Brazilian Parliament Releases New Website Using Plone

The House of Representatives in February launched their new internet and intranet websites. The changes make it easier and faster to use, both for the staff and the population. The new site has been developed using the open source content management system Plone.

Click here to access the website. One of the most important goals of the internet is to make the information more visible and easy to get. The idea is to deliver the information the user needs, without demanding the knowledge of the internal structure of the House. The information is entered into the website by the House offices, under the supervision of an Information Council. This Council is made of specialists from the Communication Office, General Administration, the Library and the Computer Information Center. The Comitee developed and works under a series of rules and criteria to evaluate and keep the high quality standards, which were set from the beginning of this project. These specialists also developed various web writing and web editing courses. These were applied to the employees that work on the information feeding. The most perceptive changes are visual. The main menu is more intuitive, elegant, and gives room to the four house communication organs: TV, Radio, Newspaper and Newscenter (Media Agency). The more requested searches are also at the homepage, to make the access easier and avoid lots of clicks to get to the info. Talk to us In order to make the user requests easier and faster to answer, the "Talk To Us" tool is always at the same spot at all webpages. The automatic request manager sends the message from the user directly to the area related. For instance, if the user makes a request for an information at the Education and Culture Commission page - the message will end up in the right location automatically. FAQ Along with the site tune-up comes the Frequently Asked Questions page. This page is also only a click away from all pages in the website. Each area develops and updates the contents of the questions and answers related. Navigation With the use of a sitemap, the user can recognize the page he is viewing and find out the best navigation links to get to the page he wants at the website. A search mechanism is in development to make it even easier. Search The search mechanism will have a special place at the homepage and all the others at the site. The user will have at his disposal quick, pre-made searches of common themes from the main page, and also standard search tools. To make the information access easier, the search resuilts will be categorized by theme and relevance. Content Integration To make information easier and more complete, and also the page navigation more intuitive, new navigation tools are being developed to achieve information linking and integration. In areas such as Law Projects and other propositions, presentations, final redactions, Comissions and Plenary Voting, Budget and finally the News broadcast by the House communication organs (TV, Radio, Newspaper and Newscenter). Popular Participation The website will have new and interactive popular participation mechanisms, in order to confirm and encourage the democratic practice and the citizenship exercise, two of the House priorities. Mechanisms such as: - Moderated Chat page: provides real time interaction between the page users and House guests, chosen by their specialties in a specific subject. - Moderated Specific Themes Discussion Lists: It differs from the chat because the debate does not ocurr real time, but by e-mail exchange.Themes that interest both the House and the citizens will be debated. That can also be linked to news and propositions related. - Research: direct research instruments will be available at various site areas, to complete the public interaction. - Participative Legislative Comission: Highlights on the information and services offered by the Commission. Glossary Glossary will work as an active dictionary, at which the budget, technical and legal words and terms will be explained. The words in texts in the website will be automatically identified and linked to their explanation in the Glossary, only a click away. News The main page has the versatility to show, in a dynamic way, the news, articles, stories and interviews produced by all the Communication Office. From the main page the user can read, listen and watch the news highlights produced by the Radio, TV, Newscenter and Newspaper. House Lineup An unified house events lineup will be available, with the choices of research by time, date, and kind of event, with a special highlight to Commission Reunions and Plenary Sessions. Law All the Brazilian Law will be available for consulting at the new website. The voting results os the sessions will be, also, shown real time. Transparency All the House´s accounts and contracts, and things such as the representatives salaries, will be shown in a transparent, comprehensive way to the society.