I’ve written quite a bit before now about digital democracy. I believe a vital part of that is the empowerment of the Parliamentary Digital service and their transformation into a world-class digital delivery organisation.

I continue to be impressed by the work they are doing in that regard. Like the transformation in a lot of government departments they’re not without obstacles to overcome but they have a number of success stories from those organisations that they can learn from.

If you’re interested in how technology can work with democracy I strongly suggest you read their blog post on their strategy. Just the fact that they are blogging regularly is a great start!

They are keen for people to provide feedback on the work they’ve done so far in this area and have created a hackpad for people to do so.

I’m very interested in the lists of user needs that will start to emerge from the user research I hope they will begin in earnest in the new year. Particularly what this would mean for a Parliamentary website refresh, a large increase in the use of video technology and methods to help Members deal with the ever-increasing amount of digital participation their constituents expect.

In the first item alone imagine the integration of something like Discourse with the page for each bill. If nothing else it would highlight the level of public speech about political matters – for better or worse.

The have some significant new hires lined up – especially Emma Allen who has just arrived from The National Archive to become the new Director of Digital Development.


I’m hoping to arrange for some of the PDS folks to come to GDS to discuss their strategy and plans for delivery in the new year. Perhaps most exciting will be helping them introduce members of PDS to the ever-growing list of cross-government role-based communities where people can learn from those that have undergone this kind of transformation already.

Still early days but the initial signs are highly encouraging.