A ground breaking project to transform citizen engagement with the democratic process has won the Best Use of a Digital Solution award at this year’s national Paperless Awards.
Informed Solutions and the Boundary Commission for England picked up the prestigious award at a gala dinner awards ceremony hosted by the Mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham, at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate on 19 July.
The Awards showcase excellence in the public sector for innovations in transformation, digitising information and reducing paper waste.
The technology partner award recognises the work carried out by Informed Solutions and the Commission on the 2018 Parliamentary Boundary Review, which published recommendations to cut the number of MPs from 650 to 600.
The number of people digitally participating more than doubled from the previous Boundary Review with 90 per cent of all feedback being submitted online, compared to just 39 per cent in 2013.
In what is believed to be a digital first for a parliamentary consultation, the majority of people visiting the boundary changes portal to engage with the review did so through smartphone and 25 per cent of feedback came from social media. On the first day of the review, the portal received over 200,000 visits.
The dramatic increase in digital engagement was achieved through the use of InformedCONSULT, a high performing and secure digital transformation platform developed by Informed Solutions and recent winner of a Queen’s Award for Innovation. This made the boundary changes widely accessible and simple to understand, enabling people to submit feedback securely and at the click of a button.
Sam Hartley from the Boundary Commission for England said the award was a great example of partnership working between the public and private sectors.
“I’m delighted that the hard work we’ve put in to making boundary reviews digital by default has been recognised with this award,” he said. “With our partner Informed Solutions, we’ve succeeded in turning what was a heavily paper-based project into an online one, making it easier than ever before for citizens to contribute to the process of setting parliamentary boundaries.”
Informed Solutions’ UK Chief Executive Seth Finegan added that he was thrilled to see the work of the Boundary Commission receiving the credit it deserved.
“Boundary reviews are a vital but often overlooked part of the democratic process and it is fantastic to see this recognised,” he said. “Sam and his team at the Cabinet Office have been outstanding partners to work with. Their use of InformedCONSULT has ensured the boundary consultation was more inclusive than ever. This is a great example of the application of technology for good.”
Parliamentary Secretary and Minister for Implementation Oliver Dowden is a strong supporter of these prestigious awards.
“We have seen a significant increase in the number of nominations for the 2018 awards which is a clear demonstration of the public sector’s commitment to digital transformation,” he said. “It is fantastic that the awards have inspired more people to come forward and showcase the great steps they are already taking, but also to strive for further excellence”.