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Parliaments on the Net XI Conference London 02/05/2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Parliaments on the Net XI Conference London 02/05/2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Parliaments on the Net XI Conference London 02/05/2013

2 PRESENTER AND DISCLAIMER Presenter: Margaret Hardie Principal data and applications architect Parliamentary ICT Disclaimer: The views contained in this presentation are that of the presenter only and may not be representative of the official policies or position held by the UK Parliament or parliamentary ICT on any of the issues discussed


4 SOME FEATURES OF DEMOCRACY  Not an expert in the field, but some key features and relevance of information and technology  Democracy comes from the Greek words: demos (people)+ kratos (power) = “rule of the people”  In indirect democracy citizens need the ability to ensure their elected representatives and governance institutions act in accordance with their best interests and the rule of law  Availability and access to information are key in that process


6 DEMOCRACY AND INFORMATION  Access to information is the bedrock of democracy – without access to information we cannot make informed decisions  Without access to information there is no transparency  Without transparency there is no holding power to account  Without accountability there is no trust between citizens and those selected to govern them  Without trust there is no citizen engagement  Without citizen engagement there is no legitimacy  Without legitimacy there is no democracy

7 DEMOCRACY AND TRANSPARENCY  Transparency is a feature of a modern democracy and a process to ensure it  Access to information key  Transparency is a growing movement in most modern democracies and governments and public institutions are taking note  UK government has a Transparency Board, set up by the Prime Minister to further the transparency agenda

8 DEMOCRACY AND EFFICIENCY  In the age of austerity when citizens are asked to accept cuts to public services in order to realise savings  Public institutions have a duty to ensure that they use citizens tax money efficiently and in accordance with the mandate obtained  Data analysis has great potential to contribute to management knowledge required for efficient use of resources  And transparency creates an added motivating factor: both as ‘a carrot and a stick’

9 DEMOCRACY AND ENGAGEMENT  For a democracy to be meaningful it needs citizen engagement to maintain relevance and legitimacy  Citizens must be willing to participate in the democratic governance process  Engagement is a two way process – in order to function it requires trust  Access to information and ability to scrutinise it fosters trust

10 THE RISE OF E-DEMOCRACY  E-democracy: technology empowered democracy  Definitions:  "the use of information and communications technologies and strategies by 'democratic sectors' within the political processes of local communities, states/regions, nations and on the global stage”  "E-democracy is concerned with the use of information and communication technologies to engage citizens, support the democratic decision- making processes and strengthen representative democracy” - Macintoch, Ann (2006)

11 THE NEW TECHNOLOGICAL AND DATA LANDSCAPE  A speech given by Hilary Clinton on January 21, 2010, addressed this issue of internet freedom and the role that new technologies have played in shaping democratic practices. The massive spread of free information through the internet has become a central networking hub for our world, encouraging freedom and human progress through social and economic development. In many democratic nations, the internet is used as a tool for democracy. One practical issue in which Clinton touched upon is that of the "freedom to connect."  "The freedom to connect” – the idea that governments should not prevent people from connecting to the internet, to websites, or to each other. The freedom to connect is like the freedom of assembly, only in cyberspace. It allows individuals to get online, come together, and hopefully cooperate. Once you're on the internet, you don't need to be a tycoon or a rock star to have a huge impact on society."

12 THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY AND DATA IN THE E-DEMOCRACY  New technology capabilities and models of operation: Cloud computing and commoditization of IT  New data landscape: the ‘Big Data’ and its new dimensions of: volume, variety and velocity  Democratisation of access to information technology and data resources, and...  Opportunities for transparency, efficiency and engagement it creates for citizens and public institutions




16 A list of over 200 local, regional and national open data catalogues. Prominent examples include:  - U.S. government open-data website. Launched in May 2009.  - Ghana government open-data website. Launched in February 2012.  - U.K. government open-data website. Launched in September 2009.  - New Zealand Government initiative to publish Government Data under Creative Commons licences, defined further at NZ GOAL. launched in Nov 2009. data.govt.nzNZ GOAL  - Norwegian government open-data website. Launched in April 2010.  - Greece's open government geospatial data Launched 21 July 2010, as a state initiative. [9] [9]  - OpenGovData Russia Catalog. Launched in 2010, private initiative. [10] [10]  - Australian government open-data website. Launched in March 2011.  - Moroccan government open-data website. Launched in April 2011.  - Canadian government open-data website. Launched in March 2011.  - Belgian government open-data website. Still in beta, but usable.  - Kenyan government open-data website. Launched in Jul 2011.  - Dutch government open-data website. Launched in Oct 2011.  - Rotterdam municipal open-data website, Launched in Aug 2012.  - Chilean government open-data website. Launched in Sept 2011.  - Costa Rican government open-data website. Launched in Oct 2012.

