DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AN ONLINE PETITION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Since 2000, various authorities like parliaments and government offices have introduced electronic petitions systems (e-petitions). Compared to most other means of petitions made available by public institutions, e-petitions have moved past the test organization and are portrayed by a significant level of institutionalization and procedural development. This research is proposed to design an e-petitioning system, to help the relationship between public institutions and petitioning, Internet-based. When fully implemented, this will help the public users to be able to use different internet channels to participate and petition government institutions. The implementation of the Online Petition Management system will help improve accountability, organize and ease thousands of manual petitions made across the globe. The proposed system was developed using the HTML & CSS, and the PHP and mySQL programming language.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The chance to petition political authorities or other government organizations can be traced back into ancient history (Bockhofer 1999; Hirsch 2007; Klasen 1991). During the span of the centuries, this communication channel between subjects and rulers was ceaselessly adjusted to changing political and social condition needs. The most recent improvements of the political opportunity to submit petitions are closely related to the rise of the internet as a medium of mass communication. Among the various possibilities to offer formal online participation channels to citizens, e-petitions were clearly at the forefront of official, fully operational e-democracy activities of governments and parliaments. In 2000, the Scottish e-petitioner was the first e-petition system to be introduced in recent times to help elect parliament members. After two years, another regional parliament, the Parliament of Queensland, stuck to the same design, by designing an e-petition system of its own. In 2004-2005, the German Federal Parliament, the Bundestag, is currently working on an e-petition system like Scottish one. Also, at the community level, over a hundred Norwegian districts are offering e-petitions to their residents since 2005. In addition, the British Parliament in London is currently considering about implementing an e-petition system in the near future (House of Commons 2008). The e-petition system has not only been developed only for parliaments, also different governments intuitions started to follow this path: The probably most famous example – and a highly controversial one at the same time – is the British Prime Minister’s e-petition system which started in 2006. This run down could be proceeded with various examples, such as the e-petition systems of the European Parliament or in South Korea. E-petitioning has been actualized and implemented by various public institutions – compared to the most common form of petitioning which is manual– moderately develop. Against this setback in the development of e-petitions systems, having a closer look at the advancements during the past decade in the field of e-petitioning seems to be particularly encouraging if the understanding of the relationship between public institutions and internet-based systems designed to make available additional and/or new channels for political participation is to be improved.
1.1.1 DEFINING E-PETITION
Generally, petitions are characterized as formal solicitations or requests to an authority, usually a governmental institution mostly legislative aim of government. In most democracies, the residences have the right to petition government, parliament and/or other public entities is codified in legal documents, in many instances even in constitutional law. With respect to electronic petitions (e-petitions) which involves the use of technology and communication technologies mostly the internet, it is necessary to distinguish between formal and informal types (Santucci 2007): Formal e-petitions refer to regulated and at any rate somewhat legitimately arranged e-petition systems operated by public institutions. Informal e-petitions, then again, are manual systems established and managed by non-governmental, private organizations/ associations. Thus, the prerequisites requirements for launching informal e-petitions and gathering signatures online are not dependent to public law. Of course, informal e-petitions usually seek to address public institutions after a certain number of signatures have been collected. Empirically, two main types of informal e-petitions can be distinguished: e-petitions initiated by NGOs as part of political campaigns, and e-petition platforms operated by private organizations (both commercial and not-for-profit) which provide the internet-based infrastructure to initiate e-petitions and collect signatures online.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE STUDY
This paper is to develop an online petition management system, to replace the complex manual way of sending petitions across government institutional, the configuration of the technical design of the online-based petition systems and the dynamics of political participation, the analysis of the e-petition case studies particularly deals to solve the following issues:
- Replace the manual way of sending in petitions, through a rigorous procedure, which is always difficult for citizens.
- Protection of petition senders against insecurity in countries.
- Assist citizens to participant fully in government laws and reforms, to increase accountability.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main aim of this research is to Design and Implement an Online Petition management System that will allow citizens in a democratic society send in electronic petitions to assist government / institutional laws for better reforms with the following objectives:
- Enable Sending in of petitions electronically over the internet.
- Petitions sent in can be easily managed, as government receive thousands of petitions daily.
- Increase accountability, better governance among top government institutions and the legislative aim of government.
- Improve the way petitions are handled and managed to help improve good governance.
1.4 LIMITATION OF THE PROJECT
This research is aim at implementing an online petition management system, I encountered the following limitations in the course of the work:
- Lack of relevant materials, books and articles related to the topic.
- High cost of internet data to get useful materials from the internet.
1.5 DEFINITION OF TERMS
– Petition – A petition is a request to do something, most commonly addressed to a government official or public entity.
– Legislative – having the power to make laws.
– Citizen – a legally recognized subject or national of a state or commonwealth, either native or naturalized.
– Government – A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, often a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, executive, and judiciary.
– E-petition – electronic petition.
– Parliament- a parliament is a legislative body of government.