Research on Open Data and Transparency

Westminster 2.0: Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy

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Today the UK Parliament published the results of the Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy, that recommends online voting and live social media coverage of debates. Here’s the summary:

The Commission has outlined five key targets and outlined recommendations which are a route map for the House of Commons…

1. By 2020, the House of Commons should ensure that everyone can understand what it does.
2. By 2020, Parliament should be fully interactive and digital.
3. The 2015 newly elected House of Commons should create immediately a new forum for public participation in the debating function of the House of Commons.
4. By 2020, secure online voting should be an option for all voters.
5. By 2016, all published information and broadcast footage produced by Parliament should be freely available online in formats suitable for re-use. Hansard should be available as open data by the end of 2015.

You can see the summary and full report here. This analysis describes the changes as potentially revolutionary. The recommendations certainly fit with recent changes towards a more interactive legislature, such as the House of Lords Digital Chamber and publication of datsets as well as unoffical developments by others, such as this app tracing wikipedia amendments carried out from within Westminster. mySociety also reviewed Parliament’s digital services in 2014. You can read my evidence to the Commission here.

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