Sources of Data

The People’s Assembly draws on a wide range of sources to present information in a user friendly, intuitive and useful format. Almost all data is processed by computer programs called ‘scrapers’ which extract information from original documents and output it in a computer readable format.

By their nature, scrapers are not perfect and mistakes do occur. We strive to provide the most accurate data possible in a non-partisan manner, and welcome all feedback that helps us improve our scrapers. Please use the ‘Correct this Page’ link at the bottom of every page on the People’s Assembly to alert us of any errors or mistakes that you notice. If possible, please include a link to the source of the corrected information.

In all cases, the accuracy of information on the People’s Assembly relies on the accuracy of the source of that information.

The People's Assembly launched formally in early 2014 and is continuously working to improve the quality of data recorded.

Sources of Data

Data Source Method Frequency Notes
National Assembly members Parliament mailing list Manual entry Changes added within 1 week of notification
National Council of Provinces members Parliament contact Manual entry Updated list is requested once a quarter
Committee membership lists Parliament ATC Reports (prior to the 5th Parliament Parliamentary Monitoring Group observations were used) Manual entry When observed
Hansards Parliament website - Scraper Once per day There is a substantial delay between sittings and Parliament’s publishing of hansards.
Questions Parliament website Scraper Once per day
Answers Parliament website Scraper Once per day Matching of questions to answers relies on correct naming of files on Parliament’s website.
Committee appearances Parliamentary Monitoring Group reports Scraper Once per day (reports posted at within 3 days of meetings) Matching of mentions of an MP relies on correct spelling and formatting - mistakes can occur.
Members Interests Parliament website Scraper Once per year (following publication) The format published by Parliament is difficult to scrape and minor errors do occur. We have manually corrected most of these but welcome any feedback on errors that we have missed. We currently display interests published since 2010.
Executive positions (ministers/deputy ministers) News media, government websites Manual entry Following cabinet reshuffles
Members of Provincial Legislatures Provincial legislatures Manual entry Sourcing information from provincial legislatures has proven difficult and data is often in an inaccessible form. This may have compromised accuracy.
Constituency offices Parties Manual entry and program processing Some parties do not provide constituency information. Click here to read more.