ParlAmericas organized a meeting between parliamentary committees on transparency, anti-corruption, and ethics in Latin America to explore possible standards for legislative openness within committee work
On November 22, 2022, a virtual inter-parliamentary meeting convened parliamentarians and parliamentary staff from 11 Latin American countries, as well as representatives from international organizations and civil society to share experiences and achievements on possible legislative openness standards that could be applied to the work of parliamentary committees, following an initiative proposed by Senator Paulina Núñez (Chile).
The activity opened with remarks by Senator Javier Macaya (Chile), President of the ParlAmericas Open Parliament Network, who highlighted “the importance of continuing to advance the open parliament agenda through standards that legislatures and their associated entities, such as committees, can reference to ensure more open and inclusive legislative processes that leave no one behind.”
Luis Rojas, Deputy Secretary of the Chamber of Deputies of Chile and General Coordinator of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Staff Network on Open Parliament, then presented the working document for the meeting, which is based on the ParlAmericas Road Map Towards Legislative Openness 2.0, the Legislative Transparency Toolkit, the Legislative Transparency Index of the Latin American Network for Legislative Transparency, and the Indicators for Democratic Parliaments of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. These standards will be presented at the 7th Gathering of the ParlAmericas Open Parliament Network to be held next year in Chile.
Parliamentary committees on transparency, anti-corruption, and ethics presented reports during the meeting, with committee chairs exchanging experiences to further strengthen legislative openness and ensure a gender perspective. This dialogue was moderated by Member of the Chamber of Deputies Shoraya Suárez (Dominican Republic), Secretary of the Permanent Committee on Internal Administration and of the Board of Directors, and included presentations from Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, the Dominican Republic, and Uruguay.
The second part of the session entitled “Dialogue on legislative openness standards in committees,” was moderated by Member of the Chamber of Deputies Dolores Martínez (Argentina) and included the participation of specialists and representatives of civil society in Latin America, including Roger Celi, representative of the coordination of the Latin American Network for Legislative Transparency, and Ms. María Barón, Global Executive Director of Directorio Legislativo.
To conclude the meeting, Member of the National Assembly Corina Cano (Panama), Vice-President for Central America of the ParlAmericas Open Parliament Network, emphasized that “betting on open parliaments is betting on a better quality of our democracies. It has been made clear that these efforts push us to continue advancing legislative actions in favour of transparency, accountability, citizen participation, and ethics and, therefore, it is crucial that we continue advancing this agenda together.”