Parliamentary Monitoring Organizations

Parliamentary Monitoring Organizations, Angela Tacea

The report of the National Democratic Institute and of the World Bank Institute “Strengthening Parliamentary Accountability, Citizen Engagement and Access to Information. A Comprehensive Survey of Parliamentary Monitoring Organizations” lists more than 190 parliamentary monitoring organizations analyzing more than 80 countries.

The Activities of Parliamentary Monitoring Organizations:

  • Information aggregation and dissemination in order to promote free access to parliamentary activities by collecting information about the activity and functioning of the Parliament
  • Assessment and evaluation of the performance of MPs or of the functioning of Parliament as an institution. “Parliamentary watchdogs”
  • Research and analysis, PMOs may help parliaments with the analysis of various topics (eg: Congressional Research Service)
  • Advocacy- lobbying and recommendations for public policy
  • Citizen engagement – developing virtual tools of interaction between legislators and citizens.

Two types of monitoring:

  1. Monitoring of the performance of individual MPs and of political partis
  2. Monitoring of the Parliament as an institution or of the commissions

The monitoring of individual MPs goes mainly through:

  • Information about MPs (education, occupation, party affiliation, etc.)
  • Parliamentary attendance and their participation in the legislative process. Most often this analysis is done by simply identifying oral and written questions, interpellations etc.. without analyzing the impact of these instruments. Different indices or scorecards have also been developed to assess the activity of MPs
  • Parliamentary debate and public statements
  • Legislation and voting records

The monitoring of the Parliament as an institution
In the activity of PMOs the monitoring of the Parliament as an institution often goes through the analysis of the number of adopted bills and of the number of incorporated amendments. These analyses take into account several types of variables: the complexity of the proposals, their meaning, the parliamentary or governmental origin etc.

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