Thursday, August 03, 2006

E-Democracy symposium

Last week I attended the E-Government symposium in Budapest. The event was spread over three days and had a variety of speakers from across the world.

In terms of the event, it helped contribute to my whole thinking on E-Government and communications. This included hearing about best practice within other countries.

In terms of progress on E-Government in relation to Government services, 90% of UK Government services are now on-line and this is similar in local government. In terms of actual use by members of the public, it is still quite low but as a country we are much further advanced in relation to E-Government then nearly any other country.

One of the best speeches I heard at the Conference was from Jules Pipe who is Mayor of Hackney; he gave a presentation about how Hackney had been modernised as a Council and how it has changed over the last four years.

Likewise the session on e-democracy was pretty useful. This included issues like E-voting, electronic voting at polling stations, electronic counting of votes and looking at the whole way elections are run. There are issues that I believe Merton should examine further and I will post further about my thoughts on those issues shortly.

At the conference, I also met many other bloggers and got some pretty useful tips. Geoff Wrigley gave some very useful insights into developing blogs further and what you can do with them. Some of his ideas I am looking at using myself and it was valuable to speak with other council bloggers which included Conservative and Labour councillors about how they themselves have developed their blog as a method of communication.

Finally, I would like to thank the symposium organiser Dylan Jeffrey from Department of Communities and Local Government for organising the event and bringing so many people together. Budapest is a beautiful city, due to it been a working event I got little time to see much of the city but thankfully I had been to Budapest before.

I attach some notes of the Conference which includes seminars.


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