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Comisiwn y Cynulliad
Assembly Commission

NAFWC 2010 (Paper 5 Part 1)
e-democracy: the National Assembly’s strategy for digital engagement with the people of Wales

Date: 30 September 2010
Venue:Conference Room 4B
Author name and contact number: Iwan Williams, ext 8039

This paper has been prepared for consideration by the National Assembly for Wales Commission. It has been deemed suitable for publication after such consideration in line with the Commission’s rules for conduct of business. Premature publication or disclosure of the contents of this paper is not permitted as this might prejudice the Commission’s deliberations

1.0 Purpose and summary of issues

1.1 The National Assembly for Wales wishes to make greater use of a range of digital channels to increase the breadth and depth of its engagement with and understanding by the people of Wales and other stakeholders.

1.2 The e-democracy strategy is a response to that aspiration, and sets out a clear intention that the Assembly will actively embrace new technologies to ensure that it is in a position to interact with the people of Wales in a way that allows us to effectively manage and lead conversations.

2.0 Recommendations

2.1 It is recommended that the Assembly Commission agrees the strategic direction contained in Annex A.

3.0 Discussion

3.1 The strategy recognises that in many ways, the Assembly is ahead of its peers in its use of technology – from intelligent information systems in the Senedd to the successful introduction of a National Assembly presence on a number of social networking sites.

3.2 However, the Assembly’s digital engagement initiatives to date have been tactical when they should be strategic and intermittent when they should be consistent.  The paper therefore seeks to provide the Assembly with an approach to digital engagement that is commensurate with its standing as a progressive and forward-thinking legislature.

3.3 The e-democracy strategy has been designed to complement and augment traditional communication channels such as media relations, outreach and our presence at events, as well as helping to position the Assembly and Assembly Members as accessible and forward looking.

3.4 The document sets the strategic direction for the National Assembly for Wales and is NOT an operational document.  Following its approval by the Assembly Commission, a detailed e-democracy delivery plan will be produced.

3.5 The strategy has taken into account the overall 5 per cent budget reduction for 2011-12 and the planned cumulative reduction of between 20 and 25 per cent by the end of 2014-15.  Its implementation is therefore achievable within reduced in-year budgets.

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