Today I’ve accessed three different MySociety websites: TheyWorkForYou, WriteToThem and WhatDoTheyKnow. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without these powerful tools: MySociety are indespensible and we’d all miss them if they weren’t here.
I was using WriteToThem to contact Sarah Teather to urge her to support Early Day Motion (EDM) 2141 that her parliamentary colleague Jo Swinson has tabled.
That this House believes it has a duty to publish Bills in such a fashion that they can be accessed as easily and as early as possible by the public; notes that the non-partisan Free Our Bills campaign is urging the House to publish bill texts in a new electronic format to improve accessibility and public scrutiny of legislation; further notes that the changes requested would have no impact on the content of Bills, nor upon the process by which they are currently made; considers that the new format could be delivered cheaply and quickly; acknowledges that the Leader of the House’s office did not accept a prior request for new formatting from mySociety, nor provide an explanation of why the changes could be made; and calls on the Leader of House to ask House of Commons Clerks to work with Free Our Bills campaign staff to commence publication of Bills in the new format.
I wrote to Sarah
“As you will recall from previous meetings and correspondence, I have a strong belief in the enabling potential of new media technologies in mproving accessibility and increasing timely access to information. The opportunities of new media technologies are being ignored or locked by parliamentary authorities, preventing public scrutiny of legislation by the widest possible audience.”
“EDM 2141 calls on the “Leader of House to ask House of Commons Clerks to work with Free Our Bills campaign staff to commence publication of bills in the new format.” I urge you to support this EDM and to give as much support as you can to this proposal.”
Why don’t you write to your MP about Freeing Our Bills using WriteToThem today too?