Our commitment to open data standards for legislation & regulations
Creating increased efficiency, accuracy, transparency
All of our LegisPro legislative drafting and amending tools have been built to support Akoma Ntoso, the XML standardized data model for the world’s parliamentary, legislative and judiciary documents. Our commitment to this international standard, as well as to the related U.S. standard, USLM (United States Legislative Markup), runs very deep. In fact, the Xcential team, led by Co-Founder and CEO Grant Vergottini, has played an instrumental role in creating and promoting the use of both the worldwide and U.S. standards.
But why is standards-ready legislative software so important?
As digitization of government moved forward, the need for a standard way to represent legislative documents as machine processable data began to take shape in the early 2000s. As drafters, IT professionals, policymakers and citizens know, legislative institutions produce massive amounts of data and information. While governments were making documents available electronically, with laws and regulations online, there was no effort to identify a standardized way to classify, structure, publish or make reference to these documents and related information resources.
That lack of standardization has had repercussions for not just the legislative bodies but also for citizens and businesses, who should be able to easily access and understand the most current legislation of their jurisdictions.
The development of common, open data standards for legislative documents in a modern, digital age has created:
- Common and compatible – and linked – data repositories for laws and regulations, better reflecting the interconnectedness of these complex documents.
- Opportunities to more meaningfully search those connected data repositories, apply comparison and other analytical tools to help policymakers and citizens better understand the impact of legislative and regulatory proposals.
- Cost savings and efficiency gains for legislative technology teams who no longer have to manage and update multiple proprietary data formats (from IBM to Word files) – and can now more easily bring in modern applications to improve legislative processes. “Vendor lock-in” can become a thing of the past.
LegisPro is designed to work with legislative data standards
Right now, with today’s sophisticated, internet-based systems and services, there is significant potential and opportunity for government organizations to share documents, increase public access to information, and put more modern tools in the hands of drafters and IT teams. But, this can only be achieved if common standards are widely accepted and used to produce, classify and share parliamentary, legislative and judiciary electronic documents.
At Xcential, we are proud to have been part of the development of the Akoma Ntoso (LegalDocML) and USLM XML data standards and we have always been strong supporters of the movement to bring about ever-greater data transparency and to dramatically increase the efficiency and accuracy of the drafting and amending process.
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