For a Truly Open Parliament, Look to the UK

The UK Government has just released the alpha version of – – a site designed to host open data on the UK Parliament and its proceedings.

(An Alpha for those who don’t understand the term is a first release of a software product that is usually tested only by the developers).

The alpha release of

The site represents a new frontier for parliaments – making information on the discussions and deliberations of politicians far more actively available in ways that it can be reused to inform the public.

The site is sparse at the moment – only a few datasets on parliamentary questions, on how MPs have voted (something we don’t publish in Australia despite it being common data available in North America and Europe) and briefing papers.

It will be interesting to see how it grows in form, function and data and whether it becomes a truly useful source for citizens.

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