Public affairs monitoring from within Parliament
January 23rd, 2014
That’s normally enough for most people when they ask what I ‘do’. But a few keep inquiring.
“Oh cool, so, what’s your job title?”
And that normally stumps me a little; what is my job? I’m the policy lead for the two Green MSPs in the Scottish Parliament, I support them with any information they need to do their work and I aim to make sure what we say is correct, 100% of the time.
To do that I need to know what’s going on in Government, what’s said in Parliament and what’s happening in the real world. I’ve been using Cutbot’s public affairs system for the first two of those worlds for the last three months and I’m very impressed.
The Greens are the smallest political party in the Scottish Parliament, which means we have to cover a large range of topics and priorities. Cutbot’s real benefit for me is that it provides confidence I will spot every Government publication or Parliamentary mention of the subjects we care about.
I have trackers for fuel poverty, zero hour contracts, cycle safety, NATO, community renewables and private tenants’ rights among others. The Cutbot email bulletin highlights what the Government have said on these priorities but also keeps track of what we have done. I can’t watch every committee all of the time so Cutbot saves me searching the Official Report each day to see what our MSPs have said – the relevant hyperlink arrives in my inbox every morning.
Once you understand the trackers and ‘cuts’ the Cutbot back end is easy to use. There are plenty of options for targeting and refining your searches if irrelevant material keeps being delivered (in my case it turns out “cycle” does not only refer to the things with two wheels).
Overall Cutbot is allowing me to manage my information better, focus on other parts of my job and have confidence I’m not missing out on what’s going on.
Image © Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body – 2012. Licensed under the Open Scottish Parliament Licence v1.0.