Maria Liz Sosa Studotti

Master in Public Affairs and Governance, General Director of Institutional Development and External Cooperation of the Senate of Paraguay and Focal Point of Open Parliament.

Why did you choose to work on open parliament? What are the most important open parliament issues that you tackle through your work?

Because I believe that citizen participation is one of the fundamental pillars of a country’s democratic system; citizens must know and monitor the efforts of their representatives and legislators are obliged to report and be accountable for their actions. Citizens require information, they demand to participate in matters that interest them and of course they require their authorities to carry out their duties with probity and ethics.

Open Parliament promotes transparency, access to public information and accountability as a mechanism of interaction, in order to find answers to citizen requirements, an informed citizen is a participant citizen.

Open Parliament proposes a paradigm shift in public management, the main challenge being to achieve true cultural transformation in the way public service is thought of and executed. It also involves submitting government management and the performance of public servants to the daily scrutiny of society.

What are the key lessons that you have learnt through your experience working on open parliament at the national level?

The installation of an opening process requires the commitment of all: legislators, legislative officials and citizens, each of them plays a fundamental role in this alliance, legislators grant the political will, officials facilitate the mechanisms for the concretion of the processes of legislative opening and the citizens accompany by monitoring them. The institutionalization of processes and the definition of those responsible and their responsibilities is another of the key factors to achieve an effective and sustainable legislative opening.

What were the greatest achievements of the national open parliament process? What are your expectations regarding the work currently taking place?

Open Parliament has allowed progress towards the consolidation of legislative openness, a greater rapprochement and understanding of citizens about the legislative work. It has also contributed to understanding citizen requirements regarding access to information, transparency, and accountability of public management.

The challenge for the next plan of action is to advance in the consolidation of the open state, this implies the harmonization of expectations and a coordinated work with other powers of the state. Facilitating the involvement of young people and indigenous people in the monitoring of legislative processes.