have been clustered for the purpose of analysis in this report.

Responsible institution: Hellenic Parliament

Supporting institution(s): None

Start date: July 2014            End date: June 2016

Commitment Aim:

These two commitments aim to increase the amount of data available to the public and to

improve the functionality of the Parliament’s existing online platforms. The Hellenic Parliament developed these commitments as part of their individual action plan (see Commitment Overview). The commitments primarily focus on streamlining internal parliamentary functions.

Status

Commitment 4.3. Midterm: Limited

The government reviewed the study of the Hellenic Parliament website, thereby completing Milestone 4.3.1. According to interviews with parliamentary staff, the government formed a working group to improve the Hellenic Parliament website and to implement the new standards technologies. This group carried out a comparative analysis of the methods and practices used by other nations’ parliaments. The government provided analysis earlier than planned and offered this analysis for public consultation. It was unclear if, and to what extent, the results of the public consultation process were included in this report.

Milestone 4.3.2, improving Parliament’s website, saw limited completion. The Hellenic Parliament’s website contained plenary session minutes from 1996 onward and introductory reports of bills from 1993 onwards published in .pdf, .doc and .txt formats. However, staff formatted these documents mostly on an ad hoc basis as the government had not yet adopted international standards or software requirements (e.g. legislative .xml, Akoma Ntoso, etc.).

Commitment 4.4 Midterm: Limited

Staff digitized a small number of files; therefore, Milestone 4.4.1 saw limited completion. Some of the scanned materials were available on the relevant section of Parliament’s website.[Note 28: An example of scanned Hellenic Parliament historical data may be found here: http://www.hellenicparliament.gr/UserFiles/f3c70a23-7696-49db-9148-f24dce6a27c8/A-ETHNOS-1843-1844_1.pdf.] The Openwise IRM research team found that a low number of the existing digitized historical files were machine-readable, and search capability was limited for available content. Additionally, available information was presented in a way that required the public to have significant parliamentary knowledge to locate and use published data.

Although the Parliament had started scanning these documents and had made the material available on its website for download, it had not adopted optical character reading software (OCR strategies).

The Openwise IRM research team found no evidence that government had begun work on Milestone 4.4.2 by the midterm review. In general, the Hellenic Parliament had not been able to increase visibility of all material because they discovered personal data embedded within the cache of historical documents. This was due to possible issues arising from a Greek Data Protection Agency decision that requires all legal text be made anonymous before publication. This then led implementing agencies to err on the side of caution and not publish material until it had been made anonymous.

Commitment 4.3 End of term: Limited

Based on the September 2016 inter-parliamentary group meeting attended by the Openwise IRM research team, the government made no further progress on implementing unfinished milestones. Parliamentary staff stated that completion was limited due to lack of required funding. This led to a loss of ownership for the commitment as the staff responsible were moved to new tasks and other proposals.

Commitment 4.4 End of term: Limited

Based on the September 2016 inter-parliamentary group meeting attended by the Openwise IRM research team, the government made no further progress on the implementing this commitment. Parliamentary staff stated that limited completion was due to lack of required funding, which led to a loss of ownership for the commitment.

Did it open government?

Commitment 4.3. 

Access to information: Marginal

The Hellenic Parliament made the plenary session minutes from 1996 onward and introductory reports of bills from 1993 onward available through its website. These are published in .pdf, .doc and .txt formats. These documents are formatted mostly on an ad hoc basis and do not follow an international recognized scheme (e.g. legislative .xml, Akoma Ntoso, etc.). This limits the scope of interaction that the public may have with the data.

The partially completed commitments did improve public access to parliamentary texts, but fell significantly short of achieving the levels of information access envisioned by the commitments. These commitments were of modest ambition, aiming to provide additional levels of service on existing, operational web platforms. They intended to bridge the gap between parliament and the general citizenship by boosting participation in the political process and by providing citizens with the power to influence legislation. If completed these website improvements would enhance access to Hellenic Parliament information for all stakeholders and would foster increased transparency.

Commitment 4.4

Access to information: Marginal

This commitment dealt with the digitization of historic material and only marginally added to the overall amount of information offered to the public. Parliament has started scanning some documents and has made them available on their website for download. The fact that these files are in many cases not machine readable, and have not been processed through an optical character recognition software, limits public ability to search and extract information.

Carried forward?

The third Greek Action Plan does not carry forward Commitments 4.3 and 4.4. They failed to secure the needed funding and lost ownership as a result.


