From ePractice.eu: Osale: the Estonian eParticipation tool
The Osale integrated electronic environment has three functions. Firstly, citizens and interest groups can launch initiatives for new legislative proposals, present ideas and critique to government and submit petitions. Any such proposal undergoes voting and commenting by other users. Then the proposal is forwarded to the relevant government department, which then posts an official response explaining what action was or was not taken and why. Secondly, citizens can participate in public consultations/hearings. Citizens and CSOs can publicly give their opinion about draft legislation prepared by government agencies. All government agencies have been advised how to publish their draft policy papers, development plans, laws or provisions on the consultation website. Submission is however voluntary and is not regulated by administrative procedures. Thirdly, there is also a search function for legal acts according to their stage of preparation (i.e. since policy proposal to adoption in the parliament).
The website is an update of the portal for citizens initiatives and petitions (Today I Decide) that has been functioning since 2001. The portal for citizens’ initiatives is available internationally as an open source code product at www.tidplus.net
Track record of sharing
The experience gained from launching and developing the central participation tool was used to create an international product TID+ , on open-source software that can be used by any institution. A specific development project was carried out in partnership with e-Governance Academy (based in Estonia) and European University Institute (based in Florence, Italy). The project was co-financed by the European Union under the eParticipation preparatory action. As a result of the project, a working prototype of the software for participation portal can be accessed via http://ideas.tidplus.net The project web site (containing project resources and news items, and supporting the dissemination efforts) is http://tidplus.net