Click here for: Scottish Official Publication Listing – August 2018
Parliamentary Monitor is a new Institute for Government project taking a data-driven look at the work of Parliament to improve effectiveness of government. It examines the resources involved in running the Houses of Parliament, how legislation is passed, and how government is scrutinized. This is the first of an annual series.
You can also read a summary of this work.
At the end of last year National Records of Scotland’s blog published a short series about their new Web Continuity Service. Here’s a handy round-up of the posts:
…government websites form an integral part of the public record. National archives, who capture, preserve and make available public records, are therefore taking steps to capture a representative record of this modern aspect of government. To do so, national archives are creating web archives…
Read the full post here
The World Wide Web was pioneered in the late 1980s to help share information more efficiently and effectively. Needless to say this new system proved to be a hit, leading to its global rollout in the early 1990s. It didn’t take long for observers to ponder that there was probably a lot of content on the Web that would be worth saving for posterity (particularly due to its vulnerability to change), but how?
Click here to read more
The NRS Web Continuity Service went live in February 2017. Delivered as part of NRS’s Digital Preservation Programme, our service allows us to archive selected websites that fall within our statutory and strategic collecting remit, and make all archived snapshots accessible in the NRS Web Archive. After just a few months of operations, we are delighted to say that the service is fully functioning and delivering on what it set out to do.
To find out more, click here!
But what do we mean by ‘high quality web archive’? In web archiving, quality can be related to three elements:
- Completeness – how much of captured website’s links, text, downloads etc. the crawler has been able to access and capture
- Behaviour – how much of the navigational functionalities within the captured website snapshot have been preserved, compared to the live site
- Appearance – how much the design, ‘look and feel’ and user experience of the website has been captured and preserved
See the full post here
This is the latest report from the Scottish Centre on European Relations (SCER) a new independent and unaligned EU think tank, based in Edinburgh, that will inform, debate and provide up-to-the-minute, high-quality research and analysis of European Union developments and challenges, with a particular focus on Scotland’s EU interests and policies. This report covers topics from environment to devolution to trade to independence, it charts a rocky path ahead to any possible Brexit deal in the autumn – and the crucial question of whether such a deal will pass in Wesminster or face a further referendum vote on accepting it.
Reblogged from SPICe Spotlight | Solas air SPICe
Lobbying has a long and controversial history. For some, lobbying is synonymous with corruption, impropriety and an imbalance of power between big business interests and the individual citizen. For others, lobbying is a legitimate and positive activity which underscores the right of people to represent their own interests to elected politicians and administrators and to influence the direction of public policy.
In most Western democracies, lobbying is regarded as an important and legitimate part of the policy-making and legislative processes. That said, many states recognise that lobbying is potentially open to abuse and seek to regulate its practice to some extent. States may, for example, legislate to ensure that lobbying activity is carried out in an open and transparent way, though the scale and nature of such regulation varies widely between states.
The ‘cash-for-questions’ scandals of the 1990s and early 2000s, led the UK Parliament to pass an Act – the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014, which, among other things, established a Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists to regulate direct communication between paid lobbyists and UK government ministers and senior civil servants (permanent secretaries and equivalent).
Scottish Lobbying Register
Although Scotland has been untouched by such lobbying scandals, there has been a strong desire among politicians here to place lobbying activity above suspicion of improper influence. The Lobbying (Scotland) Act 2016 was, therefore, introduced to increase public transparency about certain types of lobbying. The Act introduces the concept of ‘regulated lobbying’ and places a statutory requirement on those who engage in regulated lobbying to register their lobbying activities.
If you are, or think you might be, engaged in regulated lobbying, you should know that the registration provisions of the Lobbying (Scotland) Act 2016 come into force on Monday 12 March when the new Lobbying Register opens for business.
So, what is regulated lobbying and who needs to register?
