Legislative Information Websites: Designing Beyond Transparency

Anne L. Washington, Jeffrey C. Griffith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Since the 1990s many legislatures have made their documents and activities available to the public through the Internet. While this initial phase of transparency met some needs, it is no longer sufficient simply to make legislative documents available electronically. Legislative systems that seek to be authoritative must meet the highest possible standard in at least five key areas: 1) accuracy 2) timeliness 3) completeness 4) clarity and 5) context. This paper applies these criteria to the evaluation and design of legislative websites. First, an evaluation of the European Parliament and the United States Congress systems reveals how some of these standards are being met. Second, a case study illustrates how the five criteria have been built into the XML design of U.S. congressional legislative data. In conclusion, we discuss the implications for legislature transparency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLegal Knowledge and Information Systems - JURIX 2007
Subtitle of host publicationThe 20th Annual Conference
EditorsArno R. Lodder, Laurens Mommers
PublisherIOS Press BV
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781586038106
StatePublished - 2007
Event20th Annual Conference on Legal Knowledge and Information Systems, JURIX 2007 - Leiden, Netherlands
Duration: Dec 12 2007Dec 15 2007

Publication series

NameFrontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications
ISSN (Print)0922-6389


Conference20th Annual Conference on Legal Knowledge and Information Systems, JURIX 2007


  • XML
  • case study
  • data design
  • data quality
  • information retrieval
  • legislative websites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence


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