Prepared by the Scottish Parliament this SPICe briefing 20-11 provides answers to their most frequently asked questions on the UK’s exit from the European Union as well as giving detailed information under the headings of People, Law and institutions and Looking ahead.
The Scottish Parliament would like feedback on their new website which is currenty in beta. The site hosts Legislation (Bills) and Debates and Questions. My first question is “Where has the official report gone?” The publication called the Official Report, established in 1999, is not mentioned on the beta site. It appears now under ‘Debates and Questions’. This is an issue for archiving purposes, metadata creation (is this a change of title? I believe not) and citing the resource, for example. Authoritative information is difficult enough to find so consistency in my experience is key. Please have a look at the new site and see if it meets your users needs. Feedback can be sent to email@example.com or by clicking on the ‘was this page useful’ tab at the foot of each webpage.
Designed to showcase the positive impact the Scottish Parliament has had on the lives of those living in Scotland over the last two decades, the programme will include the launch of a new public exhibition telling the story of the Parliament; a series of family days; and a national photography competition to find the best images illustrating Holyrood’s 20-year history.
The highlight of the programme will be an event in the Debating Chamber on Saturday 29 June, marking almost 20 years to the day since the Parliament officially assumed it’s legal powers. As well as the Chamber event, the Parliament will later that day open its doors to the people of Scotland for an afternoon of celebration and commemoration.
The Parliament is also starting a nationwide search for the babies that were born on 1 July 1999 to invite them to take part in the celebration on Saturday 29 June. Any young people who were born on 1 July 1999 in Scotland should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Wednesday 10 October, Conservative grandee Lord Heseltine will open the Festival with an “in conversation”-style event with Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh. He will talk about his life serving in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major as well as his current political views on issues such as Brexit. The Festival will also feature best-selling author and academic Professor Mary Beard. Professor Beard will feature on day four of the Festival talking about her book Woman and Power as well as the BBC Civilisations series which she co-wrote and presented.
Booker Prize-winning novelist and poet Ben Okri, social commentator and Orwell Prize-winner Darren McGarvey aka Loki, and historian Professor Emeritus Sir Tom Devine OBE will also appear. Book you tickets now.
Petitions currently open for signature include: PE01669: Independent vaccine safety commission PE01670: Reform the Scottish electoral system to make it democratic and accountable PE01671: Sale and use of glue traps
In now 5 sessions of the Scottish Parliament, parliamentary committees and our research service – SPICe – have published hundreds of reports and briefings as part of their consideration of legislation, inquiries, petitions and the myriad of different issues that make up a modern Parliament.
But we’ve never sought to improve the look and utility of our documents. We’ve always published them online, but given little thought to what the reader wants. With the explosion in the growth of PCs, tablets and smartphones, providing documents designed for the digital age is key. So is thinking about what the reader wants to read – 200 pages of closely typed text with a beginning, middle and the conclusions right at the end, or bite-sized chunks of information with the main messages and conclusions upfront?
As part of the Parliament’s overall Digital Programme, committee reports and SPICe briefings have been overhauled and modernised. This has involved a move towards an XML editing tool to enable us to write in HTML for direct publishing to the web. Whilst the PDF is not quite dead – it still forms our historic record for archival purposes – the aim is to focus on the online versions to make them more readable, with a higher content of infographics and multi-media, and with the purpose of allowing the reader to read as much or as little and s/he wants.
The Scottish Parliament offers a free eBulletin newsletter with information about future debates and events. This is issued each week, normally on Friday afternoon and SPICe include information on their briefings in this publication. Registration is required.