Placement Posts - Alex with Procedural Services Branch
I was assigned to the Procedural Service Branch (PSB) as part of my Assembly placement. PSB is responsible for providing procedural and administrative support to the Legislative Assembly's standing and select committees. All of the Committee Clerks were exceedingly helpful explaining the mandates of the committees and the role they play in supporting the committees’ Members.
I’d like to highlight that the actions taken by the PSB during the COVID-19 pandemic have been fascinating to learn about during my placement. Together with Broadcast and Recording Services, PSB designed and implemented the technological infrastructure necessary to run digital committees through the Zoom platform. Hearing about the work they did to ensure that committee business could continue according to the same procedures as usual, albeit in a virtual environment, gave me a better understanding of the committee process itself as well as all the backend support that goes into making it run smoothly.
I also had a chance to do some research into the best practices for social media use by offices of legislative assemblies across the country. PSB is investigating ways to make the committees more accessible to the public through the usage of social media as an amplification device for their updates and as a means of fostering civic engagement with the committee process. As the OLA and other legislative assemblies look to social media as a way to connect with the public about upcoming business, it is important that this use of digital technology is done in a way that is secure, confidential and easy for the legislative staff to manage and for the public to make use of. This is obviously a huge topic that I could by no means definitively cover during my placement, but I nonetheless enjoyed analyzing the ways in which legislatures across Canada have adapted new media to reach out to and educate the public .
I’m really looking forward to my upcoming MPP placement and am excited to learn more about the day to day workings of the Assembly from the perspective of a Members’ office.