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July 1, 2018

It’s hard to believe this blog has been in existence since April 2012, when I was a newly-retired Inspector of Taxes.  It’s even harder to believe that, when I first thought about bloggery, I seriously thought I would follow and respond to all government consultations for a year: I had no idea, even after working within government on the consultation process, quite how many consultations there are.

We have come a long way in six and a bit years.  Gov.uk tells me it had 591 documents on the consultations page when I launched: there are now 4344, 74 of which are open consultations.

Using the gov.uk sort facility again we can see that there were 254 documents published between the first of April 2012 and the end of March 2013 (and this number is, of course, just a proxy for the number of consultations published during that period, as it will include consultation responses published during the period in response to earlier condocs, as well as condocs “live” in the year and other oddments like calls for evidence and further supporting documents)

Nevertheless, looking at the year on year totals from April to the following March we see:

254 in 12-13

594 in 13-14

839 in 14-15

531 in 15-16

578 in 16-17

675 in 17-18

I’m not sure about these figures: I’d like to know how many open consultations there were on hand at any given time but I haven’t yet worked out how to extract the figure from the gov.uk website (nor do I have any empirical evidence of how accurate the gov.uk sort function is in producing figures in the first place).  Nevertheless my impression – and it’s no more than that – is that the number of consultations has reduced lately, and I have, perhaps lazily, assumed this was because of Brexit and the concentration of civil service resource elsewhere.

However one useful change over the period I have been blogging is that they finally fixed the subscription function, so that the request to have details of published consultations emailed to one every day now actually works.

So I thought, what if I just… try to blog more often.  Every day, ideally, about what comes in?  And get some actual figures.

Watch this space.

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