Next steps for committees on Beta

Earlier this year, we began work on moving our committee information to Beta. A few months ago we reached a milestone for the web project when all 19 committees had their first presence on beta, displaying:

  • membership
  • contact details
  • a plain English explanation of what the committee covers

But then the world changed, and so did our work. As we all moved to working remotely, our colleagues around the Parliament had to re-prioritise their work to deal with the emerging public health crisis. Some projects were stalled, and we needed to look again at our plan for committees and the Beta site.

With this in mind, we’ve been busy working on our new plan for the rest of the duration of the project. This takes into account revised workloads and pressures, as well as other work going on in the Parliament, while still keeping our users at the centre of our thinking.

Designing and building

Over the summer, several pieces of design and build work will be completed. Once these are done, the Web Project will be able to present a range of a committee’s work on beta. These include:

  • building a system for managing correspondence
  • deciding on a system for written submissions
  • creating new designs for our Bills

Taking all this into account, we’ve been planning our work with committees from summer through to March 2020 when the Parliament goes into “dissolution” (the period before the next Scottish Parliament election).

Previous committees

Over the summer, we’ll be looking at our previous committee information – committees from the start of the Parliament in 1999 that are no longer live. We’ll be creating pages for these old committees, which will include:

  • membership information and dates
  • links to their committee and legacy reports
  • details on where and how to find more information

Current committee work

Once Parliament returns from summer recess in August, we’ll be working with all the committees to start putting more of their current work on the Beta site. Our new “bill hub” should be live, putting all information on Bills including the  committee scrutiny of the Bill into the one place. We’ll be able to try a whole range of new processes on the  beta site.

We won’t be moving everything over from the site, but we’ll be trying different processes and templates. This will let us test pieces of committee work on Beta and make sure it’s ready for the start of the next session of Parliament, in May 2021. We’ll be getting feedback from our colleagues here on how the new processes and designs work, and of course looking for views from people using the site too.

If you have any questions about the Beta site and our plans for committees, please get in touch at