Mr Rogers is a senior Clerk. This letter is from him in response to a proposal we made suggesting that Parliament produce nicer XML for bills. That request became the Free Our Bills campaign, supported by thousands of supporters and over 100 MPs
These are other very senior clerks in the House of Commons
Other, officials, mostly more junior than the ones above. They had been handling mySociety's request when it was submitted
Wow - why would anyone need to cool off about a request for XML?
Aww - what a gent! And I wrote it in my best bland whitehall-speak too.
Misunderstanding: We're not asking parliament to get involved with us, we're asking Parliament to publish some data in a better format for everyone to use
Lack of evidence: What success in Publishing Bills better exactly? As far as the public is concerned the ways bills themselves appear online hasn't changed in years.
Misunderstanding: What we're asking for has zero impact on the words the bills contain. Even highlighting this suggests they don't understand the difference between data structures and editorial.
Mistake: We're clearly asking for permalinked URLs here, which is something that the Commons definitely does not supply.
Mistake: This service is not available to the public.
Mistake: No they don't, not for all Bills or even a majority
The Proposal here is basically to publish nice marked up XML of bills so that external people can make websites containing Bills that people will actually want to use. Thousands of people are now part of the campaign for this data: www.theyworkforyou.com/freeourbills
Free Our Bills FOI request - mouse over for notes (2 more pages to come)