The ITC has been working with the Scottish Parliament since 1999, researching the design and management of an electronic petitioning system for the Public Petitions Committee of the Parliament. We have had a formal contract with The Scottish Parliament from November 2002 to 2005 to provide a hosted electronic petitioning service to the PPC and research and report on e-engagement using the e-Petitioner tool. Importantly, the research has provided higher-level insights into the mechanisms that need to be built into electronic participation systems to appreciate how, where and why people use them. In November 2005 the ITC, in partnership with BT, began a new period of supporting the ePetitioner for the Parliament. BT are providing a secure hosted electronic petitioning service to the PPC for two years and in that time the ITC will manage the service and research further developments.
The Scottish Parliament accepted its first electronic petition from the ITC's electronic petitioning system
(now part of the Centre for Social Informatics
) worked with the Scottish Parliament from 1999 until 2007. Initially, we worked with The Parliament and BT Scotland, researching the design and management of an electronic petitioning system
for the Public Petitions Committee (PPC). A special arrangement between the ITC and the PPC supported a pilot of the system and allowed both parties to start to evaluate the use and civic impact of electronic petitioning in Scotland. In particular, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust funded a short research study to monitor and assess electronic petitions
Following the success of e-Petitioner, the Petitions Committee suggested a more thorough integration of e-petitioner with their pages on the Parliament's website. From 2002
ITC took over development, from BT Scotland, with a formal contract with The Parliament. E-petitioner was re-branded to provide a seamless integration between the tool and the Scottish Parliament website. It hosted online petitions to The Parliament: visitors could read and sign a petition, read background information, join in a discussion about the topic and follow the progress of submitted petitions through Parliamentary Committees. The system was further integrated with the Parliament’s website and improved, as we created similar systems for local authorities in England
and for the German Parliament
. In 2005 BT took over the secure hosting of the system. In 2007, the system was handed over entirely to The Parliament.
Our research and partnerships around e-Petitions have provided higher-level insights into the mechanisms that need to be built into electronic participation systems to appreciate how, where and why people use them.
From 2009 to 2011, we continued our ePetition research within the EuroPetition project.