https://blog-digitalparliament.scot/whats-on-at-parliament-now-available-on-beta

What’s on at Parliament now available on beta

A lot happens at Parliament, especially where parliamentary business is concerned. On a business day, you might have committee meetings, Chamber debates, and question times. There may be votes, and MSPs will ask questions and lodge motions.

With all this happening, it’s important that people using our site can quickly find out what’s going on. To help them, we’ve introduced a new section to our beta website called What’s on. You can find this section in the What’s on/Watch live section of the homepage. We’d really appreciate if you visit this part of the site and let us know what you think.

What’s in What’s on

To create the What’s on section we started by engaging with different users to find out what they needed from this part of the website. We also looked at what parts of the current service (the Business Bulletin) are in high demand. Finally, we looked at the Parliament’s own “Standing Orders” (the set of rules that cover how the Parliament works) to see what information we have to provide each day.

The outcome of this is a new section with information about:

  • parliamentary announcements (like recess dates or a Bill getting Royal Assent)
  • the passage of Bills and other legislation
  • what parliamentary and committee business is happening that day
  • upcoming debates, motions and votes
  • written questions from MSPs to the Scottish Government

If you’re used to using the Business Bulletin to find out about Parliament, you’ll hopefully see similarities with What’s on. There are also some improvements. What’s on presents a lot of the information from the Business Bulletin in a more user-friendly way, and feedback so far has been positive.

Business Bulletin users might also know that the BB (as it’s known) was previously available on a microsite, separate to the main Parliament website. We’ve moved this into the main webpage where it has a similar look and feel to the rest of the site.

Finally, we know some users rely on a PDF version of the BB. We’ve made this available too. All of this adds up to a package that should offer a better experience for users, responds to their needs, and meets our Standing Orders requirements.

What’s next and the current Business Bulletin

The current Business Bulletin will be available for the rest of this parliamentary session (until the Scottish General Election). It will then be replaced entirely with the new What’s on section.

We’ll be adding more content to the beta website over the next 8 weeks so that all core parliamentary information from 1999 onwards is available. This will include making information available from our data sets (such as Votes and Motions and Written Answers) or creating pages on our site that link to the relevant location on the NRS Web Archive service.

If you’d like more information please contact webproject@parliament.scot