What can PICT (Parl’y Info Comm & Tech) do for you?

We’ve recently updated the links on this guide of ours: PICT (Parliamentary Information Communication & Technology) – what they offer.  It’s here.

Can’t guarantee PICT won’t change their links on the intranet but you’ll find our guide a useful starting point.

What’s on in June?

What’s on in June is now available online for those with access to the parliamentary intranet.

Key events next month include:

  • The Spending Review (5 June): a Library specialist talk focusing on the background to the 2013 Spending Review and the public spending choices facing the Government.
  • Speaker’s School Council Awards (6 June): celebrating and awarding excellence in school councils.
  • Is the Westminster system fit for purpose? (6 June): a lecture chaired by The Rt Hon Baroness Hayman GBE PC, former (and first) Lord Speaker; speakers will include Sir Robert Rogers, Clerk of the House of Commons and Chief Executive, and David Beamish, Clerk of the Parliaments.
  • Deaf Awareness half day workshop (11 June): find out more about deaf people and the way they communicate.
  • 62nd Westminster Seminar on Parliamentary Practice & Procedure (17-21 June): a detailed course aimed at newly-elected Members and newly-appointed Clerks, designed to enhance the capacity of delegates to work more effectively in their legislatures.
  • Drop-in surgeries for Members (18 June): advisory sessions run by the Personnel Advice Service.

For a full list of events happening next month, visit the intranet.

W4MP’s Notices facility is for all with parliamentary email addresses

  • Need a flat/room or got one to let?
  • Items to sell or things you need?
  • Got details of clubs or teams and are looking for new members?
  • Or anything else you think may be of interest to your colleagues?

Then use our Notices facility.  You can submit it here.

Please note that we can only accept notices from those with a current @parliament.uk email address.

If you have just started working at Westminster or in a constituency office and don’t have a parliamentary email address yet, ask a colleague to place a Notice for you.

You can see the current notices here.

Parliamentary Book Club update

Next meeting is Thursday 23 May 12.30pm at the Debate in Portcullis House (moved from Bellamy’s 1 Parliament Street). Look out for the group with books and Kindles…..

Click here to view their website and for links to Radio 4’s Book Club as well.

House of Commons Twitter feed: @HouseofCommons

The House of Commons now has its own dedicated Twitter feed, @HouseofCommons, maintained by the Public Information and Outreach team.

The feed has been live since January and already has over 8,000 followers, including Members of both Houses, political journalists, broadcasters and a wide range of interest groups and NGOs.

@HouseofCommons provides politically impartial news and information on the work of the Commons, with a particular focus on increasing the visibility of work in the Chamber and in Westminster Hall debates. It is also used to respond to queries from other Twitter users about aspects of House of Commons procedure and practice.

Future plans for @HouseofCommons include real-time coverage of Commons divisions and other key events in the parliamentary calendar.

We have already mentioned the Commons Library tweets which are at https://twitter.com/commonslibrary.

Free training for caseworkers from the Financial Ombudsman Service

New information received from the Financial Ombudsman Service. Here’s what they say:

The Financial Ombudsman Service, which you may know, is the free service set up law with power to resolve financial disputes between consumers and financial businesses. It is completely impartial and free for consumers to use.

We run free training events across the UK for consumer advice workers and MP caseworkers, which MP caseworkers and researchers can also attend. The training event is designed to help you sort out financial problems your constituents are facing.

What you’ll find out:

  • the ombudsman’s role and powers – what complaints we can look into;
  • how we resolve complaints;
  • our approach to complaints about unaffordable lending and the treatment of consumers in financial difficulty.

The sessions run from 10am until 4pm and a light lunch will be provided.

To find out if there’s an event near you, check out our website http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/news/wt_ca.htm.  To book a place, please return the booking form. If you have any questions about the events, please email outreach@financial-ombudsman.org.uk

If you are running an event in Westminster, or your constituency, and would like us to come along – or if your office is interested in working with us to create awareness of our service then please email  phillipa.cook@financial-ombudsman.org.uk

Parliaments on the Net XI – Realising the Digital Parliament

On 2 and 3 May the Web and Intranet Service hosted the 11th Parliaments on the Net Conference, organised annually by the European Centre for Parliamentary Research and Documentation (ECPRD).

Since 1996, the ECPRD has promoted a series of seminars called ‘Parliaments on the Net’ with the aim of bringing together digital experts from across Europe to share experience and best practice on how Parliaments can best exploit the opportunities offered by the web.

About Parliaments on the Net XI

This year’s seminar theme was ‘Realising the Digital Parliament’ and focused in particular on the shift taking place in many Parliaments from print to digital.

The event was hosted in the Attlee Suite in Portcullis House and was attended by over 70 delegates from across European Parliaments. The conference included presentations from parliamentary staff as well as delegates from other legislatures and external speakers.

Presentations included contributions from Julius van de Laar, Campaigns Consultant & Digital Media Strategist for the Obama campaigns in 2008 and 2012, Dr Andy Williamson, founder of FutureDigital, and John Sheridan from The National Archives. The event showcased how digital innovations are changing the process of lawmaking and politics around the globe.

The conference was officially opened by the Lord Speaker, Baroness D’Souza, and included contributions from John Pullinger and David Beamish with the closing remarks delivered by Sir Robert Rogers.

Watch the recorded sessions

All the presentations were live streaming and recorded and can be viewed at:

Read the Parliaments on the Net blog and view photographs of the conference at: