From finance to healthcare, technology has transformed the way we live, work and play, with innovative solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Can it also have a role in how we make our laws?
Watch in full
Director of Digital Development, Parliamentary Digital Service and former Head of Web Development, The National Archives.
Principal Researcher in Government Innovation, Nesta and former Head of Research,The Young Foundation.
Stella Creasy MP
Labour & Co-op MP for Walthamstow, Member of the Science and Technology Select Committee.
Dr Ruth Fox
Director and Head of Research, Hansard Society.
Founder and CEO of The Conversational Century and former Government and Politics Specialist, Facebook.
Liam Laurence Smyth
Clerk of Legislation, House of Commons and former Acting Director, Chamber Business, House of Commons.
Head of Research, mySociety, and awarded best paper at the 2016 Conference for eDemocracy and Open Government.
Partnership Lead, Make it Digital, BBC and freelance journalist, commentator and technology critic.
Innovation Director at IT Innovation Centre, University of Southampton.
About the event
The proposed refurbishment of the Palace of Westminster after 2020 presents a rare one in 150 year opportunity for reform of the principal institution of our democracy.
With MPs and Peers due to move out of the Palace into alternative locations in the Westminster area for a few years, could these temporary new Houses be turned into parliamentary laboratories to trial and test new digital technology to support the legislative and scrutiny process?
Recent innovations, for example in relation to data science and social media analysis, potentially offer new opportunities for Parliament to engage with the public, collect and analyse greater amounts of data and reach out to stakeholders beyond the ‘usual suspects’.
But such developments also pose new challenges, not least in relation to privacy and security, training, infrastructure and accessibility. This event will explore the problems in the legislative process – e.g. time, speed, resources, access to expert knowledge, scrutiny capacity – and how new technological developments might help solve them.
Bringing together experts from Parliament and the technology sectors we will explore how Westminster could utilise the rupture of being uprooted from the Palace to drive innovation in the legislative process.
- 2.00pm: Open
- 2.30pm: Session 1 - Capacity, Scrutiny and Engagement: Challenges and Opportunities
- 4.00pm: Break
- 4.30pm: Session 2 - Parliament as an Innovation Lab: Restoration and Renewal… and Beyond
- 6.00pm: Drinks reception
This event forms part of the Hansard Society’s work on Sense4Us, a multi-national technology research project funded by the European Union.
Enjoy reading this? Please consider sharing it
MPs should take the opportunity to show the government and their constituents that they want to have more say on free trade agreements than they did when the UK was inside the EU.
In order to incur expenditure the government needs to obtain approval from Parliament for its departmental spending plans. The annual Estimates process is the means by which the House of Commons controls the government’s plans for the spending of money raised through taxation.
Articles on themes including the development of Sweden’s now 100-year-old parliamentary democracy, strategic voting among Lib Dem supporters in the 2015 general election, policy areas associated with personal attacks at Prime Minister’s Questions, UK intergovernmental relations and spending after the Conservative-DUP ‘confidence and supply’ deal, and more.
In Ireland, the Covid-19 crisis collided with a ‘change election’, the formation of a historic coalition government and the ‘end of Civil War politics’. But the pandemic sucked much of the oxygen out of a heightened political atmosphere, and also occasioned the physical relocation of Parliament, challenging the institution’s operation and culture.
Submitting evidence before the House was to take further decisions on its Coronavirus arrangements, we decried the Leader of the House’s decision to end hybrid proceedings and remote voting as "over-hasty, poorly thought-through, unwise and unnecessary". Our recommendations covered House business, risk management, delegated legislation and select committees.
The new review of the Palace of Westminster Restoration and Renewal project opens up a range of different outcomes for the future of the building. However, with the alarming state of the Palace not changed by the Coronavirus, the government should not use the pandemic as an excuse to downgrade or delay the much-needed repairs.