This post has been a long time coming, mostly because I struggled to find the time to respond to the mySociety report in the depth that I’d have liked to.
So, in lieu of something longer, I hope this will do.
I think it is imperative that the spirit and the substance of mySociety’s recommendations are implemented in full. This is a huge opportunity to bring about lasting, meaningful change to the way that Parliament operates – not just online, but more broadly.
Bringing modern services to the web usually results in organisational challenges. Most organisations are not very user-centric, and creating services that genuinely put the needs of users first is impossible unless the organisation and its underlying processes do the same.
I believe that the right person as Head of Digital, with the right team and the support of their senior leadership, could transform the way Parliament operates: bringing it into the modern age, delivering valuable services, improving the efficiency of lawmaking and raising the quality of public debate in this country.
But this can only happen if whole organisation commits itself to change, and I think the mySociety report lays the foundations for that change compellingly.
So, a plea: set aside the fiefdoms, question tradition, give special pleading no quarter, robustly challenge the status quo and implement mySociety’s recommendations with vigour, urgency and unrelenting user focus, and the world will be a better place for your efforts.
Sent by email to NewDigitalService@parliament.uk. You should do the same.