Greece's Commitments

  1. Framework law on Open & Participative Governance

    GR0031, 2016, Capacity Building

  2. Participation in the Assessment of the Public Sector

    GR0032, 2016, Capacity Building

  3. Publicity of Organisational Charts & Entities of the Public Sector

    GR0033, 2016, E-Government

  4. Accountability and Settlement of Disputes between the citizens and the Public Sector

    GR0034, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  5. Guide and Standardization for the provision of Services & for Procedures per Service/entity

    GR0035, 2016, Capacity Building

  6. Improvement of the open deliberation procedure

    GR0036, 2016, Capacity Building

  7. National Register of Line Managers of the Public Administration (Register)

    GR0037, 2016, Capacity Building

  8. Implementation of the assessment of employees and services and control methods

    GR0038, 2016, Capacity Building

  9. Implementation of a System for the Selection of Managers

    GR0039, 2016, Capacity Building

  10. Digital Repository for Pubic Administration Studies

    GR0040, 2016, Capacity Building

  11. Provision of Open Cultural Data

    GR0041, 2016, E-Government

  12. Geospatial Maritime Data

    GR0042, 2016, E-Government

  13. Ship/Company and Seafarer Registers

    GR0043, 2016, E-Government

  14. Marine and Maritime Activity

    GR0044, 2016, E-Government

  15. Starred commitment Public Property Open Data

    GR0045, 2016, E-Government

  16. KPI’s for the implementation of Public and EU Financed Projects

    GR0046, 2016, E-Government

  17. Data and Statistics for Greek National Exams

    GR0047, 2016, E-Government

  18. Protocol Digitization

    GR0048, 2016, E-Government

  19. Informative Actions on open data for young people in Secondary and higher Education

    GR0049, 2016, Education

  20. Open Education

    GR0050, 2016, Capacity Building

  21. Provision of open data for Justice

    GR0051, 2016, E-Government

  22. Enhanced statistical data of justice open to the public

    GR0052, 2016, E-Government

  23. Open provision of Geo-data

    GR0053, 2016, E-Government

  24. Open-Participatory Budget

    GR0054, 2016, Fiscal Transparency

  25. Regional Council Platform (Open Regional Council)

    GR0055, 2016, E-Government

  26. Open - Participatory Budget

    GR0056, 2016, E-Government

  27. Capture and Evaluation Platform for Regional Technical Projects

    GR0057, 2016, E-Government

  28. City Dashboard

    GR0058, 2016, E-Government

  29. Online Consultation Platform

    GR0059, 2016, E-Government

  30. Open Data Index for cities and local administrations

    GR0060, 2016, E-Government

  31. Linked, Open and Participatory Budgets

    GR0061, 2016, E-Government

  32. School of data for public servants

    GR0062, 2016, Capacity Building

  33. The collaborative wikification of public services procedures

    GR0063, 2016, Capacity Building

  34. Strengthening openness and accessibility of the Parliament

    GR0064, 2016, Capacity Building

  35. Institutional and technological upgrading of Transparency Program

    GR0012, 2014, E-Government

  36. Public participation in decision making

    GR0013, 2014, Capacity Building

  37. Integration of PSI Directive on the re-use of public sector information

    GR0014, 2014, E-Government

  38. Regulatory amendments for the management and provision of open data

    GR0015, 2014, Capacity Building

  39. Implementation of platform for central distribution of public open data

    GR0016, 2014, E-Government

  40. Provision of open geospatial data

    GR0017, 2014, E-Government

  41. Provision of open cultural data

    GR0018, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  42. Provision of open data for offshore companies

    GR0019, 2014, E-Government

  43. Open provision of Public Sector critical data sets

    GR0020, 2014, E-Government

  44. Open invitations for filling posts in the public sector

    GR0021, 2014, E-Government

  45. Public administration organizational chart publication

    GR0022, 2014, Capacity Building

  46. Coordination and monitoring of Open Government policy

    GR0023, 2014, Audits and Controls

  47. Reorganization of inspectorate bodies and strategic alliance development against corruption

    GR0024, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  48. Tracking changes on bills (from submission to voting by Plenum)

    GR0025, 2014, E-Government

  49. Usability and functionality improvements of the ‘Parliamentary Transparency’ section of the Hellenic Parliament website

    GR0026, 2014, E-Government

  50. Improvement of the Hellenic Parliament Website and implementation of new standards-technologies

    GR0027, 2014, E-Government

  51. Provision of historical parliamentary documents to the public

    GR0028, 2014, E-Government

  52. Enhancement of Social Media Policy in the Hellenic Parliament

    GR0029, 2014, E-Government

  53. On line provision of Exhibitions

    GR0030, 2014, Capacity Building

  54. Increase number of legislative acts going through online deliberation

    GR0001, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  55. Capitalize on citizen comments and suggestions

    GR0002, 2012, Public Participation

  56. Operate central e-procurement information system

    GR0003, 2012, E-Government

  57. Operate central ERP information system

    GR0004, 2012, E-Government

  58. Operate central HRMS information system

    GR0005, 2012, E-Government

  59. Open data regarding prices, as collected by Prices Observatory

    GR0006, 2012, Open Data

  60. Resolve legal issues regarding state geo-data

    GR0007, 2012, Land & Spatial Planning

  61. Offer additional taxation data

    GR0008, 2012, Fiscal Transparency

  62. Augment functionality of the Transparency Program

    GR0009, 2012, E-Government

  63. Publicise Public Sector procurement information

    GR0010, 2012, E-Government

  64. Enable open, transparent and safeguarded document circulation

    GR0011, 2012, E-Government