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Scottish Government, Microsoft and BT Scotland sign up to Scotland's Digital Participation Charter


By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

November 7, 2011 | 3 min read

The Scottish Government, private companies, charities and academic institutes have all signed up for Scotland's Digital Participation Charter.

The Charter, signed by founding partners including Microsoft, BT Scotland and Patient Opinion, involves committing to share information and align resources and efforts to deliver shared digital participation outcomes over the lifetime of the current Parliament.

At the UK's first national GovCamp event in Edinburgh today, the Charter was signed on behalf of the Scottish Government by Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop (pictured).

She said: "I am delighted to sign Scotland's Digital Participation Charter on behalf of the Scottish Government. This document brings together the public, private, academic and third sectors to achieve our shared goal of increasing digital participation in Scotland.

"Digital technology is crucial to Scotland's future economic, social and environmental success. It has the potential to bring many benefits to our nation including a skilled workforce for our businesses as well as access to online support, services and savings for people in our remote and disadvantaged communities, the elderly and those in poor health.

"The Scottish Government is fully committed to realising our ambition for Scotland's digital future. However, delivering that digital future will require the expertise, skill and effort of a wide range of organisations including all those who have signed up to this Charter so far. I look forward to more organisations adding their signatures in future, and I am sure that with our collective commitment, contribution and effort, we can make a real difference over the lifetime of this Parliament."

Gina Alexander, engagement & support officer for Patient Opinion Scotland, said: "Patient Opinion is delighted to support GovCamp Scotland and Scotland's Digital Participation Charter. We are looking forward to working alongside like-minded people, and relish the opportunity to share our knowledge and experience of using the power of the web to help improve health services."

Derrick McCourt, Microsoft Scotland director, said: "Microsoft is delighted to have played its part in the development of a Digital Participation Charter for Scotland. Access to and use of appropriate technology transforms lives and builds sustainable economies. We look forward to helping build a better Scotland, underpinned by technology that fosters growth, enables people take better care of their health, improves education in our schools and contributes to the goals of a low carbon Scotland."

Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: "Any successful society that is to thrive economically and socially in the 21st century needs to exploit digital technology to the full. Scotland, as a small country on the geographic edge of Europe, has to take this opportunity seriously now, and in the future, if we are to catch up and beat the success derived from exploitation of digital services elsewhere in the UK, and abroad. This Charter will, I believe, set us on that journey."

Other founding signatories include Hewlett-Packard, J.P. Morgan, Storm ID, MJI Business Solutions, Mydex CIC, Liberata, Cisco, University of Edinburgh, Carnegie UK Trust, Scotland IS, Sopra Group and Swirrl IT Ltd.

The Charter will be open to all organisations to sign up to over time. A core group of signatories, who will be responsible for governance and development of the Charter action plan, will be established by January 2012.

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