Ministers look at IT and democracy

The Government has set up a powerful ministerial committee to see how IT can be used to involve more people in the democratic...

The Government has set up a powerful ministerial committee to see how IT can be used to involve more people in the democratic process, including through electronic voting in general elections.

It will be chaired by the leader of the Commons, Robin Cook, who warned that online voting would not be available by the next election. Progress would be slow but steady, he said.

Also on the 10-strong committee are trade and industry secretary Stephen Byers, financial secretary to the Treasury Dawn Primarolo, and Labour chairman and minister without portfolio Charles Clarke. E-envoy Andrew Pinder is also entitled to attend.

The committee's job is "to consider ways of strengthening the democratic process by engaging the public and their elected representatives through the use of the Internet and other electronic means'.

Cook said the two main issues facing the committee were the possibility of using the Internet for electronic voting, and security issues arising from that, and how we can use the Internet for interactive consultation with the public between elections.

"Democracy is about much more than a vote in a ballot box every four years. It's also about how we consult, inform, and engage the electorate in what we are doing.

"Some select committees have already started online consultation, and I am sure there are lessons there we can apply more widely across government," Cook said.

Read more on IT legislation and regulation

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchCIO

SearchSecurity

SearchNetworking

SearchDataCenter

SearchDataManagement

Close