Select Committee on Procedure Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence



  The committee may be aware that a pilot study on the submission of electronic parliamentary questions was conducted by the Cabinet Office in recent months. We are in favour of the continuation of such experimentation and can see no objection, either in principle or practice, to MPs being allowed to put down questions via e-mail, as long as clear standards and procedures are established.

  The Prime Minister has appointed a new Cabinet committee on e-democracy, to be headed by the Leader of the House. It is well known that the Government intends to launch a consultation on e-democracy in the new year, part of which will consider ways of "making representation work better." It is important for Parliament to engage in this dialogue; it could well be that a modernised PQ process, involving the shared use of the latest digital technologies by both parliamentarians and Government, could be a component of the package that emerges from this consultation, especially if the Procedures Committee favours this in principle.

Dr Stephen Coleman

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