17 And more...  - Metropolitan Municipality of Lima open-data website.  - Bahía Blanca municipal open-data website. Launched in Oct 2012.  - City of Palo Alto municipal open-data website. Launched in Aug 2012.  - Italian government open-data website. Launched in October 2011. [11] [11]  - Spanish government open-data website. Launched in October 2011.  - Uruguayan government open-data website. Launched in November 2011.  - French government open-data website. Launched in December 2011.  - Italian government open-data website. Launched in October 2011.  - Brazilian government open-data website. Launched in December 2011.  - Estonian government open-data website.  - Portuguese government open-data website.  - Moldavian government open-data website.  - India Government open-data website. Launched in 2012.  - Austrian Government open-data website.  - German Government open-data website. Launched in February 2013.  - European Commission Data Portal.  - Indonesian Government open-data website.

18 TRANSPARENCY - THE GROWING TREND IN UK DEMOCRATIC PRACTICE  The Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude:  “Openness and transparency has the potential to transform government. It can strengthen people's trust in government and encourage greater public participation in decision-making”.  Transparency is also a key part of the Government's efficiency and reform agenda. Freeing up public data and putting it in people's hands can help them have more of a say in the provision of public services”.

19 UK government transparency



22 UK PARLIAMENT PARTICIPATES  We have data.parliament platform  It drives some data services for our website  It is a very limited first iteration but we are working on a new, MUCH IMPROVED model  It will have an internal and external instance to support both our internal parliamentary community and the general public  It is the result of extensive rethinking of parliamentary ICT strategy and data strategy

23 Parliamentary ICT strategy  Any device anytime anywhere  Reduced cost of ICT  Enhanced customer experience  Improved access to services  Not just websites and apps but creation of service end points  Business value creation through data

24 New Data.parliament UK high level design

25 New Data.parliament UK – explanation of topology  Design Topology for Data.Parliament shows the components of the new DDP platform. They will be duplicated in an internal and external instance, with the internal instance accepting data from any Parliamentary data source and the external instance taking a subset of that data, based on business rules, to present to external consumers.  External Data.Parliament will only take data published to it from the internal data.parliament platform.  The design consists of the following components which are described briefly here.  Data Ingest – A RESTful http interface for the creation, update and deletion of resources. Alternative interface using nservicebus message to provide assured message delivery is likely to be developed.  URI Allocation – New resources will be allocated a persistent identifying URI, using a unique alphanumeric string which will permanently identify this resource.  Metadata Store – A simple set of properties about each resource will be stored upon ingest, including date and time of last update, producing system’s identifier, whether the resource is internal or external and what representative formats it is available in. Metadata will be a partly explicitly provided by data providers, and partly generated centrally by data.parliament as appropriate.  Publish to External – Resources that are indicated as for external consumption by their producing system will be published to the external data.parliament platform by this component.  Data Store – All resources will be stored on the file system on data.parliament. Object based data will also be stored within the RavenDB document store.  Catalogue – A web based browsable catalogue of datasets available on the platform. Will give data consumers a platform to browse and discover datasets and data owners a place to provide descriptions and supporting information to describe their datasets. This function will be provided by the off the shelf, open source Data Catologue CKAN, as used on the platform.

26 New Data.parliament UK – explanation of topology (cont.)  Raw Data Endpoint – All resources on data.parliament will be retrievable by resolving their URI over http. Where no file extension is provided, the resources metadata will be presented as html. Where a valid file extension is provided, that resource representation will be retrieved from the file system and delivered over http.  An OWLIM triplestore instance will store RDF representations of all resources where that format is available. RDF is ideally suited to aggregating and merging data from different sources into a common repository. For datasets with no pre-existing RDF representation a transformation may be created for that dataset.  Query Engine – All resources within the triplestore will be queryable via the RDF query language SPARQL which is provided out of the box by OWLIM. Query results are in either RDF or tabular XML or JSON formats.  Stored Queries – The ELDA implementation of the Linked Data API will be used to configure and store standard SPARQL queries within and across datasets. Queries are created via config with no coding required, and results are in developer friendly JSON format.  Result Caching – Query results from ELDA will be stored as static JSON documents within RavenDB according to a configurable schedule. This will provide instant access to results of standard queries regardless of SPARQL query performance. Schedule for refreshing of results via SPARQL will be dependent on business requirements and complexity of queries involved.  Service Endpoint – Friendly URLs will map to cached results of ELDA queries within RavenDB. These will be the default, publicised mechanism to query data.parliament both for our own website, other applications and by the public.  Admin Interface – A web based application which will provide support staff with the ability to perform administration tasks such as: viewing the latest published resources, manually removing resource(s) from the internal and/or external platforms in extraordinary circumstances, viewing the status of data services and query results and manually refreshing if required.



