Digital Democracy Commission adopts key PRCA recommendations for final report

Parliamentarians from the Digital Democracy Commission have adopted suggestions by PRCA members as "key targets" in their final report.

The report authors set out five key targets as part of a report, published to coincide with Parliament’s 750th birthday and the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta.

The report states that, by 2020, the House of Commons should "ensure everyone can understand what it does".

A key component of this is to make parliamentary language easier to understand by "simplifying and clarifying... procedural terms".

In November, when members of the PRCA met the Speaker of the House of Commons and leader of the commission, John Bercow MP, they told him Parliament must address the "arcane and alienating" language it uses, in order to help boost public engagement.

PRCA members also recommended to the commission that Parliament make public sector data more accessible and that it should introduce e-voting.

In response, the report authors said that, by next year, all published information and broadcast footage produced by Parliament should be "freely available online" in a format that was suitable for re-use and with minimum copyright restrictions.

It also said Parliament should introduce secure, online, voting by 2020, the likely year of the next general election after May this year.

The commission’s last two recommendations were a commitment to make Parliament "fully interactive and digital" by 2020 and to introduce a new debating forum in the House of Commons for the public later this year.

Matt Cartmell, comms director at the PRCA, said: "We thoroughly embrace the recommendations outlined in the Open Up! report, and are pleased to see that the Speaker concurs with many of the suggestions outlined during his consultation with our members – and the members of the PR Guild; in particular, those around changing the language used by Government, alongside more use of infographics and visual data. We hope that many of these recommendations are implemented."

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