Parliament is rocking its socks off lately. In addition to John Bercow proving that the some of our right honourable friends have indeed remembered their backbones, we have also seen outstanding work from the House of Commons Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy Committee. They have been determined to hold the government to account on the shenanigans around the missing government digital strategy.
This strategy, you’ll recall, is largely domestic – it really has nothing to do with Brexit – despite two successive governments now milking it as an excuse.
The BIS Committee’s outbreak of gutsiness seems to be catching. Incredibly, a second Parliamentary committee – the Science and Technology Committee – is now demanding answers as well.
On 13 January its chair, Stephen Metcalfe MP, wrote this letter (inaccessible PDF) to Matt Hancock MP, the Minister for Digital Policy, reiterating the calls for transparency and accountability.
On 24 January Matt Hancock responded with – you guessed it – yet another classic May-esque non-answer. It’s house on the buzzword bingo card.
Wait – what was that, Theresa? Certainty and clarity? Taking back control? The best plan for science and innovation? If that’s so, tell me this: why is the Minister of State for Digital an empty suit with no leadership responsibilities? How is Brexit to blame for this one?
Where, to get back to the original question, is the strategy?
About the author
Heather Burns is a digital law specialist in Glasgow, Scotland. She researches, writes, publishes, consults, and speaks extensively on internet laws and policies which affect the crafts of web design and development. She has been designing and developing web sites since 1997 and has been a professional web site designer since 2007. She holds a postgraduate certification in internet law and policy from the University of Strathclyde. Learn about hiring Heather to write, speak, or consult.