The Commonwealth Parliamentary Research Service (CPRS)

The CPA’s electronic communication of information about 185 Parliaments and Legislatures is potentially the biggest and most far-reaching service the Association provides to all Members and to the general public. It provides authoritative comparative information which can be crucial to the successful resolution of procedural and constitutional issues, information which Parliaments and Legislatures – especially those without extensive research support – are unable or unlikely to access on their own.  It has played this role throughout its history, initially by responding to high-level parliamentary requests for information and later by populating the CPA website.

Digital information media are no longer an optional added service, they are now fundamental to communications and service provision.  The new Commonwealth Parliamentary Research Service (CPRS) will therefore make full use of digital media so comparative Commonwealth parliamentary information and the CPA name are readily and rapidly available to Members through all electronic media, including but not limited to the CPA website.  The Reference Service is uniquely placed to be an authoritative information source relevant to the needs of Branches and the new work patterns of Members and officials. It has the potential to become the main centre for comparative parliamentary studies, both for our members and other external organisations.

The CPRS will add value to and make greater use of existing resources by, for example, providing brief electronic news summaries of major parliamentary developments in the Branches with links to other information about those Branches, including relevant CPA reports, articles from The Parliamentarian and newsletters and basic parliamentary facts.  This will augment the Secretariat’s existing electronic CPA Update monthly email newsletter on CPA activities and its paper publications and at the same time publicize other CPA media.

The new Reference Service will use Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and any future relevant social media tools to spread parliamentary information, to receive communication from our stakeholders and to publicize the CPA through as many electronic media as possible.  It will, where possible, use podcasts to place online major addresses at CPA events. 

CPRS will conduct or commission research to compile comparative information about parliamentary practices and issue, as well as about the CPA so it can add further value to the information it provides from individual Parliaments and Legislatures.  If it is seen to be an effective provider of useful information, it will be more successful in gaining support for this work from Branches.

For further information about the Commonwealth Parliamentary Research Service (CPRS) please email or contact the CPA Secretariat.