NEWS: INOVEM e-Petitions software adds another critical rung on "The Ladder of Participation"


7th June 2010
INOVEM e-Petitions software allows creation of online petitions and empowers members of the public to list, search, view, sign, create and manage online petitions

INOVEM, a pioneer of Web 2.0 technologies that enable public sector organisations and private businesses to collaborate, consult and engage with internal and external stakeholders, today announced a new e-Petitions module, a fully hosted solution which can be used as a standalone offering or integrated with INOVEM's online consultation software.

Available immediately, with minimal setup costs, INOVEM e-Petitions has an annual license fee of only �1,200 per year including free upgrades, online training and unlimited support. It is being launched to satisfy the demands of local authorities working to ensure they meet the government's December 2010 deadline to make an e-petitioning service available for use by local community groups and citizens.

John Glover, sales and marketing director at INOVEM, said: "INOVEM empowers people to work together better. We work closely with local authorities, strategic partnerships and other public sector agencies to ensure that our Inclusionware solutions meet public sector involvement, consultation and collaboration through our own version of 'The Ladder of Participation'. With this effective, low-cost e-Petitions software module we are extending our existing ladder of Inform, Consult and Collaborate with a new rung � Empower."

The solution was developed specifically with the needs and tight budgets of local authorities in mind, enabling them to empower local citizens to petition and show representation. The low entry-level price-point is complemented by a fully-hosted model that has unlimited support, free upgrades, and is designed to integrate with INOVEM's consultation stakeholder database, as well as a service that can be seamlessly branded to co-exist with existing council websites.

INOVEM e-Petitions will help local authorities and other public sector agencies engage stakeholders and include communities economically and without unnecessary barriers. It was developed following feedback from more than 20 INOVEM local authority clients already involved in developing best practices and standards, including several that have already committed to using the solution. With a compelling breadth of functionality and straightforward implementation, INOVEM e-Petitions will enable local authorities to meet and exceed incoming legislation on time and within budget.

The solution is designed with usability and functionality in mind, offering users a step-by-step way to list, view, sign and create online petitions. A user-friendly interface ensures that technology is no barrier for any individual or group including signatories, the principal petitioner, responding officers and the facility manager. Workflows ensure that submitted petitions can be reviewed and easily administered, while facility managers in authorities can set trigger thresholds and alerts for further actions, such as full council debates. Strong reporting ensures that petitions in progress or completed can be viewed with graphs, status, timelines, number of signatories and responses.

By helping public sector bodies enhance their levels of participation INOVEM's new e-Petitions module will also play a key role in satisfying the statutory 'Duty to Involve' as outlined in the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) 2008 white paper 'Communities in Control: Real People, Real Power'. This 'Duty to Involve' demands that appropriate steps are taken to involve people in decisions, policies and services that may affect them or be of interest to them.

Rhion Jones, co-founder and programme director of the Consultation Institute said: "We believe that public petitioning is entirely complementary to public consultation. It is vital that the widest possible range of relevant stakeholders is able to engage constructively with public bodies in order to contribute valuable thoughts and opinions on issues that affect them. INOVEM is a long-standing member of our organisation with a track record for delivering robust solutions to public sector organisations. With this new e-Petitions module it is responding proactively to the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act while promoting high standards of public consultation and addressing the 'Duty to Involve' through an innovative and inclusive software solution."

For more details or to see an interactive online demo visit www.inovem.com/e-petitions

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