You may be engaging in regulated lobbying if all or part of your work or business is to inform or influence decisions by the Scottish Parliament or Scottish Government, either on behalf of your organisation or on behalf of those who you represent, and if this involves speaking face to face (including by video-conference or using BSL) with any of the following:
- a member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP)
- a member of the Scottish Government (Cabinet Secretaries and Scottish Law Officers);
- a junior Scottish Minister;
- a Scottish Government Special Adviser; or
- the Scottish Government’s Permanent Secretary
However, not all such communications will be regulated lobbying, as a number of exemptions might apply. You do not need to register, for example if, in your communications with any of the above:
- you are raising an issue on your own behalf
- you are raising an issue with an MSP who represents the constituency or region where you live or where your company or organisation is based or usually operates (unless the MSP is a member of the Scottish Government, or you are communicating on behalf of a third party)
- you are not getting paid, directly or indirectly, for this activity
- your company or organisation had fewer than 10 full-time staff at the time (unless you are communicating on behalf of a third party, or in a representative capacity)
- your communication takes place during formal proceedings of the Scottish Parliament
- your communication was in response to a request from any of those listed above
- your communication was for the purposes of journalism
- your communication involved discussing negotiations on terms and conditions of employment
- your communication was made by or on behalf of a political party
- your communication was made in the course of a parliamentary cross-party group meeting
- you are already exempt because your public role or the public role or functions of your organisation are listed in the Act as being exempt
If you want to find out more about lobbying and registration requirements you can refer to this guidance. You can also email the office of the Lobbying Registrar at: email@example.com or phone 0131 348 5408.
Head of Research and Library
Total Digital Access
In 2017, the Institutional Memory Section of the UN Library Geneva launched a major five-year project (2017-2022) to digitize the entire League of Nations archives, with the aim of modernising access to institutional memory for researchers, education institutions, and the general public.
This project, called Total Digital Access, will ensure digital and physical preservation and state-of-the-art free online access to around 15 million pages, or almost three linear kilometres of archival documents of the League of Nations (1920-1946), the first global international organisation aiming at the establishment of peace and cooperation and the precursor of the United Nations.
The project will result in 160TB of data, over 500.000 units of descriptive metadata, rehousing and conservation of all physical originals according to current standards, and modernised climate control and fire prevention.
Please send your feedback to the BL as requested below.
The UK Web Archive has a new user interface! Please try it and give us your feedback by completing the short survey at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ukwasurvey01 . There are several new features:
- For the first time you can search both the ‘Open UK Web Archive’” and the ‘Legal Deposit Web Archive’ from the same search box. The Open UK Web Archive was started in 2005 and comprises approximately 15,000 websites that can be viewed anywhere. The Legal Deposit Web Archive was started in 2013 and comprises millions of websites but these can only be viewed in the Reading Rooms of UK Legal Deposit Libraries.
- We have improved the search and have included faceting so that it’s easier to find what you are looking for
- A simple, clean design that (hopefully) allows the content to be the focus
- Easily browsable ‘Special Collections’ (curated groups of websites on a theme, topic or event, including Brexit, the EU Referendum and the 2015 and 2017 General Elections)
Jennie Grimshaw, British Library
Post provides balanced and accessible overviews of research from across the biological, physical and social sciences, and engineering and technology. They place the findings of this research in a policy context for Parliamentary use.
The best known format for these briefings are ‘POSTnotes’: four page summaries of public policy issues based on reviews of the research literature and interviews with stakeholders from across academia, industry, government and the third sector; they are peer reviewed by external experts. POSTnotes are often produced proactively, so that parliamentarians have advance knowledge of key issues before they reach the top of the political agenda.
The USA’s National Archives is releasing documents previously withheld in accordance with the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act. These releases include FBI, CIA, and other agency documents (both formerly withheld in part and formerly withheld in full) identified by the Assassination Records Review Board as assassination records.
As part of an on-going digitization programme between the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) and the Library of Congress issues of the congressional record covering the first world war are now freely available to access.
The congressional record is the official record of debates in the US congress .
The Library at Queen’s University Belfast has been developing an online archive, known as the Northern Ireland Official Publications Archive (NIOPA).
They are delighted to announce that this archive is now freely available at the following address: http://niopa.qub.ac.uk/
NIOPA is fully searchable with browsing and full text functionality and, as a digital archive of Northern Ireland official publications, makes documents available to support the research community, government departments and the wider public.
They welcome your feedback and any enquiries that you may have
please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For your information, NIOPA records and documents are deposited with the British Library under the Legal Deposit Libraries (Non-Print Works) Regulations 2013.
A formal launch of NIOPA is planned for early 2018.
Gross Disposable Household Income (GDHI) is the total amount of money households have available for spending or saving after tax and National Insurance contributions. This is the money individuals have to spend on household bills, food and other items.
Scotland currently has the fifth highest level of GDHI per person at £18,315, which is just below the UK average of £19,106 per person. Key information is also avaiable from the latest release from the Office for National Statistics (ONS),Regional Gross Disposable Household Income from 1997 to 2015.1
These sites are free to use, but you’ll need a subscription if you wish to download, save or copy any information – or if you want to take advantage of the time saving features. You can find a list of sales partners here for further information on costs etc.
Meanwhile explore the sites for free
United Nations iLibrary