The Digital Jersey Academy is today hosting the island’s first ever sitting of the States Assembly to be conducted by video conference.
The Bailiff, Timothy Le Cocq, in his role as Presiding Officer, and Jersey Lieutenant-Governor, Sir Stephen Dalton, are physically present at the Digital Jersey Academy in St Helier, with States Members joining remotely.
A special technical gallery has been built so a director can switch between the different video and audio feeds, to allow the Presiding Officer and politicians to keep their question time sessions and vital debates going.
States Members can indicate their wish to speak by using a second communications circuit which will flag up their intent directly to the Presiding Officer.
Members of the public can watch parliamentary proceedings as normal through the States Assembly website at www.statesassembly.gov.je from 10.30 a.m.
Rory Steel, head of the Digital Jersey Academy, said: “We’ve built this virtual parliament in a matter of days, working with officers from Government and the States Assembly to ensure democracy can function in these highly unusual times. We are also testing the links with each politician beforehand so they and we can be confident in the technology and how they use it.”
States Greffier, Mark Egan said “A couple of weeks ago, I never could have imagined being able to stream a virtual parliament within only a matter of days. I am especially grateful to Digital Jersey for supporting this initiative and ensuring that democratic processes can function in these difficult times”.
Digital Jersey CEO Tony Moretta said, “Using our expertise to create a ‘digital democracy’ for Jersey feels like a landmark moment for my whole team. We always set out to showcase the power of technology and the talent that exists within Jersey’s growing digital community, but even I never expected it would be put to use like this. At a time when we’re all creating a new normal, I am very proud that Digital Jersey is able to play such a pivotal role in ensuring democracy can be done, and be seen to be done.”