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Changing the way Members register their interests

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Big Ben seen from below, with Portcullis House roof in the foregroud.

As part of Parliament’s digital transformation journey, we have been testing new approaches to digital delivery. We have renewed our focus on managing and improving our products based on user feedback. We have also been investing in Parliament’s approach to data and how we use it. One example of this work in action is our development of the transparency registers maintained by the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

What are the Registers

There are several registers in use across Parliament, including the Register of Members' Financial Interests and the Register of Lords’ Interests.

Members of the House of Commons and House of Lords are required to provide information about any interest or benefit they may receive, which others might reasonably consider to influence their actions as a Member of Parliament. These Registers are available to the public.

Our initial work has focused on improving the way Members are able to register their financial interests in the House of Commons. This will act as a building block, upon which we can develop improvements to other registers.

What needed to change?

Work started on the registers following a recommendation from the House of Commons Committee on Standards that there should be a more searchable form of the Register available to the public. The Committee on Standards in Public Life and House of Lords Conduct Committee also endorsed the need for fully searchable versions of both the Register of Members' Financial Interests and the Register of Lords’ Interests.

What have we been doing?

Transforming Digital has worked alongside colleagues in our Product Directorate to embed user-focused ways of working. Our project to improve the Register was a chance to try out these ideas and bring together a greater range of skills and experiences within our multi-disciplinary delivery team, arranged around user needs to manage and improve the registers throughout their life.

This multi-disciplinary team includes back and front-end development expertise, testers, DevOps, content design and interaction design skills, user research, delivery and product management capability, as well as key involvement from the House of Commons Registry Office, who have championed this work, ensuring it meets Parliament’s needs as well as the needs of those using the system.

Register of Members’ Financial Interests

Whilst there is more work planned for all of the registers, our initial work has focused on building a new data-driven digital system to manage and publish the Register of Members’ Financial Interests for the House of Commons.

The new system consists of:

  • an entry portal for Members to submit and make changes to their interests
  • an administration portal to enable the Registry Office to manage and publish the Register
  • a new Application Programming Interface (API), enabling the Register to ‘talk to’ other software and applications throughout Parliament

The rules around registration and the data that is published in the Register remain the same. However, our data team has helped to ensure that the way the information is added to the system is more consistent and structured, which should in turn help to make the Register easier to search.

For now, we will publish the more structured and consistent data in the current format but the next phase will focus on enhancements to how the published data can be accessed, for instance via a new external API and different download formats of the dataset. These additional publishing aspects will be available via future releases and will continue to be designed in collaboration with potential users and stakeholders. We will continue to share updates as this work progresses.

Next steps

As well as working on improvements to the Register of Members’ Financial Interests for the House of Commons, the team will be starting to look at repeating the process to develop other parliamentary registers, including those for Members’ staff within the House of Commons and Members of the House of Lords.


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