Marvi Memon is a Member of Parliament in Pakistan and is a political leader with a fair amount of new media savvy. She wants Pakistan to make use of open government practices, as you can see from her proposal on parliamentary reforms. The key rule changes being proposed include:
- Making Parliamentary Proceedings available via video feed and then archiving them within 24 hours, enabling citizens access to the information. As MP Memon notes, “Currently they are not even public for the members themselves”.
- Making all bills publicly accessible with all votes and changes visible to all citizens. Again, MP Memon notes “Currently what enters the assembly secretariat is one big secret for the rest of the nation as well as for member alike”.
While Pakistan is clearly not yet making use of open government practices this move is a positive first step and in alignment with some of the rule changes made by the 112 Congress in the US which include:
- All bills must be available for 72 hours before being discussed on the floor.
- Committees need to make audio and videos recordings of their meetings available.
- The use of electronic devices, such as mobile phones and tablets, is now permitted on the floor.
We are slowly, very slowly, moving in the right direction. This is a world-wide effort and we can, and must, continue to learn from each other.
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