|The Skills News|
The following email was sent to each of the 166 TD’s.
I would like to establish whether you are prepared to use email to communicate with constituents. Hence this email request.
Mise le meas,
A recent study of TD’s use of email and internet has revealed low levels of usage by the group. The study, carried out by Professor Brian Fitzgerald of the University of Limerick, found that just 42% responded to a simple request made by email and only 28% of TDs had personal web sites. The results were particularly surprising in light of the Irish Government’s policy of promoting technology.
The study aimed to establish the extent to which the current Dáil is ‘e-aware’ – that is how sophisticated are our elected representatives in terms of email and internet usage.
A significant amount of detective work was carried out by Professor Fitzgerald on various government and party websites to find email addresses and any personalised web sites for the 166 Dáil TDs. The table below summarises the overall findings.
|Overall Response Rate||42%||Percentage of TDs responding per party||Green Party||66%|
|TDs with personalised websites||28%|
|Working personalised websites||22%|
In interpreting the results Prof Fitzgerald pointed out that he overall response rate of 42 percent did not indicate an enthusiastic internet and email friendly Dáil.
80% of the TD’s who responded did so within 48 hours, and five TDs responded within one hour. It appears that there may be some TDs who are ‘e-aware’ are quite advanced and others who are still far behind. Only 28 percent of TDs had personalised websites, which is not very encouraging. This does not suggest that TDs in the main have embraced the Internet and modern forms of communication. In terms of which party is the most ‘e-aware’, Professor Fitzgerald calculated this by assessing response rate, duration until response, working personalised web sites to assess this. The accolade goes to the Green Party followed by Fine Gael, with the other parties unfortunately some distance behind.
Professor Brian Fitzgerald holds the Frederick A Krehbiel II Chair in Global Business & Technology in the Department of Computer Science & Information Systems, University of Limerick.
Got an opinion on this article?