In this essay, we will discuss the digital transformation of the Parliament of Mongolia, also known as the State Great Hural. Since its inception in 1992, the Mongolian Parliament has gradually adopted digital technologies to facilitate its legislative processes. With the global pandemic accelerating the need for digital transformation, the Parliament has introduced several measures to ensure the continuity of its activities and increase citizen engagement. This essay will examine the challenges and opportunities presented by the digital transformation and analyze its impact on the legislative process and democracy in Mongolia.
Digital Transformation of the Mongolian Parliament
The digital transformation of the Mongolian Parliament began with the introduction of an automated voting system for plenary and standing committee meetings in 1992. This system has since undergone several upgrades, with the most recent addition being a biometric voting system utilizing fingerprint scanners in 2019.
As a response to the global pandemic, the Parliament introduced measures allowing remote participation in sessions using mobile devices and a special mobile software. This led to the amendment of parliamentary procedures to include rules for digital sessions and the initiation of the e-parliament initiative. The 2020 state budget, for instance, was approved by the Parliament in a digital format for the first time in Mongolian history.
Challenges and Opportunities
The digital transformation of the Parliament of Mongolia presents both challenges and opportunities for its members and citizens. On the one hand, it allows parliamentarians to participate in legislative and oversight activities remotely and enables citizens to receive timely information on legislative activities and express their opinions during drafting and discussions. Furthermore, it allows parliamentary service employees to work remotely and streamlines the processing of official documents by transitioning from paper-based to electronic processing and record keeping.
The implementation of digital solutions in the Parliament has brought about several achievements, such as the establishment of the standing committee on innovation and digital policy and the introduction of the ERPCCM (Enterprise Resource Planning System) and legislative drafting website. The ERPCCM has helped reduce staff workload and improve communication, while the legislative drafting website has facilitated citizen participation in the legislative process.
However, the digital transformation also presents challenges in terms of internal capacity building and cybersecurity. The Parliament must invest in training its current employees to increase their IT skills and hire additional staff with expertise in modern programming technology to develop and maintain necessary software. Additionally, ensuring the security and privacy of online voting and discussions is of paramount importance, requiring the creation of a closed, confidential network of authorized internet users and the implementation of cybersecurity measures.
In conclusion, the digital transformation of the Parliament of Mongolia has brought about significant changes in the way the legislative process is conducted and has increased citizen engagement in the democratic process. While there are challenges to be overcome, such as internal capacity building and cybersecurity, the overall impact of digital transformation on the Mongolian Parliament has been positive. By embracing digital technologies, the Parliament has moved toward a more eco-friendly, efficient, and transparent legislative process that strengthens democracy and empowers citizens.
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