Public Services > Central Government

Online petitions go live on Directgov

Guardian Government Published 29 July 2011

Online petitions go live on Directgov

Directgov e-petitions could provide public 'megaphone', says Leader of Commons

A new public e-petitions service has gone live on the Directgov portal, replacing the previous e-petitions system on the Downing Street website.

The new website went live on 29 July and is being operated by the Government Digital Service. The government said that public petitions which secure the backing of 100,000 signatures will be eligible for debate in Parliament.

Sir George Young, the Leader of the House of Commons, said: "The public already have many opportunities to make their voices heard in parliament, and this new system of e-petitions could give them a megaphone.

"Of course, parliamentary time is not unlimited and we want the best e-petitions to be given airtime so we will monitor the site closely over the coming months to assess whether the 100,000 figure is an appropriate target."

Government departments will moderate the petitions, with oversight from the office of the leader of the commons.

Petitions which are ineligible, such as those deemed libellous or offensive, will not appear on the website, or will appear on a 'rejected petitions' page and will not be open for signature.

A petition which reaches the threshold for debate on the website and does not contravene House of Commons rules, or breach its conventions on pre-empting debates or consideration of bills, will be passed to the backbench business committee for further consideration.

Online petitions have been part of government for a number of years. The Scottish Parliament began to use them in 2000 and Bristol and Kingston upon Thames councils pioneered their use as one of the e-government national projects for local government in 2004. The Downing Street e-petitions service went live in 2006, but was taken down before the general election in 2010. The Welsh Government launched an e-petitions service in 2008.

One petition about road charging on the Downing Street website attracted nearly 2m signatures.

Comments
Post a comment

Comments may be moderated for spam, obscenities or defamation.





We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.