29 UK government publishes cost of transactional services for the first time  17 January 2013  The Government has for the first time released details of the cost per transaction for some of the biggest services it provides to citizens, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, announced  Every year there are more than a billion transactions between British citizens and the state. This Government has counted how many such transactions there are – mapping the interaction between the citizen and state

30 Costs of transactional government services Today, cost-per-transaction data for 44 of the biggest public services are being released, including:  visa applications;  Child Benefit claims;  Companies House account filing;  practical driving test bookings;  student finance applications These 44 services process over a billion transactions every year – over 88% of the total handled by central Government. They cost just over £2 billion a year to run. Costs range from:  5p for Stamp Duty Reserve Tax returns; and  47p to pay Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN); to:  £223 to process visa applications; and  £727 to process every claim through the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) managed by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

31 Francis Maude (Minister for the cabinet office and Paymaster General):  Making this data public is an important step for transparency and ensuring government is accountable for the cost and efficiency of the services it provides.  The UK Government has never done this before and, as far as we know, no other country systematically tells its citizens how much they pay for the services they use – for example, to pay car tax, apply for a passport, or file annual business returns.

32 UK Parliament releases its spending data too:

33 Has done for the past year (2012)

34 The data is there....... Does anyone care ?

35 The UK parliament spending data for month of March 2013:

36 Not that exciting looking? But now I have this :  I can...

37 ... do this: The UK parliament spending data for month of March 2013:


39 NEW LANDSCAPE OF ENGAGEMENT: PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS AS ‘PLATFORMS FOR GREATNESS ’  2010 Tim O’Reilly’s idea of “government as a platform for greatness” -  To open up the data, and  For the public service organisations to start thinking about themselves as platform for engaging with citizens  He gives an example of how Apple rethought the mobile phone, with companies going from sitting down with a couple of developers and coming up with 30 applications for a phone, to Apple creating a platform which has resulted in more than 700,000 applications being created for the iPhone  “Then we can hit some real magic because we will get more and more services for citizens with more and more ingenuity, without any procurement at all because the government made it possible for people outside to build interesting things.”  Some examples in legislation and knowledge of the law: constitution apps:

40 Nigerian constitution app


42 The public has interest in parliaments  In 1771 Brass Crosby, who was Lord Mayor of the City of London, had brought before him a printer called Miller who dared publish reports of Parliamentary proceedings. He released the man, but was subsequently ordered to appear before the House to explain his actions. Crosby was committed to the Tower of London, but when he was brought to trial, several judges refused to hear the case and after protests from the public, Crosby was released. [2][3] Parliament ceased to punish the publishing of its debates, partly due to the campaigns of John Wilkes on behalf of free speech. There then began several attempts to publish reports of debates. Among the early successes, the Parliamentary Register published by John Almon and John Debrett began in 1775 and ran until 1813.Brass CrosbyLord Mayor of the City of LondonTower of London [2][3]John Wilkes  Now the proceedings are published by the parliament  The record of the debate changes the nature of engagement with our elected representatives – it gives access to what they are actually saying in the house

43 My society’s, website

44 What can we do with data?  px px  22297260 22297260

45 Data usually looks like this

46 And we want it like this....  that we can make it look like this....  development/datablog/2012/nov/09/developi ng-economies-overtake-west-2050-oecd- forecasts#data development/datablog/2012/nov/09/developi ng-economies-overtake-west-2050-oecd- forecasts#data

47 Hans Rosling – health and wealth of nations  Swedish professor of statistic   =0AhORuxOwZhGydFBnWWVRVUp1dkgxTX h1WlBONDJKZUE#gid=0 =0AhORuxOwZhGydFBnWWVRVUp1dkgxTX h1WlBONDJKZUE#gid=0  ojo ojo

48 To finish off: a reminder In 1989 one man’s frustration with inability to share information reached a critical point – it led to...

49 Information management: a proposal:

50 The world’s first web server

51 The world’s first web site

52 The world’s first web page..

53 And finally to...  On 30 April 1993, CERN made the source code of WorldWideWeb available on a royalty-free basis; the software was free for anyone to use, and remains so today.  Web usage exploded as people started setting up their own servers and websites.  By late 1993 there were over 500 known web servers, and the WWW accounted for 1% of internet traffic, which seemed a lot in those days (the rest was remote access, e-mail and file transfer). Twenty years on, there are an estimated 630 million websites online.

54 And then 2 days ago...the more things change... The more they stay the same

55 In 2009 Tim Berners-Lee gave a TED talk  m_qo m_qo  9.55 – 11.02  “RAW DATA NOW”

56 The next step in this information revolution...  According to the man (Timothy Berners-Lee) himself is:  DATA  With its transformative power to: inform, improve and engage  m_qo

57 This is for everyone

58 THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION - QUESTIONS? Margaret Hardie Principal data and applications architect, Parliamentary ICT

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