De Nationale Assemblée of Suriname
The digital transformation of any organisation is a crucial process, and one that can significantly improve communication, data management, and overall efficiency. An excellent example of this is the digital transformation that has taken place at De Nationale Assemblée of Suriname. This essay discusses the case of De Nationale Assemblée, the National Assembly of Suriname, and the various challenges and solutions they encountered in their digital transformation journey.
De Nationale Assemblée: An Overview
De Nationale Assemblée consists of 51 members, each elected by district to represent the citizens of the Republic of Suriname. These members are selected for a term of five years. The assembly is composed of two parts: the political staff, including the chair, vice-chair, and members who are responsible for creating laws, entertaining petitions, and overseeing government actions, and the administrative staff, including the clerk and other employees. The administrative staff’s primary roles are to register documents, ensure proficient archiving, and support the political staff.
Challenges Faced in the Digital Transformation Journey
The digital transformation journey of the National Assembly of Suriname presented several challenges. One of the most prominent was the difficulty in locating current, old, and new information about upcoming legislation, meetings held, and notes concerning those legislations. This obstacle was tackled in 2015 by introducing ‘HCL Connections’ (formerly known as IBM Connections) as a communication channel internally for documents and other relevant information.
Another challenge was the indefinite or unestablished processes that change due to minor alterations in the parliament structure, resulting in unknown requirements for applications. To combat this, the assembly sought to identify and define the process itself before introducing the required tool for its implementation.
The third challenge pertained to cybersecurity, especially the risk of ransomware and phishing threats, which could result in a loss of data and trust. In response to this, encrypted data and regular backups were used, and staff were timely informed of potential threats.
The last challenge was resistance from the political staff or other employees accustomed to the old ways of working. To overcome this, new ways of working were promoted and established as the standard, aligning existing processes with the new method.
Open Communication Policy and Future Plans
De Nationale Assemblée has an open communication policy where the public is informed about parliament information through different channels such as their website, Facebook page, YouTube channel, and a dedicated local TV channel. Looking forward, the assembly plans to work towards integrated systems to reduce data scattering and make it easier for intended stakeholders to find the necessary information.
The digital transformation of De Nationale Assemblée of Suriname demonstrates how technology can be utilised to enhance efficiency and transparency in a legislative body. Despite the challenges faced, the assembly was able to implement successful strategies, ensuring that the process was beneficial to both the assembly and the public. The future of legislative power indeed lies in the ease of processing all legislative data and making public data easy and accessible for everyone.
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