Parliamentary Answers as Source for Data Demand and Government Oversight

Official recorded Parliamentary Answers are an overlooked official government source for data, status of government programmes in detail, demanded by citizens, elected representatives, executive branch of government and civil servants.

A way of identifying key open datasets

A common problem for government open data programmes is to identify and prioritise which datasets should be made available. Common methods used include conducting surveys, workshops and measuring against criteria of global indicators such as Open Data Barometer.

Parliamentary Answers are also an excellent source for identifying data demand, that involves and benefits multiple stakeholders. There is also accountability for quality, as the answers are official positions of the executive who are answerable for the reply provided.

  • Citizens. Elected Representatives submit and ask questions on issues that matter for their constituents.
  • Elected Representatives. Demand official answers to questions on issues of importance for their constituents.
  • Executive. Respective ministers are responsible in answering questions satisfactorily. Accurate data and status of programmes are important, they will be held accountable for poor data or status of programmes and policies. Poor data, will also lead to poor answers and decisions.
  • Civil Servants. Civil servants, need to rapidly prepare answers for respective ministers, often within very short time frame, especially for replies for oral questions that are debated in parliament. Quality open data across departments, agencies and ministries to answer these questions will allow them provide answers rapidly without bureaucratic barriers.

Full Article at Sinar Project

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