Posted on July 29, 2010.
Legislation.gov.uk is a newly launched website for UK legislation from all jurisdictions (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) and statutes. From 1267 to the present day, the site carries all legislation and laws that the UK National Archives was able to obtain and make accessible on the Web. The site’s Help section details the legislative and statutory coverage and coverage gaps.
The underlying legislative data for the site has been made available for free from Data.gov.uk. That site’s 29 July 2010 blog post explains that developers can re-use and build new applications with the data:
On the surface the website enables lawyers and ordinary citizens
alike to scrutinise the laws on which their legal rights and
responsibilities are based. Beneath the surface, legislation.gov.uk is
much more just than a website – it is a step change in transparency,
providing full access to the statute book as open data. It shows how the
web of documents and the web of data can be combined.
The statute book is large and it changes every day. www.legislation.gov.uk
provides an API to give developers full and open access to the
underlying data, free for re-use under data.gov.uk licence terms [http://data.gov.uk/terms-and-conditions]. As
well as the website, the API is now live and fully operational, with new
legislation and new revisions added every day.
The National Archives launch announcement states, “Legislation.gov.uk replaces The Office of Public Sector Information [OPSI] and Statute Law Database websites to deliver an integrated and responsive service and better value to the taxpayer.” The OPSI site provides details of the content migration, which is not complete at this time.
[Hat tip to the essential @richards1000]
Posted in Legal information, Legislatures, United Kingdom
Posted on April 20, 2010.
The UK Central Office of Information has developed two new sets of guidelines to help assess the value of government websites.
Measuring Website Usage [PDF|HTML] describes “a common approach to measuring website traffic. This enables departments to answer Parliamentary Questions and Freedom of Information Requests about website usage consistently and reliably. It also facilitates the development of performance measures for use in the
planning, design and evaluation of websites.”
Measuring Website Costs [PDF|HTML] “equips central government departments with a common method for measuring the cost of websites, providing the first step in determining value for money.”
Together with an earlier release on Measuring Website Quality [HTML|PDF], these guidelines are intended to encourage good website development and to standardize the way in which website performance is reported.
COI also offers a guide to using social media in government, Engaging through Social Media [PDF]
Posted in Social media, United Kingdom, Websites
Posted on March 24, 2010.
Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced several major initiatives in a 22 March 2010 speech about Britain’s digital future and introduced a Number10 Downing iphone app the same day. Initiatives described in the speech include:
- Establishing of a new Institute of Web Science to be led by Sir Tim Berners Lee and Professor Nigel Shadbolt (the team behind data.gov.uk)
- Extending of broadband services to many more households
- Freeing up more geographic data from the Ordnance Survey for developer re-use
- Shutting down nearly 500 government websites in the name of efficiency and effectiveness
- Replacing the Directgov portal with a customizable MyGov web service
The full speech transcript is available online.
Posted in Social media, United Kingdom