The study praised Jo’s use of email to provide updates, following her initial contact with the ‘constituent’.
Jo Swinson is delighted to have been named as ‘Britain’s most Tech-Savvy MP’, in a new study.
The investigation, by technology and computing magazine Micro Mart, sent emails to 625 MPs from a fictional ‘constituent’. Jo came out top in the study after her responses were found to be the most prompt and comprehensive.
Commenting on the award, Jo said:
“Email is quicker, greener and often more convenient than sending letters by post. I think email, along with other forms of new technology, has the potential to improve considerably the service we provide as elected representatives.”
“Emails have been used widely for several years now. Parliament can sometimes be slow to catch up with the modern world, and perhaps this is one such case in point.
“Fundamentally, people are free to contact me in whatever manner is most convenient to them – it is my responsibility to respond quickly and comprehensively.”
Micro Mart found that as well as giving comprehensive responses to enquiries, Jo consistently updated the fictional constituent on her findings electronically, scanned and e-mailed relevant documents and backed up her use of technology with a helpful, relevant and up-to-date website.
Micro Mart Editor, Simon Brew, commented:
“Jo Swinson is a great example of how an MP can embrace technology to not only help with their casework, but also simply to keep in touch with their constituents.
“By using affordable, simple methods of electronic communication to great effect, she was both incredibly responsive, and quick to get fresh and useful information to us.”
The overall findings of the Micro Mart study were less positive, with nearly a sixth of Members of Parliament failing to respond to the e-mails. The investigation found that:
• 98 MPs ignored the e-mails altogether
• 73 needed a second mail to be sent before they responded
• Some took nearly two months to reply
• Several high profile MPs, including William Hague, Ruth Kelly and David Davis, were among those who failed to reply
For the Micro Mart study, 625 MPs in England, Scotland and Wales were contacted, and their responses monitored, between February 1st and 31st March 2007. Two MPs could not be contacted electronically. A technical issue meant a further MP did not receive the e-mail, and thus was not included in the results
MPs received a first e-mail on 1st February 2007, and if no reply was forthcoming, were mailed again to chase an answer on 12th March 2007. Figures were then compiled based on replies received between 1st February and 31st March 2007. Any replies received after this date were not factored into the results.