Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Videoconference with Australia

We held a videoconference with the Petitions Committee of the Australian House of Representatives this morning - well, 8.45 am here, 5.45 pm in Canberra. Not long after breakfast here and members there heading off for evening meal. Weird! The wonders of modern technology.
Anyway, a really interesting discussion as always. A videoconference was held last November so this was a good opportunity to follow-up on some of the things we spoke about then. They are conducting an inquiry into e-petitioning and were interested in the Scottish experience of this. The e-petition system here was launched in 2000 and since has attracted over 100,000 e-signatures and 3,000 discussion comments. Pretty good don't you think.
We'll be looking forward to reading their inquiry report when it comes out.
One of the other areas touched on was about using IT to provide information. For example, we use this blog to get news about the work of the committee 'out there'. We are still finding our feet with this but we are hopeful people will find it useful. Other areas we are looking at are using pod casting more to set out what the committee is doing and the potential for mobile phone technology. We need to give people options for how they access information about what we do.
I am meeting the Speaker and Clerk of the Victoria Legislative Assembly next week so the Australian connection continues.
Frank McAveety MSP, Convener of the PPC

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