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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Improving e-government

Browsing through Tim Worstall's anthology of 2005 blog entries I came across this interesting piece of advice from the Never Trust a Hippy blog on improving public sector websites.

It is universally acknowledged that the Assembly's website is dreadful. It is difficult to navigate and impossible to find much of anything of any use on it. In April or May the Welsh Assembly Government is launching its own website, effectively leaving the rump of the existing site to the Parliamentary side. The Assembly Parliamentary Service is intending to follow suit and launch its own website, but because of the need to go out to tender will not achieve this objective until the summer or later.

Let us hope that when they are designing their new on-line presence that they take some of the advice on offer from Never Trust a Hippy.
Hi Peter

off topic but I have my blog up and running again.....no doubt to your relief I will vent my spleen on my own space....check it out and post a link if you have time

all the best for the New Year ...
Thanks for the endorsement! If they decide to give the WAM's their own web-pages, don't let them complete the tender document until they include a demand for a strategy that will actually get WAMs to be active users of their own websites.

In public-sector tenders, they always concentrate on the tech stuff - never on what it takes to actually get sites used and updated regularly.
Peter, if you use any influence you've got to point them in the direction of the MySociety people you'd be doing the whole world a favour. I've yet to find a site of their's that doesn't impress me.

I especially like TheyWorkForYou and the way it creates RSS feeds for parliamentary appearances for individual MPs. It's very cool seeing my local MPs show up on my feedreader.
I have made enquiries about the Assembly site...

I have been told that a project to replace the current Assembly Parliamentary Service website was presented to House Committee earlier last year, with a view to having it updated by April 2006 but it was rejected by Members. They are now preparing a new business case and project plan, which will involve a full tender exercise with a view to being completed by January 2007.

WAG are launching a new site in the next few months, they will retain the wales.gov.uk address, no decision has yet been made on the new National Assembly for Wales website address, but this is being addressed as part of the project they are running. The new WAG site is set to go live on 1 April 2006, with the new NAW site to follow in January 2007. Both sites will share the same homepage in the interim, with a view to splitting following formal separation.
Yes, that is my understanding and that position is loosely reflected in my post. Thank you for filling in the detail David.
Well, it's a step I guess - just make sure that the overpromoted halfwits who sorted out and manage the existing site (and we all know who they are) are never consulted.

The MySociety crowd do pull off fine sites - I based the original Assembly Online site (now taken down) on TheyWorkForYou and got a nice mention from them. Met that Tom Steinberg up Scaffel Pike once...
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